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The Four Seasons Adventure Trail skirts several scenic lakes as it passes through forests and farmland, linking Newport, Corinna, Dexter, and Dover-Foxcroft in central Maine. The trail experiences frequent ATV use on summer weekends, mountain bikers and horseback riders share the trail in warmer months, and snowmobilers and cross-country skiers appear when the snow flies. Snowshoeing and dogsledding are also permitted. Both ends of the trail tie into the 1,000-mile-plus-long Maine Interconnected Trail System.
The trail follows the old railbed of the Dexter and Newport Railroad, which blazed north in 1868. The Maine Central Railroad leased the line and then extended it northward to Foxcroft in 1889. A transporter of wood products, the railway became known as the Foxcroft Branch. Maine Central ceased operations on the branch in 1993, setting the stage for the state’s purchase of the corridor for recreational use. It has been known variously as the Moosehead Trail and the Newport/Dover-Foxcroft Trail before adoption of the Four Seasons Adventure Trail name.
Starting in Newport, the trail passes through a business district and then some woods before it crosses State Route 7 for the second time and plays peekaboo with the 4,000-acre Sebasticook Lake. Although this area may seem remote, wooden stakes used in prehistoric fish traps discovered at the north end of the lake in the 1990s show that people lived here some 3,000 years ago. Today the lake is stocked with largemouth bass and crappie.
Leaving the lake, the trail wends north another 2.5 miles to the old mill town of Corinna, where an antiques shop, general store, and café offer distractions. The imposing brick building with a clock tower and belfry, a couple of blocks away, is the Free Library, built in 1898 and easily the most eye-catching landmark.
The trail offers a glimpse of a reservoir on the Sebasticook River as it leaves town, and then plunges into woods for about 7 miles to Dexter. (When you cross Line Road at 5.6 miles past Corinna, you’re crossing the 45th Parallel, halfway between the Equator and North Pole.) This old mill town, former home of the shoe manufacturer of the same name, offers cafés, groceries, and shady parks for resting. It’s easy to wander a couple of blocks east of the trail on Center Street to Water Street, where you’ll find the historical society museum housed in an old gristmill with a period home and schoolhouse nearby.
The trail rolls out of town behind some businesses and Lake Wassookeag (which means “shining water”), where you’ll see boaters and swimmers in the summer and people fishing through the ice in the winter. Leaving the lakeside, the trail meanders north for 11 miles through woods interrupted infrequently by farm lots on its way to Dover-Foxcroft.
After crossing the old railroad bridge spanning the Piscataquis River, which powered the mills that once thrived here, you’ll find food and services on the commercial outskirts of town where the trail crosses ME 6. You’ll encounter more interesting fare as you proceed across the north side of town. If you’re lucky, you’ll arrive during the annual Maine Whoopie Pie Festival in June. The town goes all out to celebrate this sandwich-sized cookie, a nice reward for a day of exercise.
To reach the southern trailhead in Newport from I-95, take Exit 157 toward Newport/Dexter on SR 11/ME 100. Go 0.5 mile northeast on SR 11/SR 100, and stay straight through the US 2 intersection to stay on SR 7/SR 11/Moosehead Trail. Go 0.8 mile, and turn right into the small parking lot adjacent to the trailhead, or go another 0.1 mile, and look for parking on your left. The trail’s endpoint is about 1.2 miles south along the trail in Newport.
To reach the northern trailhead in Dover-Foxcroft from I-95, take Exit 185 onto SR 15 N/Broadway. Go 35.2 miles northwest on SR 15 to Dover-Foxcroft, and turn left onto SR 6/SR 15/SR 16/W. Main St. Go 1.2 miles to the trail crossing, where trail parking can be found at the Irving service station on the right. The trail continues north of Main St. for 2 miles.
I rode the trail Newport to Dover-Foxcroft and back on my Trek 29er. Trail conditions were rough in a few spots but all in all an enjoyable ride. Luckily there was light rain the night before or it would have been dusty especially when the few ATVs I met passed me. Everyone was friendly and considerate. The 29er was a good choice since the wider tires and relaxed frame worked well on the Sandy and bumpy sections. With a few short stops along the way and a light snack at the turn around point, it took me a little over 5 hours.
We ventured out for our first rail trial ride and found it easy to navigate as it is marked well. For the conditions, well, that goes with the territory and the sport. There’s going to be some good and bad be prepared to handle any terrain and then your all set after all this is called ATVing.
