Gannett Woods and Wyman Memorial Forest
Location and Description:
Location: Manchester and Readfield, Maine
Property Description: Gannett Woods includes over a mile of undeveloped shoreline on beautiful 37-acre Shed Pond. This shallow, remote pond supports a variety of fish species including chain pickerel, yellow perch, hornpout, and American eel. The hillside west of Shed Pond features an enriched forest dominated by sugar maple, white ash, and hop hornbeam with a number of uncommon understory plant species. Wyman Memorial Forest includes the peak of Monk’s Hill. These lands provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife: ducks and other waterfowl, beaver, moose, and many species of songbirds. KLT’s properties are adjacent to the New England Forestry Foundation's 700-acre Allen-Whitney Memorial Forest.
Directions to Gannett: Take Route 17 to Route 135. Go north on Route 135 for 1.2 miles to Scribner Hill Road. Turn southeast on Scribner Hill Road for 1 mile. Look for a KLT sign on the right. The trailhead is on Scribner Hill Road on the north side of Shed Pond. After the granite bridge, the first left is the snowmobile trail that follows the western side of Shed Pond. If you don’t take this left, the second left is a wooded path (blue blazes) that climbs Monk’s Hill and connects to the Wyman Memorial Forest path.
Directions to Wyman: Take Route 17 to Case Cemetery in Readfield near the Manchester line. Park at the cemetery. Walk W about 300 yards along Route 17. A KLT sign marks the access point (trail begins halfway between CMP poles #88 and #89). The first few hundred feet through the woods aren’t blazed. The first section of the trail follows a stone wall along an old woods road. As you near the crest of the hill, keep an eye out for double blazes indicating that the path and woods road diverge. Look out for poison ivy!
Usage and Trails:
Allowable Uses: Gannett Woods and Wyman Forest are open to the public for nature observation, hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing, and hunting in season.
Snowmobiling is allowed on designated trails. ATVs and motorized vehicles of any kind are not permitted. Dogs: Out of respect for other hikers, dogs should be under voice command or on a leash. Please pick up after your pets.
Trail: A beautiful trail winds through both properties connecting the Gannett Woods trailhead on Scribner Hill Road to the Wyman Forest trailhead on Route 17. The trail passes over 665-foot Monk's Hill, with beautiful views in winter and early spring. A snowmobile trail which is used for hiking, snowshoeing and skiing follows the eastern shore of Shed Pond.
Family History – the Story Behind Shed Pond
In 1783, John Shed of Tewksbury left Massachusetts after his service in the Revolutionary War. He moved to Winthrop, Maine (part of Massachusetts until 1820), where he married Betsy Hall and bought the lower half of Settler’s Lot #117. The newlyweds built a farm on the property just north of a pond that bears their family name.*
In the winter of 1805 -1806, John Shed was harvesting ice on the pond when his team of horses fell through the ice. Though badly injured, Shed was able to claw his way out of the frigid water. After this harrowing experience, he required full time care, which cost him a large portion of his farm. Later, Captain John Gage acquired the property around the pond and named the water body in honor of John Shed.
Between 1925 and 1933, Walter Wyman, co-founder of Central Maine Power, bought several tracts of land surrounding Shed Pond. Perhaps Wyman envisioned using the pond as a source of water for his cattle. He had deeded rights to dam the pond and flood the surrounding area. An earthen dam was constructed in 1945.
* Native Americans who once lived, hunted, and fished in Kennebec County had been decimated by diseases and the French and Indian Wars by the time John Shed moved to this area.