Location and Description:
Location: Manchester, Maine
Property Description: We hope you will enjoy your hike through these 81 acres of conservation land. With 29 acres of wetlands and vernal pools, mixed woods, fields, 2,765 feet of stream frontage and 1600 feet of undeveloped shoreline, there is a lot to explore! 105-acre Hutchinson Pond provides valuable habitat for ducks, loons, osprey, bald eagles, beaver and warm water fish. The southern outlet stream, frequently dammed by beavers, flows west to Cobbossee Stream.
Directions: From Manchester: Take Pond Road south for 3.5 miles; turn left onto Collins Road. Take the first right onto Benson Road; in 0.9 mile the parking lot will be on the left. From Hallowell: Take Central Street west for 1.7 miles; turn left onto Shady Lane. In about 0.4 mile take the first right onto Outlet Road and continue onto Bog Farm Road and then Collins Road. Turn left onto Benson Road; in 0.9 mile the parking lot will be on the left. From Brown's Corner in West Gardiner: Take the Litchfield-Hallowell Road toward Hallowell. After 1.8 miles, turn left onto Benson Road. In 1.6 miles the parking lot will be on the right.
Usage and Trails
Allowable Uses: hiking, paddling, nature observation, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting in season. No motorized vehicles. Dogs are allowed on a leash or under voice command. Please clean up after your pets.
Trails: 0.5 mile, easy. Starts at the KLT parking lot and ends at a canoe/kayak rack on the shoreline of the 105-acre Hutchinson Pond, with an optional 0.3 mile loop trail to be used when the main trail is flooded in the spring (take the fork to the left/north).
Note: Excellent birding, fishing, and hunting. Check for ticks after walking through the fields. Contact KLT to reserve a space on the rack for your canoe or kayak: 207-377-2848; www.tklt.org.
Parking: Parking lot on the right, look for KLT sign.
The land that you see around you has been valued by people, both resident and migratory, for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence suggests that as early as 7,500 years ago, people fished and hunted in this area, the same way that residents and visitors do today.
In the mid–1800’s, when Asa and Sally Benson farmed this land, they cleared forests for fields, and harvested trees for lumber and firewood. Hutchinson Pond was at times known as Sanborn, James, or Hudson Pond. Stone walls, a cattle lane, and secondary woodlands tell the story of years of land clearing, pasturing, cultivation, and eventual farm abandonment. In 1962 this land was purchased by Dr. Joseph Crawford.
Dr. Crawford raised horses and hay for many years on the land that KLT now owns. The eastern most field, now reverting to forest, was hayed until the 1970’s. The field was larger before beaver created a large wetland.