Janice Campbell admires the view from Bald Ledge
The Francis Small Heritage Trust has been unable to maintain off-road parking for this trail in these winter conditions. Also, the limited snow-clearing of the access roads has made road-side parking become too much of an obstruction to traffic. Poor visibility on those roads has developed risks of vehicle accidents. FSHT is very aware of the limited parking; we have established a committee to develop improved parking that can be maintained for winter access. We appreciate your patience and look forward to re-opening of the trail and parking when spring mud conditions have passed.
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) 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!)
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.