Holt Pond Preserve is a scenic and quiet place with an impressive diversity of terrain. You can wander through forest, follow the boardwalk through bog, paddle your kayak through the lily pads crowding the Muddy River, and watch the sun dip behind the hills from Holt Pond.

This cool preserve in Bridgton is managed by the Lakes Environmental Association and is part of the Sebago Watershed, which is cool to know since one out of six Mainers (more than 200,000 people) get their drinking water from this watershed (not to mention all the beer that’s made from it). All that greenery along the trails and waterways at Holt Pond Preserve help create, filter, and sustain our water supply. Amazing, right?

I had a grand time exploring the woods and learning about the Sebago watershed when Sebago Clean Waters let me take over their Instagram account for a day. I even got some cameos from a beaver, a frog, and some insect-eating pitcher plants.

Do note, though: The boat launch requires a walk in (and a boat drag). It requires some effort, so if you’ve got a kayak cart, use it. And in the late summer, like when we were there, the vegetation at the confluence of the river and pond is mighty thick, so heads up. You might have to clamor through a crowd of lily pads (and I definitely do not recommend a SUP here – the fin will catch on all that plant life and send you overboard).

But the positives here far outweigh the slog to the boat launch. It’s pretty as all get-out, the trails are wonderfully marked, easy going, and offer so much to see. The water is mellow and small and the sunset was just perfect.

Trail Map of Holt Pond Preserve. Download a map here
A bit of the boardwalk at Holt Pond Preserve. Shannon Bryan photo
A paddler on the Muddy River heading toward Holt Pond. Shannon Bryan photo
Bog. Shannon Bryan photo
Pitcher plants. They’re carnivorous! Shannon Bryan photo
The trails are exceptionally well marked through the forest. Shannon Bryan photo

The Muddy River. Shannon Bryan photo

The boardwalk darts right up to the banks of the Muddy River. Shannon Bryan photo
The opposite view from above – looking from the river back to the forest. Shannon Bryan photo
Paddling the Muddy River toward Holt Pond. Shannon Bryan photo
The lily pads encroach! Took a find bit of paddling to get through. Shannon Bryan photo
The calm waters of Holt Pond. Shannon Bryan photo
Sunset on Holt Pond. Shannon Bryan photo

Holt Pond Preserve

Grist Mill Road, Bridgton
No dogs
FMI: mainelakes.org/trailspreserves/holt-pond-preserve/