East Grand Highlands Trail: A Community Hiking Project
Originally published July 2018. Revised September 2021
Award-winning Trail System in Danforth, Maine
Chiputneticook, the Passamaquoddy name for our part of the St. Croix system, literally means “lakes among high hills.” It is an area of profound beauty and topographical interest. While much of the area’s natural beauty is accessible from the water, hiking trails can provide those on foot with an opportunity to experience some of this country.
Education and outreach to the general public and active community involvement are more important than ever. As national trends regarding childhood obesity and nature-deficit disorder suggest, we need as many opportunities as possible for children and families to engage in the great outdoors and create meaningful nature-based memories.
Thus, when the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust was approached by a group from the Danforth area who felt the community could benefit from a trail system for hiking, WWLT staff and volunteers responded to the needs of the community by establishing the East Grand Highlands Trails.
The trails became the first hiking area in Danforth and were initially made possible through the generosity of The David B. Snow Jr. Family Trust, which granted an easement across a scenic portion of its land that overlooks Sucker Lake.
The trailhead is on the east side of US Route 1, just south of downtown Danforth and 200 yards north of the Greenland Cove Road. The trail network extends up a hill and then splits to both circumnavigate Sucker Lake to the right (Sucker Lake Trail, medium difficulty, 1.55 miles) and extend further up the mountain to the left (Overlook Trail, easy difficulty, 1.6 miles).
Areas constructed by the WWLT exist for picnicking at the Scenic Overlook area, on the shores of Sucker Lake, and on the eastern shores of nearby Greenland Island. A third trail called the Boulder Ridge Trail (medium difficulty, 0.88 miles), which will connect the Sucker Lake and Overlook Picnic areas, is in the process of being constructed and will be completed by the end of 2018.
The Snow family stated that they are “happy to allow the use of the land for the trails so that people can enjoy the natural beauty of the space”. Additionally, Steve Mine, who has driven forward the project for the trust, highlights that the trails are built on “a very beautiful area strewn with an abundance of fern-covered glacial erratic boulders of all sizes and some areas of majestic old-growth timber.”
If you are interested in supporting this exciting project and helping to maintain and extend existing trails, you can donate to the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust. If you wish to donate your time and services, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-448-3250.