Situated between the towns of North Yarmouth, Freeport,
Durham, and New Gloucester, Pownal epitomizes the small rural Maine town. Its
population grazes 1,500, and its town center is a nod to its history where the municipal
town hall, Mallett Hall, which is listed on the National Historic Register,
Pownal was settled in 1680 and incorporated on March 3, 1808,
from a portion of Freeport, and fittingly, its recreational opportunities stand
apart. Most notably, Bradbury Mountain State Park draws hikers seeking a modest
walk to a picturesque vista at the summit.
A Grand View from a
Acquired from the Federal Government in 1939, Bradbury
Mountain became one of the five original state parks. In the 1940's, it offered
downhill skiing with a rope tow. In the 1990's, the park added 250 acres,
thanks to the generosity of the Spiegel family, funding from the Lands for
Maine's Future Fund, and the efforts of many generous people. These groups
continue to work on expanding the park to eventually link to the Pineland
Public Land parcel in New Gloucester.
Sculpted by a glacier, Bradbury Mountain is
the park's most outstanding natural feature. An ideal picnic area, the park’s
trails and migrating hawk and eagles populate its 800+ acres of
forestland. Families, horseback riders,
mountain bikers, snowmobilers, and snowshoers (rentals are available) find it a
wonderful place to spend a day or afternoon exploring trails, taking in the
magnificent view, or enjoying a picnic under a canopy of trees.
From mid-March through mid-May, the annual Hawk
Watch takes place in Pownal at Bradbury Mountain State Park, and in the fall, visitors
enjoy the views of fall foliage from the summit and watch migrating hawks and
eagles ride the thermals.