Location: New Gloucester, Cumberland County
Description: A trail system on 1,600 acres of rolling fields and forest. This is the former campus of the state institution for the mentally handicapped. Many businesses, schools, a YMCA, an equestrian center, a conference facility, a cafeteria, and a Farmer’s Market and cafe occupy the 28 restored buildings, which now include a working dairy, beef, and egg farm, a cheese-making operation, and a hydroponic tomato business.
Activities: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, hiking, mountain-biking, running
Favorite Season(s) to Visit: Year round
Why It’s Special: Every aspect of Pineland Farms has been attended to with care such that this is a world-class facility. My favorite feature: The trails wander up and down and in and out of woods and field in an artful way, making the most of the topography. The careful grading and the soft surfaces of the trails make this a perfect place for a long run. The excellent snow grooming keeps the cross-country skiing going from early in the season to late in the year.
Tips: On your first visit, stop in at the farmer’s market and café to look at the scale model of the property, so you get a sense of where you will be going. You can check out the sandwich list to get thinking about your post-workout treat. Sit in the leather couches facing west and you might see Mt. Washington, if the weather is right. Important to know: Dogs aren’t allowed on the trails.
More info and directions: http://www.pinelandfarms.org/