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Old Pond Railway Trail begins in the town of Hancock, about 25 miles north of Maine’s famed Acadia National Park. The beautiful hiking trail winds through forests and wetlands for nearly three miles. Along the way, a trestle bridge offers especially scenic views of Old Pond and Skillings River.
The trail follows the former Maine Shoreline Railroad, once used by tourists to reach the ferry landing at Hancock, where they could catch a boat to Bar Harbor. In some areas, remnants of the old rails can still be seen.
Although the dirt pathway is not suitable for bicyclists, cross-country skiers and snowshoers can use the trail in the winter. Dogs are permitted but must be kept under control.
A trailhead with parking is provided at both ends of the trail. The east entrance is located off Point Road, across from Hancock Town Hall (18 Point Road). The west entrance is located off Old Route 1.
Great hiking trail, love the bridge crossing and bay views. If you’re looking for a good running trail - you may want to skip this one. You can run it - no real elevation gains and pretty straight forward there and back, but the railroad ties kick your butt. In some places they aren’t bad at all, but there are enough spots where there are handfuls of them packed close and tight making it very difficult. You can totally run it, but be ready for a the possibility of a potential fall or a rolled ankle.
Heard about this trail from a friend. Wanted to surprise my husband who loves anything to do with trains/railroads. Was very hard to find the Hancock parking lot at first & we passed it & drove further down the road. Across from the Hancock City Hall is a small lot that holds 5 -6 cars. The sign marking the lot is parallel to the road so hard to see. Saw several locals walking down the street to enter, some with their dogs. Trust the locals - they know where all the good places are. Young family was having a photo shoot with a pro photographer on part of the trail in soft afternoon light with fall foliage as backdrop. One can see tracks & concrete that was once a platform. Trail has lots of rail ties, so watch your step. Unlike another reviewer, I am glad they were left there & bikes not allowed as it keeps the trail quiet. Since we started our hike after 3pm after being at Schoodic earlier in the day, we only got as far as the trestle bridge. After another family left so we had the place to ourselves & enjoyed the peace & natural beauty. Plan to hike the whole trail from end to end next time. Hike this trail - beautiful nature & peaceful. One con: No restrooms.
It’s too bad that Hancock left all of the rotting ties in place, wasting a great trail for most of the year. Maybe they could find some volunteers to remove them, uncovering a great trail for everyone’s use!
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