Douglas Mountain

014edff1bcbccafeed461575b700a6380ffb444827
View from the stone tower at the summit

Douglas Mountain, the highest of the Saddleback hills near Sebago, is the third in a recent trio of Lakes Region hikes, preceded by Bald Pate Mountain and Holt Pond Preserve, all of which are in close proximity (I did the three hikes in a single day, so they are eminently achievable day hikes).  I hiked Douglas Mountain (1,416 ft) in Sebago in June 2018, via the Eagle Scout, Nature Loop, and Ledges Trails (2.3 miles, approximately one hour).  This is a hike we’ve done several times as a family.  These trails, part of the 169 acre Douglas Mountain Preserve, are maintained by the town of Sebago, which has a trail map and guide on its site. As usual, the AMC Maine Mountain Guide has a great description.  A fee of $3 is payable at a kiosk in the parking area.

013343dc41b0f27607365927d0a68563fa1a67dd4b
A mossy brook along the Eagle Scout Trail

The climb is a pleasant walk through the woods on a well-traveled path, with streams and beautiful trees.  On the Nature Loop, you can start to get a sense of height from the ledges, but for the most part, the foliage hides the horizon and longer views until you reach the summit.  As for Nature on the Loop, there were many mourning doves, plenty of wild blueberry plants, and innumerable chipmunks and red squirrels, who seemed suspiciously acclimated to humans.

014ed0a9e2cb4e29e6582805bc6efa5e0c9757ac4b
Two red squirrels hope for a handout along the Eagle Scout Trail

The summit’s stone tower allows for panoramic views, and a pictorial display helps to identify which peaks, lakes, and points of terrain you are able to see on a clear day.

011805f148184b09c0767ecf4a0c898c77b0a6e9fe
Entrance to the climb of the Ledges Trail, or the end of the trail, depending on your direction of travel

A steep descent down the Ledges Trail can be slippery in wet weather, so use caution in selecting your route.  The last .4 miles or so back to the parking lot is reached by walking along Douglas Mountain and Ledges Roads, past beautiful houses.  This route to the summit is substantially shorter than the Eagle Scout Trail, and would be a short, challenging scramble for younger hikers.