Hours: Trails are open every day from dawn to dusk.
Parking: available at Gates 1, 2 and 3.
Street addresses for gates are: Gate 1 & Gate 6 – 1107 West Old Town Road Old Town, ME 04468 Gate 3 – 35 Hudson Road Alton, ME 04468
Periodically, Gate 1 may be closed for routine maintenance, or inclement weather. Planned closures will be posted on the Refuge’s website and Facebook page.
Gate 1 is open for car traffic:
April 15 – October 31 – Wednesday through Sunday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
November 1 to January 31- Friday through Sunday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
There is no charge or admission fees. We welcome your donations, for your support will enable us to maintain this invaluable resource for everyone’s use.
Hirundo’s wilderness can be taken at your own pace, or you may choose to join a group tour or participate in one of our many programs.
- Canoeing on Pushaw and Dead Streams, either as part of our guided tour or on your own
- Seven miles of hiking trails
- Three Interpretive Trails with self-guided brochures
- Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing in winter
- Diverse plants, abundant wildlife, and birds all seasons of the year
- Inspiration for nature photography
- Environmental programs for families and schools
• Sign the guest registry at Gate 1, 2, 3 or 6
• Call 1 day in advance to reserve canoes (no canoes available on Mondays & Tuesdays)
No smoking or fires
No shooting or trapping
No motor driven vehicles or bicycles
No digging, picking flowers or rocks
Carry in / carry out
FOR YOUR PROTECTION: STAY ON THE COLOR CODED TRAILS
What lies behind the Gates?
Beyond Gate 1 and down the 1/2 mile long the dirt road is the Pine Tree parking area. From here it is only a few hundred feet to Lac D’or. Along the shore are benches to enjoy the wildlife in and around the lake. The trail heads of the Wabanaki, Pushaw Stream, Big Spring and Thornplum trails are also just a few steps away.
Pushaw Stream, Pond, White Pine and Conifer Trails are located on the west side of LacD’or. All trails beyond Gates 1, 2, & 3 interconnect. The Pushaw Stream Trail follows the stream and has a short steep portion on the southern end. It connects with Pond, White Pine and Conifer Trails creating loops between 0.9 to 1.7 miles. Time commitment approximately 45-60 minutes, depending on route chosen. All of these trails are forested and easy. Note: trail portion by the floodplain forest floods during high water conditions. Self-guided interpretive Trail.
Wabanaki Trail – 0.4 miles: The Wabanaki trail is a historic trail, passing by the site of an archeological dig. Be sure to pick up the brochure for more information on this area. The northern part of the trail wanders along the banks of the Pushaw Stream over a flat, grassy surface. As it pulls away from the stream it enters a marshy area exposed to the sunlight and a muskrat lodge. Wooden bridges help you over the moist areas. Take a moment and look down next to the bridge. You are standing right next to a beaver dam. It ends at a junction with the Big Spring trail and the Thorn Plum trail.
Big Spring Trail – 0.2 miles: The Big Spring trail starts by crossing the east side of the field, and then crosses a bridge into the woods. This short trail is an easy, flat trail that passes by some vernal pools and streams, and through some large pine trees. It comes to a junction with the Wabanaki and Thorn Plum trails at the spring.
Thorn Plum Trail – 0.3 miles: The trail is named for the unique spiny and twisted thorn plum (Hawthorn) trees that populate the trail. It starts from a junction with the Big Spring and Wabanaki trails, passing through dense thorn plum forest, before coming out to a field. The trail is marked by a series of small, white signs. The trail meanders across the field before going back into the forest, and then meeting the road across from the White Pine trail.
White Pine Trail – 0.3 miles: The White Pine trail is aptly named for the very tall, branching pine trees that line this trail. The section nearest to the road is littered with roots and uneven footing. Sections of the trail also have a number of moderate-sized rocks, some covered by moss. The trail widens and then ends at a junction with the Pushaw trail.
Conifer Trail – 0.3 miles: The Conifer trail connects the Pushaw and Pond trails. The conifer trail has moderate-sized rocks and roots. There is one small, but moderately steep hill about midway through the trail. The trail never seems to have a distinct trail bed, but is abundantly marked and easy to follow, giving it a sort of “wild” feel like you’re just wandering through the forest exploring.
Pond Trail – 0.8 miles: The Pond trail starts from behind the gift shop at Gate 3 to the right. It proceeds over roots and moderate-sized rocks through the forest. It is an uneven path, but there are no prolonged inclines. As the trail heads north, it passes the White Pine and Conifer trails, becoming wider and less rocky until it meets the Pushaw trail in the north.
Pushaw Stream Trail – 0.9 miles: The Pushaw trail starts behind the gift shop at Gate 3 and heads north, closely following the banks of Pushaw Stream for much of its length. On sunny days, the many branching trees on the far side of the stream create an amazing reflection in the water. The Pushaw trail has moderately steep inclines, rolling up and down through the forest over rocks and roots. In the north, it passes by Lac’Dor before ending at the shelter.
Trails north of Rte. 43 are interconnected as are the trails beyond Gate 6 (south of Rte. 43). Trail network behind Gate 6 totals 4.5 miles and are made up of:
Trapper’s Trail -1 mile one way: Starting from Gate 6, the Trapper’s Trail is a wide trail mostly clear of rocks and branches. It goes up a moderate rise as it approaches the Vernal Pool Trail (on the left). After passing the Vernal Pool trail, it is mostly flat with only very slight grades. The southern segment of trail features denser forest of Hemlock and Beech to either side. After passing several trail junctions (Vernal Pool, Indian Pipe, Beech & Hemlock), the Trapper’s Trail ends at a small shelter where it meets the southern end of the Beech Trail.
Vernal Pool Trail – 0.3 miles: The Vernal Pool trail is a short, but difficult trail because of its footing. The footing on the northern half of the trail is very rough, strewn with moss-covered rocks and roots. It is often wet as well, so watch your footing on this trail. The southern half of the trail is a bit easier than the northern half, and soon it joins up again with the Trapper’s Trail.
Indian Pipe Trail – 0.5 miles: The Indian Pipe trail has a mild grade through most of the trail. There is an abundant covering of leaves, which do hide some small to moderate size rocks underneath. The trail starts out with sparser forest in the north, and the wanders into denser forest as it approaches the junction with the Beech trail. A left at this junction will return you to the Trapper’s Trail. Be sure to pick up the Interpretive Trail brochure that goes along with this trail to enhance your experience.
Hemlock Trail – 0.8 miles: The Hemlock trail has a mild downhill grade from north to south. It starts out smooth, and then suddenly becomes very rough after a sharp right turn. As you walk south, the hemlock forest becomes denser and very quiet. A couple of bridges help you over some moist areas. At the southern end, it meets up with the Trapper’s Trail again.
Beech Trail – 0.9 miles: The Beech trail starts out going south with a mild to moderate descent, at the bottom of which it crosses a small brook. After this there is a short, moderate section of uphill. The northern section is a bit wider and open before transition into dense forest in the south. There is an interesting contrast between beech forest on one side, and hemlock on the other. About halfway through there is a short spur leading to an overlook. At the southern end, the Beech Trail rejoins the Trapper’s Trail at the shelter.