This Mahoosuc Land Trust project offers nature lovers with a unique opportunity to explore two very different ecological systems in a single visit. The Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve includes two trails of moderate difficulty that lead right up to the site’s signature bald summit. Hikers who reach this 2,412’ peak are rewarded with an extraordinary panoramic view of the surrounding mountainous landscape. An abundance of wild blueberries delights visitors every summer, and opportunities for snowshoeing and backcountry skiing in the winter make Rumford Whitecap a four-season destination. Additionally, this preserve is one of only a few places in Maine to find silverling, and it also houses Maine’s largest red pine woodland, making it a great spot for nature and botany enthusiasts.
Adjacent to Rumford Whitecap is the Ellis River Conservation Area, which contains more than a mile of frontage along its namesake. This section of the river contains a number of sandy bars, channels, pools, and old oxbows, helping to make it a quality habitat for waterfowl and wood turtles. This area also houses an oak-ash woodland, which is a relatively rare ecosystem in the region.
The preserve was first established in 2007, when the Mahoosuc Land Trust purchased the Rumford Whitecap territory with the help of a Land for Maine’s Future program grant and hundreds of donors. It expanded in 2015 with the purchase of the Ellis River Conservation Area and expanded yet again in 2017 with the purchase of the land connecting the two sites.
Closest Town: Rumford
Activities: Hiking, Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing, Bird Watching, Hunting, Wildlife Watching
Region: Western Mountains – Oxford, Franklin, Somerset
Directions: From US-2 in Rumford Point, turn right onto Ellis River Road, drive for about 5 minutes until turning right onto Andover Road and left onto East Andover Road shortly after. The parking lot will be on the left and the trailhead will be across the way.