Named for the railroad line it parallels, the Mountain Division Trail will one day span 52 miles between Fryeburg and Portland. Two sections of the trail are currently open. A 6-mile segment between Standish and Windham provides a gently rolling excursion in the rural Sebago Lake watershed area, northwest of Portland. The second leg, in Fryeburg, begins not far from the Maine/New Hampshire border and travels nearly 4 miles along the railroad right-of-way.
To access the longer southern segment, start from the western trailhead at Johnson Field in Standish. Pause at the trailhead kiosk to fill out a registration form for use of the parkland within the watershed. From the large parking area, you'll follow a dirt road, which sees summer traffic of YMCA campers. The road undulates past stands of mixed conifer and deciduous trees for about 0.5 mile before reaching the trail.
The trail has a 1-mile gravel section that links Johnson Field on Route 35 in Standish and a paved connector loop over the Gambo Bridge through Shaw Park in Gorham and back to the Mountain Division Trail. You can also take an unimproved section for 5 miles between US 202 in South Windham and Bridge Street in Westbrook.
Technically, the Mountain Division Trail is a rail-with-trail, although the rail is no longer active. Narrow in places with steep embankments, the roller-coaster trail sometimes runs level with the tracks and sometimes dips below. The soothing aroma of balsam fir permeates the air, especially near the Presumpscot River.
To access the shorter northern segment, start from the Maine State Visitor Information Center. The paved trail follows a mostly tree-lined route and ends near the small regional airport and the Brownfield town line.
To reach the trailhead at Johnson Field in Standish, take State Route 35 to its intersection with State Route 114. The parking area is on 35, 0.25 mile east of the intersection. In Windham you can park at the Post Office on US 202.
In Fryeburg, you can park at the Maine State Visitor Information Center on US 302 (97 Main Street).