Trail Guide and Suggested Hikes

All MLBS trails are blazed in yellow. There are no extended climbs or descents anywhere on Station property, but short and steep sections are found on most trails. Many trails are narrow, rocky, uneven, and can be overgrown. Attention to the yellow trail blazes on trees is important. Hiking boots or athletic shoes are recommended, especially for long hikes. Carry water, rain gear, a map, and a whistle at all times. Becoming lost is the greatest hazard you will face on the flat top of Salt Pond Mountain. Tell a friend where you are going and when you expect to be back. If you become lost, stay where you are; do not walk downhill.

Favorite Loops and Destinations:

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White Pine - Hedwig Loop:  1.2 km (¾ mile), 30 min.
A short and level, but rocky walk along a beautiful, moss- and lichen-covered boulder stream (Crazy Rocks) and overlooking the dense Rhododendron thickets of Saltpeter Branch.

  • Start behind Lewis on White Pine Trail (skirts Pine Field), turn left at Hedwig Trail through Crazy Rocks, turn right when you intersect Spruce Bog Trail, and take another right back onto White Pine Trail when you reach Crossroads.

Rhododendron - Hedwig Loop:  2.4 km (1½ miles), 1 hour.
A lovely hike down into a Rhododendron thicket, along Saltpeter Branch, and into Spruce Bog. Also will pass by the Hedwig boulder stream (Crazy Rocks). 

  • Start behind Lewis on White Pine Trail (skirts Pine Field); keep straight and pass Crossroads, continuing down the hill on Rhododendron Trail. The trail through the bog can be muddy and wet after a rain; please also watch especially carefully for trail markings on this section of the trail. Turn right onto Hedwig Trail when you reach the intersection, and return to the station, passing by the Crazy Rocks boulder stream on your left and taking a right on White Pine Trail.

Moonshine Dell - Bear Cliff Loop:  4.3 km (2 miles), 1.5 hours.
This high forest trail will take you across the Eastern Continental Divide and down into Moonshine Dell, named for the supposed activities of locals during Prohibition. After passing through the dell the trail goes out near the edge of the mountain to the Bear Cliff overlook. Many different vegetation and rock types are found on this loop. On the way back you will pass the old spring (formerly the water supply for the Station, now used as a research water supply), and the water cisterns.

  • Start behind Wilbur Lab on Moonshine Dell Trail, crossing the wooden footbridge. Take a right at Moonshine Dell onto Bear Cliff Trail; cross the creek and walk 1.5 km until you reach the Bear Cliff overlook. From Bear Cliff, follow the path that bears left away from the cliff until you reach a large brown sign with directions to the  Hotel; take the Spring Trail that begins immediately behind that sign.  At the Spring continue downhill on Spring Road. When you reach the cisterns (sunken concrete boxes), bearing to the left will bring you to the sign at the entrance to the Station, while bearing to the right will bring you to the pond on Pipeline Trail.

Hedwig - Bear Cliff Loop: 5 km (3 miles), at least 2 hours.
A very long loop through the Crazy Rocks boulder stream and out towards the edge of the mountain, arriving at the Bear Cliff overlook. Many different vegetation and rock types are found on this loop. On the way back you will pass the old spring and the water cisterns.

  • Start behind Lewis on White Pine Trail (skirts Pine Field), turn left at Hedwig Trail and pass through Crazy Rocks, turn right at the intersection and head toward Crossroads.  Pass straight through Crossroads, continue to Moonshine Dell, and pick up Bear Cliff Trail; cross the creek and walk 1.5 km until you reach the Bear Cliff overlook. From Bear Cliff, follow the path that bears left away from the cliff until you reach a large brown sign with directions to the  Hotel; take the Spring Trail that begins immediately behind that sign.  At the Spring continue downhill on Spring Road. When you reach the cisterns (sunken concrete boxes), bearing to the left will bring you to the sign at the entrance to the Station, while bearing to the right will bring you to the pond on Pipeline Trail.

Cascades:  4 mile loop, 1.5hr hike + 1hr drive time from MLBS (round trip).  
The Cascades hike is not on MLBS property but is a favorite local destination. It is a 1/2hr drive to the parking lot ($3/vehicle use fee) from the Station. The park (Cascades Recreation Area, Jefferson National Forest) is only open during daylight hours.  The hike up to the falls along the Creekside Trail (suggested route up) takes about 1hr.  The hike down the Woodland Trail takes about 1/2hr.  Pack a lunch and take your swim suit!