Located in Williamsburg Township, the 180 acre Demonstration Forest is maintained by the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District. Special features wit the forest include two historical homestead sites, examples of forestry Best Management Practices including draining, thinning and harvesting techniques, a glacially formed canyon and miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails. The district conducts tours throughout the year on topics such as forestry and silvaculture, soil and water conservation, vernal pools and more.
Visitors are provided an opportunity to explore a small example of Maine’s forest. Our interpretive trails wind through 180 acres of old farmstead, unique areas of headwater wetlands, which help to feed the Pleasant River, riparian areas, and a naturally formed 70 foot deep, 200 foot wide canyon. Throughout all of these areas there is a great diversity of flora and fauna. There are numerous songbirds, small mammals, amphibians, as well as deer, moose, bear, and coyote that inhabit these areas. There are old stone walls that once edged fields of crops that are now growing the next generation of forests. American chestnut trees have been reintroduced to the property and are being closely monitored. Visitors can hike in mature stands of Hemlock and mixed wood forests. There are three large legacy white pines believed to be remnants from the first homestead clearing.
The forest offers hiking, bird watching, hunting, snow shoeing and cross-country ski trails for year round enjoyment. There is an outdoor classroom, a geocache site, picnic tables and benches. Interpretive signposts guide and teach visitors throughout their forest journey. Brochures for the public are available at the district office to explain the significance of each posted location along the trails.
In 2007 the district was awarded two prestigious national awards from the Maine Association of Conservation Districts for their work in the forest. The Maine Audubon Society has listed the Demonstration Forest in their "Maine Birding Trails" Directory. The Southern Piscataquis Regional Recreation Map and Guide includes the Demonstration Forest as a recreation and tourism site in this county.
Special Notes of Interest: Brochures, maps, and interpretive trail keys are available at the Soil and Water Conservation District Office at 42 Pine Crest Drive in Dover-Foxcroft.
Season: Year round.
Important Natural/Cultural/Heritage Links:
From Brownville: Located off of the Old Williamsburg Road, the Demonstration Forest is best accessed from the intersection in Brownville (the road across from the Mobil Gas station) continue up Brown Hill and past the Moses Greenleaf monument, continue straight heading north. The road turns to dirt, passing several mobile homes. The forest is 2/3 of a mile beyond the last mobile home and is marked with a sign on the right hand side.
From Sebec Village: Follow the Old Williamsburg Road North (paved) road north to the Greenleaf monument. Turn left at the monument and continue north on the dirt Road. Where the road turns to dirt you will pass several mobile homes. The forest is 2/3 of a mile beyond the last mobile home and is marked with a sign on the right hand side.