It's always nice to find a low key, quiet area to take an easy hike with your furry friends. For me it is even sweeter when it is close to the ocean. One of my go to's for years is Martin Point Wildlife Reserve. Nestled close to the oceans edge in Friendship, you would think you are worlds away.

The reserve features undeveloped forests as well as wetlands, and a pond with a cool history, right next to the ocean. The pond named Crystal Pond was actually created back in the 1800’s to harvest ice, which was then transferred across the road to the ocean side and shipped south on sailing ships. I find it very cool to see Crystal Pond, which still is spring fed, and serves as a ice skating pond for some locals, is just across a narrow street that borders on Muscongus Bay. The trail will take you along the forested reserve, an easy hike filled with ferns, different mosses, and interesting ledges, all while breathing in that refreshing ocean air.

As you hike along the Martin Point Wildlife Reserve you will find yourself going over a great diversity of habitat, from the pond to a wetland area to spruce forests, and a striking rocky coast. It kind of reminds you of being on a offshore island, moss carpeted spruce infused forest with a few hardwoods mixed in.

The Martin Point Wildlife Reserve was officially opened to the public in 2013, thanks to landowners that placed a conservation easement on their property. There had been several trails that ran through the area before but with the help of a land trust to help maintain the trails, it paved the way to open them to the public. Personally I am forever grateful to the many land trusts in Maine and the Martin Point Wildlife Reserve is no exception that will remain protected and open to the public in perpetuity.

Enjoy!

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