Goat Hill Trail – Acton

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Executive Director Cheri Dunning, Enock Glidden, and Board Member Carl Davis at the summit of Goat Hill

Thank you for helping the Goat Hill Trail meet US Forest Service’s standards for accessible trails! To make a donation to help maintain the trail, please click here. Questions? Please email our development director Ruth Gutman at ruth@3rlt.org or call her at (207) 370-4191. Thank you!

Essential Trail Info for Visitors:

  • Typical and minimum trail width: The Goat Hill Trail has a minimum width of five feet, and is typically 5-7′ in width
  • Length, elevation, surface type: This is a gravel trail that runs approximately 3,600′ (0.7mi) from the trailhead to the height of the summit, rising 151′ in elevation, using several long switchbacks. The surface is a compacted ¾” crushed gravel, with two small wooden bridges flush with the trail surface. At the summit, an accessible circular path about 500′ in length connects to several viewpoints and picnic table pads, and the gravel surface is the same as the trail.
  • Typical and maximum running slope: The average slope is 3.5%. Many slopes on the trail portion are 6% to 8% and the maximum slope is 10%. The maximum length of running slopes over 5% is 200’. Shorter resting intervals are provided for slopes greater than 5%.
  • Typical and maximum cross slope: The cross slopes on the trail’s treadway are no more than 5%. There are side slopes greater than 5% just off the treadway – use caution and stay on the treadway.
  • Obstacles: There are no obstacles over one inch (1”) in the treadway. Larger stones are used to denote where side slopes are difficult or severe.
  • Amenities: There will be an accessible portapotty at the trailhead from the late spring through fall, but there are no such facilities at the summit of Goat Hill. At the summit, there are several accessible-design picnic tables.

    If you have questions about the trail, please feel free to give Cheri Dunning a call at (207) 358-9695.

Make a donation.

What is Goat Hill?

Watch the spectacular drone footage!

Why create an accessible trail here in Acton?

History of Goat Hill and the trail.

Photos from L to R: Wakefield, NH students learn about watersheds, the hilltop, view of Square Pond

What is Goat Hill?

Goat Hill is one of the highest elevations in Acton, and offers stunning 360-degree views of nearby lakes and the Presidential Range and Mt. Washington to the west. Goat Hill’s 25-acres is owned by the town of Acton, and Three Rivers Land Trust has been engaged in a multi-year project to make the trail to the scenic hilltop meet the Forest Service’s standards for accessible trails. The trail is open now, and you will find the parking area for the trail at 1205 H Road, about 1/8 mile north of the Romac Orchard entrance. Goat Hill and the Romac Orchard are part of the land trust’s 2,000-acre “Goat Hill to Shapleigh Pond” conservation project. This project was made possible with funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Recreational Trails Program, in addition to many other grants, funders, and individual donors.

Watch the drone footage to see why we love Goat Hill!

Why did we build an accessible trail here in Acton?

Acton resident and wheelchair user, Nils, is thrilled about having an accessible trail nearby, especially after a trip out west where he visited many accessible trails with his family. Read below for his take on why accessible trails are important.

“The ADA describes “disability” as a person having physical limitations that markedly restricts their ability to function. In today’s nomenclature, “disability” is often mistakenly confused with “handicapped”. When a person with a “disability” encounters an obstacle in their environment that prevents them from doing something, they become “handicapped”.

Why the fuss over semantics? To live a full life when faced with significant, physical limitations you must focus on what abilities you have, not what is lost. Being able to add to the “Can Do” list empowers someone like me to get up and fight another day. For Three Rivers Land Trust to recognize the missed opportunities to enjoy the outdoors for those of us who are disabled, is commendable. The willingness to take on the construction of an ADA accessible trail is life-changing.”

I can’t wait to add “Goat Hill Trail” to my “Can Do” list. When my family & I get to the top perhaps Three Rivers will change the “Handicapped Parking” sign to “Enabled Parking”!

Goat Hill & Romac Orchard Timeline:

goat logo saved

June 2023: Enock Glidden, a speaker, advocate, and adventurer who has been spurring the creation of more accessible spaces across Maine, joined us at the summit of Goat Hill on June 3, 2023 to celebrate the official opening of the trail. Enock helped us tremendously with a trail assessment that included traveling to the top and touring the accessible picnic area. He gave us valuable information and recommendations. While Enock was able to climb the trail in a manual wheelchair, Goat Hill might be a challenging route for some visitors as it rises 151 feet in less than a mile. However, the trail’s compacted gravel surface
and moderate grades will allow most folks to give the trail a try with their preferred equipment.

February 2023: The land trust received generous grants from the Kennebunk Bank Savings Foundation ($10,000) and Partners Bank ($2,500) to continue work at the trail. We are so grateful to both of these generous community partners!

November 2022: Enock Glidden, a Maine-based disabled athlete, adventurer, motivational speaker, and an advocate for others with disabilities, visited the trail with us to make an assessment and suggest areas of improvement. Read more about Enock on his website, Go Beyond the Fence, or follow his Facebook page.

March 2022: The Land Trust celebrates a $50,000 grant from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), a program of the Federal Highway Administration and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, a state-administered program that provides funding for projects that facilitate diverse trail use. Read the full press release here.

December 2020: Trail construction got underway in September and the trail re-opens for winter walks. Delays due to the pandemic meant trail work isn’t finished – it will begin again in the spring.

2020: A professional trail builder is set to be hired to bring the trail into compliance with Forest Service standards for accessible trails. The town of Acton has received a 50% matching grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program of the National Parks Service and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, for $20,824. The land trust applied for and was granted $10,000 from the Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation to make the hilltop accessible, a $5,000 award from the Onion Foundation to support trail work, and $3,000 from the Ed Meadows Conservation Fund for signage at the trail.

2019: After lots of intense construction, the trail opens to foot traffic! There is still some work to do to reach ADA compliance. Due to the challenges of all the rock ledge along the trail, the land trust decides that a professional trail designer is needed to finish the trail. The town of Acton commits to applying for another Land and Water Conservation Fund grant and the land trust begins a final round of fundraising, receiving some significant donations at the end of the year toward the ADA trail, including a $13,000 grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. Community members enjoy the trail and the views in every season!

2018: The next round of fundraising begins to help fund construction of the trail to the hilltop. Generous donors from the community continue their outpouring of support. A parking lot is created and a trail is roughed out with help from the Maine Conservation Corps and the MapleStone School.

2017: Together, the town of Acton, Maine Farmland Trust, 1772 Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Great East Lake Improvement Association, Wilson Lake Association, Square Pond Improvement Association, and individual donors save Romac Orchard and Goat Hill! The forested slopes and summit of Goat Hill are now owned by Acton, and the orchard is purchased in two parts: Romac East becomes the new pick-your-own orchard, and Romac West is the newest orchard for hard cider-makers Far From the Tree, based in Massachusetts.

2016: A sale price is agreed upon. The land trust begins fundraising in earnest. Residents of the Town of Acton vote to commit $100,000 to the purchase of Goat Hill, in addition to applying to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for grant money to support the project, which will include construction of an ADA compliant trail to the summit.

2010: Conversations with Romac Orchard’s owner, Gordan Waterman, are underway. Both Gordon and the land trust want to figure out how to protect this beautiful property with its abundant apple trees and scenic hilltop from development so that it remains a meaningful part of our community.

small child with butterfly flags in a fied
Child with butterfly flags on Great Maine Outdoor Weekend at Romac Orchards, adjacent to Goat Hill