Bald Ledge

 

View from Bald Ledge
Janice Campbell admires the view from Bald Ledge

The Bald Ledge overlook in Porter, Maine commands an inspirational view of Colcord and Bickford Ponds and the surrounding hills, so it is no surprise that the trail from the north end of Colcord Pond to the promontory above is a favorite of local hikers.

For years the National Audubon Society (NAS) has overseen a 25-acre parcel next to the ledges, a gift of the Giovanella family of the Bickford Pond area who retained ownership of the ledges and approximately 200 additional acres. Since the Audubon Society is headquartered in New York City, they decided a few years back that a local organization in Maine might better be able to manage the property.  They contacted the Francis Small Heritage Trust to see if we would be interested in owning and protecting the property. (We said yes, of course!)

rare woodland communities
This photo shows an ironwood, red oak, and ash woodland community on Sawyer Mountain. Such communities are considered rare in Maine, and most known examples occur in northern York and southern Oxford Counties.

In the summer of 2010, NAS officially transferred its holdings near Bald Ledge to the Trust — as a gift, in addition including a generous stewardship endowment. The Forest Society of Maine, represented by its then Director of Forestland Conservation, Peter McKinley, kindly agreed to hold an easement on the property.

Bald Ledge is more than just a view. Our new property is in the Porter Hills, and on it the Maine Natural Areas Program has identified the Ironwood-Oak-Ash Woodland natural community and two rare plants, Bottlebrush Grass and Douglas’ Knotweed. We will be looking for other rare plants that are in the Porter Hills.

The Trust is pleased to have a footprint in Porter. While some thoughts are being given to creating a new trail to the ledges from the direction of Kennard Hill Road, for now we’re content to revel in the view.