Stowe Mountain, some would say, is Maine at its finest: deep forest, ridgeline hiking, and incredible summit views. It contains more than 3,000 acres of working forest, and lies in the Mahoosuc Mountains, bordering 33,000 acres of State conservation lands and includes four miles of the Grafton Loop Trail. Because of the property’s proximity to an extremely popular year-round skiing and golf resort, it has been under pressure from second-home development. As a result, in 2009, the Maine Department of Conservation, with funding from the Trust for Public Land, stepped up to conserve the land with the purchase of a working easement.
The heavily wooded property upon which Stowe Mountain rests is known for its biodiversity, largely due to variations in elevation (900 ft near Bear River to 3,500 ft on Sunday River Whitecap) and topography. It boasts alpine and sub-alpine habitats, several types of forests—softwood, hardwood, and mixed— as well as rock formations and shaping waterfalls. It encompasses three summits: Sunday River Whitecap, Bald Mountain, and Stowe Mountain. Together, the three form the beautiful backdrop of Grafton Notch and the Bear River Valley. The conservation of this mountain was a particularly important achievement given its location. It is near Grafton Notch State Park, the Mahoosuc Public Reserved Land Unit, and the Appalachian Trail. With this initiative, Stowe Mountain is protected from the threat of encroaching subdivision development.
Closest Town: Newry, Oxford County
Activities: ATVing, Bird Watching, Camping, Cross-country Skiing, Hiking, Hunting, Mountain Biking, Nature Study, Picnicking, Snowmobiling, Wildlife Watching
Region: Lakes and mountains region
Directions: Stowe Mountain is best accessed via Route 26 in Newry.