My husband and myself saw this trail listed in the Rails to Trails magazine, and since we were in the area, we thought we would try it. From the very beginning, the trail was very bumpy, with lots of potholes and large rocks. We were hoping, that it would get better, but unfortunately it didn't. With the exception of a few sections where the trail was ok, this trail is clearly very frequented by many ATVs, and the condition of the trail is not suited for cyclists. We are both experienced riders, and made it to Dexter on the trail. From there we returned on busy Rt7 back to Newport. We just could not face the trail again for the return trip. Worst rail trail we've ever been on!!
My girlfriend and I. During the summer. Was staying at balsom woods camp ,so on the way back we saw. A ATV park. Passing. In Newport.so we stop to. Check it out. For a a ride. We liked what we saw. So we. Came back 10/15/16 we are amazed on the amount of. ATV etc on this trail and all the connection s the trail s have to offer. ,it is worth the trip. To visit these trail
Went to go on a nice day to the trail but the trail is closed until May 30th, 2016. FYI .
My 24 year old daughter and I biked from Newport to Corinna today, a Friday. On the trail, we passed a dirt biker, two ATV's and three sets of people walking their dogs. Otherwise, we were just the two of us, and it was sunny and quiet. We loved riding by beautiful Lake Sebasticook with its lovely views and charming cottages. We enjoyed passing through farmland and seeing cows running in its pastures. We were surprised to see all the cattails and very tall reeds in the marshlands and loved the dark 'tunnels' through a path of deciduous forests. The trail is a bit bumpy in places, and a bit 'soupy' next to mile marker three (wish they'd pack that section down), but otherwise, it was just fine. Due to time constraints, we turned around in Corinna, after eating a delicious meal at Barb's Restaurant where all meals are home cooked and where you can have breakfast all day long! Next time, we plan to begin biking in Corinna and go to Dexter where we hope to eat another delicious lunch!
My wife and I were looking forward to a pleasant trail ride as described in the other reviews. We found anything but. The condition of the trail itself was very poor. We could not enjoy the nice scenery because we constantly had to be on the lookout for holes, large stones and sand patches. Equally bad was the fact that all the other riders that day were on ATVs which created a huge amount of dust and noise. To us it defeated the purpose of a recreational trail to share it with motorized vehicles. We decided we were not having any fun and turned back much sooner than we planned. We are not inexperienced riders and found this to be the least enjoyable ride we've been on in Maine.
Explored this trial with my 18 yr old daughter. Excellent, easy biking trail with nice scenery. Lots of ATVs during our ride, but all friendly. We just had a few hours so 10 miles in and out was great. Excellent for a beginner or if your just looking for a relaxing afternoon.
I rode this trail starting in Newport and it was pretty amazing. I have a hybrid Trek bicycle and it handled the trail very well. I rode to the ten mile mark past Corinna. Beautiful scenery for the most part. Only encountered three ATVs and three ladies on horseback. Had the trial to myself otherwise. Some sandy spots but mostly crushed packed dirt. Planning to tackle all 29 miles before the end of summer.
Google Maps' walking directions says this Rail Trail is 9 miles from Newport to Corinna, 8 miles from Corinna to Dexter, and 12 miles from Dexter to Dover-Foxcroft.
Excellent place for horseback riding, good footing and visibility down the trail. Don't bring a horse that doesn't like bridges. If your horse is barefoot, consider hoof boots for this trail, as there are a fair amount of small rocks on top of the sand.
The majority of the ATV riders here are very good about slowing down as they go by (5-10mph is appropriate on an ATV), and stopping / shutting their ATV off when asked. FYI, it is very important that ATV riders speak to the horses, because horses that are relatively new to the experience DO NOT recognize you as a human until you do, and that can be very scary for them.
We took hybrids, starting from north trailhead, and were able to go a few miles, but this trail is basically for ATVs--at least 15 passed us in an hour or so. Very nice people, but trail surface has become quite rutted from the vehicles. In places, stone dust had drifted into patches several inches deep, making it hard to steer hybrids. What we saw of trail was pleasant, mostly woods with a few bogs. Crossing the Pisquataquis was beautiful. We also drove south and walked on the Newport end, where the surface seemed less rutted.
"There IS parking now for folks using the trails. Stay on Route 7 north headed out of town and just after you cross the old railroad tracks (before the Ford dealership), you'll see a Park & Ride lot."
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