Privately funded by the Chodosh family, the Mingo Springs Trail and Bird Walk was created over the past three years by John Bicknell with the assistance of the grounds crew of the Golf Course. There are three separate sections, and six entry points. The total length of the trail is approximately three miles, with two miles on the back nine and one mile around the front. The trail traverses stands of both hardwood and softwood trees, wetlands, and open fields that border the golf course itself.
The Mingo Springs Trail and Bird Walk is designed to enhance wildlife viewing and provides a relaxing walk around the outer edge of Mingo Springs Golf Course. Leaving from the intersection of Mingo Loop Road and Alpine Way and marked with red blazes, the 2-mile trail around the back nine leads back into hardwood forest and passes a vernal pool, which in the spring and early summer is a haven for amphibians. Emerging from this section of woods, the trail follows the Mingo Loop Road right, heading back into the woods just after a white farmhouse. In the winter this section of trail is diverted over the golf course to avoid the road, allowing snowshoers and cross-country skiers to keep on their equipment. Skirting the golf course, the trail passes through a hardwood forest stand, adjacent to a cedar swamp, over pastures scattered with spruce and fir, and, finally, into a mature stand of softwoods. The trail reemerges onto Mingo Loop Road which can be used to return to the parking area by turning right and following it back towards the golf course.
The front nine section, which also leaves from the Mingo Loop/Alpine Way intersection, is marked with blue blazes and is equally spectacular, especially during Lupine Season as the path leads right down through that immense field of lupine. During the time of full bloom, the scent of the lupine fills the air.
Wildlife sightings are common on the trail and may include white-tailed deer, red squirrels, chipmunks, red foxes, and snowshoe hare. Commonly seen birds include a variety of spring warblers, vireos, woodpeckers, and owls.
Accessing the Trail
Access to the trail is free, but restricted to foot traffic. No bicycles or vehicles of any kind are allowed; dogs may be brought on the trail but should be leashed. Trail maps, restrooms, food and beverages are available at the Mingo Springs Golf Course Pro Shop mid-May through mid-October. Trail maps are available at the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce mid-October through mid-May.
From East: From the intersection of ME Routes 4 and 16 in downtown Rangeley, head north on ME Route 4 for 2.2 miles and turn onto Mingo Loop Road. Continue 0.4 miles and turn left onto Alpine Way. The maintenance shack for Mingo Springs Golf Course is immediately on the left; park on the grass to the left of the maintenance shack and then walk the short distance back to the intersection of Alpine Way and Mingo Loop Road to access the trailhead.
From West: From the intersection of ME Routes 4 and 17 in Oquossoc Village, Rangeley, head south on ME Route 4 approximately 4.5 miles and turn right onto Mingo Loop Road (a first entrance to Mingo Loop Road will be on the right at about 1.8 miles from the intersection; proceed past this to the second entrance). Continue 0.4 miles on Mingo Loop Road and turn left onto Alpine Way. The maintenance shack for Mingo Springs Golf Course is immediately on the left; park on the grass to the left of the maintenance shack and then walk the short distance back to the intersection of Alpine Way and Mingo Loop Road to access the trailhead.
Courtesy of Maine Trail Finder