Bradbury Mountain State Park
Address: 528 Hallowell Rd, Pownal ME 04069
Time from Boston: 2 hours, 10 minutes (128 miles)
Camping at Bradbury Mountain State Park
If the somewhat urbanized campgrounds in Massachusetts are a bit too busy and hectic, consider traveling deeper into nature with a trip up to Bradbury Mountain State Park in Cumberland County in southern Maine, just north of Portland. The journey is only about two hours from Boston, making it a reasonable day trip or weekend getaway.
The park consists of 800 forested acres. As of this writing, Bradbury Mountain’s 33 camping sites can be reserved online. The only downside to staying at Bradbury Mountain is that fees are significantly higher for out-of-state visitors. As of this writing, Maine residents pay $11 per campsite, while guests are charged $19 (plus 7% tax.) Pets are welcome in the campground. There’s a group shelter and picnic site that can also be reserved in advance.
Bradbury Mountain Park offers the usual range of campground activities: hiking, biking, picnicking. Bradbury Mountain itself is around 500 feet in elevation. It’s low enough that most casual hikers can make the trip to its summit and enjoy the views. This is especially true in autumn when the leaves turn brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. There’s a large outcrop of white granite and pegmatite rock at the summit.
Lots of other trails are available for those who prefer to stay on level ground. Trails range from easy, gradual slopes to difficult rocky singletracks with tight turns.
Bradbury is one of Maine’s original five state parks and it remains one of the most popular. It’s open year-round, so even when winter comes guests are welcome to visit to snowshoe, ski and snowmobile.
From March through May, bird watchers come to witness the annual hawk migration.
Images: Creative Commons user billandkent