Long Mountain (1,828 ft), located in Greenwood Maine, partially within the 12,000-acre Crooked River Headwaters conservation land, is accessed by a relatively recently completed lollipop-type loop trail, opened in the fall of 2021. We hiked this loop, listed as 5.5 miles, in early July. Given the many spur trails to overlooks, my recorded mileage was a bit longer, about 5.8 miles, for a little over two and a half hours. The Long Mountain Trail is accessed from a trailhead with a relatively large parking area off Vernon Street in Bethel (GPS is 1268 Vernon Street, Bethel, ME) and diverges to the left from Bacon Hill single-track biking trails. The size of the parking lot owes to its former role as a log yard.
A trail map is posted to the kiosk at the parking area, but difficult to find online. The trail itself is very well-marked and maintained, and I used the AllTrails app to navigate. As much of the summer of 2022 has been, it was a hot day, and the forested trail offered shade through much of the hike. The first part of the trail moves over a series of boardwalks through some marshy areas, then crosses a logging road by Mill Brook. Here at the edge of the road, we saw a large, tattered Luna moth near the end of its lifecycle.
The trail then moves upstream past clear, cool Mill Brook, which is covered in moss and flows through large rock slabs. At about .9 miles, the trail splits into a lollipop loop, which we took clockwise, heading up first to the North Ledge. This is a challenging hike, heading steadily uphill until levelling out a bit, and becoming a ridge hike between the North and South Ledges. Long Mountain does not have a cleared summit with views, but the viewpoints from the ledges are outstanding.
A word of warning, though – while small children will enjoy Mill Brook and other parts of the trail, the viewpoints along the loop often end at steep dropoffs, which could be hazardous to unsupervised kids, particularly those that like to run headlong into new experiences. There were a number of people with dogs headed up to Mill Brook and the loop intersection, but the trail was fairly empty on the ledges, with only birdsong to hear. We listened to black-capped chickadees and blue-headed vireos, and were visited by dark-eyed juncos.
The clockwise loop then deposited us back along the verdant banks of Mill Brook for an easy downhill walk back to the parking lot. This quiet, shaded hike in the Oxford Hills is an excellent blend of challenge and reward.