Great Pond, Cape Elizabeth ME

The Town of Cape Elizabeth owns over 1,000 acres of open space.  Much of these lands are accessible to the public via 15 miles of Greenbelt trails.

The majority of trails on the Greenbelt trail system are multi-use trails intended for a wide variety of recreational purposes including walking, mountain biking, and on certain sections horseback riding.  With the exception of a few trails that allow snowmobile travel in winter, including portions of the Great Pond trail, no motorized travel is allowed on any portions of the Greenbelt trail system.  Dog walkers are required to remove waste from the immediate vicinity of the trails.  A complete description of the entire Greenbelt trail system, including trails description, maps and allowed uses can be found on the Town website.

Great Pond Trail

The Great Pond Trail is named after its most prominent feature, Great Pond, a 40-acre freshwater pond home to a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.  In summer, many Cape residents use the pond for boating, fishing, and bird watching; in winter, skating and ice fishing on Great Pond are popular pastimes. Click for a map of Great Pond Trail

Public access to the trails can be found either off Fenway or Vernon Roads, both of which are located off of Fowler Road, or from the intersection of Golden Ridge Lane and Route 77 across from the Kettle Cove Take-out and Dairy Bar.

If the trail system is accessed from Fenway Road, you may park prior to the cul-de-sac at the end of Fenway Road, on either side of the road.

About 400 hundred feet into the trail, you will see boat racks constructed by the Conservation Committee and used to store boats for use on Great Pond. In March of each year, a lottery is held to determine the 32 lucky individuals that are allowed to store boats on the racks for the summer season.

Boat racks at the Great Pond Trail, where the trail branches in three directions

At the boat racks, a trail branches off to your left, skirts a small pond, and exits at Vernon Road.  To the right, a trail leads to the edge of Great Pond and a sandy beach used for boat launches or water access.  Heading straight past the boat racks, the trail enters the woods and continues around the shore of Great Pond.

At approximately 2,100 feet into the trail, you will come upon 700 feet of elevated boardwalk that crosses Alewife Brook and hugs the shore of Great Pond.  Construction of this elevated boardwalk was recommended by the Cape Conservation Committee and approved by the Town Council in 2010 in a general capital improvement bond.

At the end of the elevated boardwalk, a short uphill section brings you to a high bluff affording excellent views of the entire pond.  The trail continues through the woods away from Great Pond and then runs adjacent to Golden Ridge Lane and exiting on Route 77, a total distance of approximately 1.5 miles.