NOTE: The Bald Ledge trail is closed in winter.
The Bald Ledge overlook in Porter, Maine commands an inspirational view of Colcord and Bickford Ponds and the surrounding hills.
For years the National Audubon Society (NAS) oversaw 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!)
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.
During the summer of 2016, a group of students with the Oxford County Youth Conservation Corps, led by Gabe Perkins, improved upon a newly blazed trail leading to the ledges.
From the junction of Old County Rd and Maine 25/160 in Porter, drive north on Old County Rd to Colcord Pond Rd. Take a left (north) on Colcord Pond Rd and after 2.8 miles, where Colcord Pond Rd bears right, take a left on Dana Weeks Rd, then after about 300 feet, a right on Kennard Hill Rd. After 1.5 miles, take a right onto Danforth Ln, then at the split (after about 200 yards) bear right on Varney Rd.
The trail is 1.4 miles, 30 minutes round trip. Degree of difficulty: Easy.