The 4,500 acre Wildlands encompasses several small mountain peaks, numerous streams and frontage on the Dead River and Hothole Pond. A network of gravel roads provides vehicle access and are open to walking, running, biking, horseback riding and snowmobiling seasonally. A variety of trails, easy to strenuous, will guide you to special views and other places off the beaten path. Access is free. In the Wildlife Protection Zone, wildlife habitat is the priority. People are welcome, but please walk your dog on one of the many other trails in the Wildlands.
There are 4 trailheads where you can park and enter by foot, bicycle or horse. There are two vehicle-access gates where you can drive in on summer weekends on a limited schedule:
Hothole Valley South Gate: Rte. 1 near Rte. 176 intersection, is open to cars 8 a.m. to sunset on weekends from mid-June through October, and some Fridays. Visitors can park at several areas identified on the map. Please do not park on Valley Road or block emergency access barricades. Horse trailer parking at Mushrall Meadow about 1.3 mi. from South Gate. An outhouse is available just south of the main inner parking lot at Valley Road and Hothole Brook Trail junction.
Hothole Valley North Gate: Bald Mountain Road will be open on a similar schedule as the South Gate beginning in September 2018.
Dead River Gate: Don Fish Road 0.5 mi. past Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery accesses the west side of the Wildlands; parking available; horse trailer parking at Hatchery.
Mountain Trailhead: Don Fish Road 1.0 mi. past Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery; parking available.
“One-Minute Hikes” videos by Aislinn Sarnacki of the Bangor Daily News