It was my Junior year at South Portland High School, sitting in Mr. Brogan’s Maine Studies class. He stood at the head of class, leaning forward and hands extended, as if addressing the United States Congress on matters of the highest concern. “We’re heading to my favorite place! T2-R8!!”
We traveled a lot with Mr. Brogan as our guide – from the deepest corners of Maine to the Great Wall of China.
I consider myself a Mainer. Although the farther North I move, the more I am considered a half-breed (at best) or from Northern Massachusetts (at worst). Southern Maine, I am told, is a different world. It’s not really Maine. It’s the part of Maine where towns have names. And people. But apparently this is not the reality across our great state – where Unorganized Townships simple are assigned a number rather than a formal name.
Nestled halfway between Franklin and Cherryfield, traveling by Route 182, you’ll find another of these little gems: T9. Flanked by Spring River Lake and the Hidden Ponds (Mud, Salmon, Little Long, and Tilden) on the North, and by Fox Pond and Tunk Lake on the South, T9 is proving to feature some the best opportunities for exploring and hiking in Downeast Maine.
One. Mile. Only.
In less than One Mile of road, you’ll encounter beautiful views and a boat ramps on Fox Pond, trailhead for Caribou Loop and Tunk Mountain down Dynamite Brook rd, a network of trails surrounding the Hidden Ponds, and a beach and boat ramp on Spring River Lake – so underutilized that my kids call it “the private beach.”
Coming up Route 182, the first of these natural wonders will be hard to miss – Fox Pond. There are long stretches of lakeview as the road winds along the water’s edge. There are a couple points to pull over and enjoy the view, and at the farthest point is a small boat ramp.
Dynamite Brook Road & Caribou Loop
Traveling further North, you will easily miss Dynamite Brook Road, unless you’re looking for it – and you should! It’s a lengthy dirt road with the trailhead for Caribou Loop (about halfway down).
Almost right across from Dynamite Brook Road is the entrance to a network of trails with excellent parking. I suspect this will be one of our first targets as it is very close.