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Sylvan Trail

Merritt Gay, the farmer who once owned this land, named the Sylvan Trail. The word "sylvan" is derived from the Latin word for woodland. The trail follows an old logging road through a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees until reaching a large field. The trail follows the edge of the field and re-enters the woods.

2023 Update:

The Sylvan Trail is partially open. While the full loop is not yet accessible, hikers can still enjoy a portion of the trail. We're committed to restoring the loop. In 2024, we'll be evaluating the work needed and hosting volunteer work parties to bring this popular trail back to its former glory. Stay tuned to our website for updates and join us in renewing The Sylvan Trail!

The Sylvan trail is partly on privately owned property. Please respect the owners and their property by following "leave no trace" principles. 

Trail Rules

  • Trails are open from dawn until dusk.

  • Stay on marked trails and respect private property.

  • Follow all posted warnings and signs.

  • Keep your dog leashed and clean up all pet waste.

  • Leave No Trace & pack out all your trash.

  • No alcohol or tobacco.

  • No camping or campfires.

  • No motorized vehicles.


Trail Description

Sylvan Trail (0.8 miles)

The first third of a mile follows the white-marked trail paralleling the turnpikes. At around 0.3 miles, the trail takes a right turn southeast, followed by a left turn northeast onto a logging road. After another hundred feet, you'll reach a clearing that served as the log yard for recent selective cutting.

Here, the path continues across the open area. Follow the markers made with logs and woodchips as you descend a short slope.
The trail then transitions to an old farm road, meandering through a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees, a typical Maine woodland scene. Keep an eye out for some old apple trees, a favorite food source for the resident deer!

At 0.65 miles you will reach Mr. Gay’s field. Looking east across the field you'll see cars on US Route 1, the Leary Farmstand, and the back of the Aquaboggan recreational facility.

The trail turns left along the edge of the field and re-enters the woods at the 0.7-mile mark. It continues through the woods until reaching the point where the old woods road meets the field again at 0.8 miles.  

Please note: The section of the trail, that formerly continued left along the woods road, is currently closed and will be rerouted in the future.

Estimated walking time: 25 minutes (one way)

This trail is great for birding, hiking, and snowshoeing, and it's unlikely you'll encounter many other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime.

Trailhead Information

From downtown Saco, go north for approximately 4 miles on Main Street which turns into Rt 1 North. Just past the Rt 98/Cascade Road turnoff, turn left on Flag Pond Road. Go 0.7 miles and immediately before the turnpike bridge, turn right into the parking area (approximately 150 Flag Pond Road).

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