Rattlesnake Mountain (1,035 ft) is an approximately 2.6 mile moderately difficult (but family-friendly) out-and-back hike in Raymond, Maine, with two good viewpoints overlooking the Lakes Region. Allow about an hour or two for this adventure, depending on the abilities of those in your group. The small, well-marked parking area for the Bri-Mar trailhead is off Webbs Mills Road (ME-85), and open from sunrise to sunset. No dogs are allowed on this trail.
We had completed this hike several years ago as a family during the fall, and the early July day I chose for this attempt was much warmer, with the field at the beginning of the hike full of wildflowers and bees. The field gives way to a wide, pine-covered road through a swampy area, then progresses upward on a narrower path.
The forest itself was alive with birdsong, from chickadees, woodpeckers, and mourning doves, as well as the chattering and rustling of squirrels and chipmunks. Deerflies were a problem at the beginning of the hike, but thinned as I climbed. The trail was mostly empty in the morning, as I only saw two other trail users, both trail runners, but can be fairly busy on summer afternoons.
The Bri-Mar trail, named in memory of Brian and Marlene Huntress, is maintained by the Huntress family. This trail is easily followed, with red arrows spray-painted on rocks and trees in areas of uncertainty. The trail is steep in places, but becomes more of a ridge hike at the viewpoints and summit. Logs over the trail provide fun obstacles for kids to climb over, and several wild blueberry bushes cover the margins of the trail towards the summit.
Rattlesnake Mountain is a great Lakes Region hike for families. Enjoy the vistas provided by the two viewpoints on ledges, as the summit itself is wooded, and leads to other trails sloping downward. After the hike, a great place to stop for lunch or a snack in Raymond is The Good Life Market, at the corner of ME-85 and 302, with all kinds of fresh options for every diet. In the fall, we have also picked apples down the road at Meadow Brook Farm.