Sebago lake and the surrounding countryside never fails to blow me away with its natural beauty and splendor. After many adventures to take a dip in the refreshing water of Sebago Lake State Park, I found myself gazing up at the gently rolling mountains that New England is so well known for.
Meandering through the evergreen lined winding roads of Southern Maine brings you to the base of the wooden dreamscape of Douglas Mountain. Small earthen packed trails, babbling brooks, quaint wooden bridges and of course, a nearly 150-year-old lookout tower make Douglas Mountain the perfect hike.
Owned and operated by the town of Sebago, Douglas Mountain is open year-round sunup to sundown. For a nominal $3 suggested donation per vehicle, Douglas Mountain is a no brainer for large groups. I took my coffee on the road with me to arrive early to grab a spot in the small parking lot and enjoy the lively wildlife before the temperatures started getting too warm. There aren’t any bathrooms at the trailhead, so make sure to stop before you arrive if needed. Douglas Mountains’ main attraction is, of course, the summit! There are five trails totaling just under 3 miles from the trailhead to meander through to the top. My personal favorite is the Eagle Scout Trail. At just over a mile and a half, it’s the longest trail with the most diverse terrain. It begins by scampering over the wooden bridges and up the mountain to cliffs and blueberry patches just over halfway up. I decided to take a quick water and granola bar break before turning toward the summit to begin the more challenging second half of the trail. In the last half mile alone, I gained over 450 feet of elevation!
The only downfall to Douglas Mountain trails is the steep access and elevation change. Wintertime can create some of the most serene landscapes, but can also make Douglas Mountain very icy. I was sure to watch my step and carefully trudge through the almost thigh-deep snow – but clumsy me still somehow slipped and sprained my ankle pretty badly on the way down.
At the summit of Douglas Mountain is where the pièce de résistance really is. The two-story, all stone tower built in the late 1800s lends itself to panoramic views of Sebago Lake, the Presidential Mountains, and even the city of Portland! After basking in the glorious morning sun and breathing in fresh, pine infused air, I took my time to walk back to the trailhead below. It was beyond refreshing to be able to find a short yet rewarding hike that could be started right after breakfast and finished by well before lunchtime. Douglas Mountain will be a staple of my Sebago Lake area travels from here on out!
Where Is It?
To get there from Portland, take State HWY 237 to State HWY 114 for 28 miles. Hang a left on Douglas Hill Rd. right before you get into the town of Sebago. A mile in, take another left on Douglas Mountain Rd. Follow until you reach the trailhead.
Sebago, ME 04029
(Plus Code: V8C3+MC Sebago, Maine)
What else is nearby?
Travel is the best kind of education so go get lost, even if it’s just outside your own doorstep! Here are some other great places to explore in the area:
- Sebago Lake State Park
- Hacker’s Hill Preserve
- Panther Pond