GREEN LAKE ASSOCIATION MAINE
This nature trail is located at the entrance to the Green Lake National Fish Hatchery on Route 180 in Ellsworth. This is about 4.2 miles from where Route 180 intersects with Route 1A at the entrance of Boggy Brook Business Park. It is suggested to park outside the gate to the fish hatchery as the gate entrance is closed and locked by 4pm daily (possibly sooner). Dogs are permitted on the trail if leashed.
Just before the gate, on the left as you enter, you will find the trail head with a trail map posted. Start up the small stone steps and you are on your way!
You will travel through the woods south of the hatchery for about 1.35 miles to reach the southeast shore of Green Lake, where it ends at a beautiful granite memorial bench for Ed Hastings, whom the trail is named after. An environmental scientist, Ed Hastings was an officer of the nonprofit Friends of Green Lake National Fish Hatchery and worked with salmon on the Penobscot River as a contractor for NOAA Fisheries in Orono. He passed away in 2006.
Difficulty: Easy-moderate. Small green diamond-shaped trail markers will lead you through the forest trail. The trail network consists of a main trail called the Hastings Trail which is 1.35 miles, as well as a short side trail to the hatchery which is 0.77 miles. Both trails travel through a mixed forest over fairly even terrain. Be prepared to negotiate some tree roots and rocky areas. Wooden bridges and walkways have been created to help you over the wet areas and tricky crossings.
What you will see: Informational displays along the trail will talk about glaciers, freshwater ecosystems and ghost towns. Starting from the trailhead, the first display is about glacial erratics, boulders left on the landscape by receding glaciers during the last ice age.
Just past the glacial display you will see a side trail
to the right leading to the hatchery road. This will take you back to the trailhead. If you continue on
you will reach the power line which is more than halfway to the lake. Follow the cairns to cross
the power line to reenter the forest trail.
Bring your camera!
Visit the Green Lake National Fish Hatchery
The hatchery is involved in restoring Atlantic salmon, which is one the nation’s most significantly depleted fish, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This includes producing smelts (young salmon) for distribution into rivers of Maine and New Hampshire. The hatchery also conducts field research to assess populations.
Plan enough time before or after your hike to visit the fish hatchery. It is open for self-guided tours. For information, call the hatchery