The Tenmile River Demonstration Forest is a 334 acre parcel of land generously donated to the district over more than 60 years. The district has created a 6 mile network of trails offering opportunities for year round recreation, including hiking, bird watching, snowshoeing, and more! There are also several geocaching sites to be found throughout the property.
The Demo Forest is open to school groups and the general public. Get in touch if you would like a guided tour, or are interested in setting up an educational program!
Located at 600 Notch Rd. in Brownfield on the Hiram Town line.
Typing Tenmile River Demonstration Forest into your GPS should bring you to the parking area.
A kiosk is located just 50 yards beyond the parking area on Notch Rd.
Click below for a downloadable geo-referenced 2022 TRAIL MAP
This map can be used to show your location in real time in the Demonstration Forest when downloaded and opened with the Avenza Maps App (Found on GooglePlay Store).
History of the Demo Forest
In the early 1950’s, through the generous donations of Leon Brooks and Frank Merrifield, 211 acres of land located on the Brownfield /Hiram town line was acquired by the Oxford County SWCD . The land had been burned over in the “Great Fire of 1947” that burned most of the forest land in south western Maine. Forty acres of the parcel was replanted with white and red pine and it has been carefully managed according to a forest management plan written in the 1990s. It is bordered by Tenmile River, a pristine free-flowing stream, on one side, and Round Pond, a freshwater marsh/pond, on the other side. The habitat diversity on the property is amazing for such a relatively small forested land tract. The OCSWCD has turned this parcel into an educational resource area to demonstrate wise forest management objectives.
Some of the objectives that are demonstrated at Tenmile River include: sustainable forestry, timber stand improvement, wildlife habitat improvement, special habitat protection, water resources protection, passive outdoor recreation opportunities. The district has enhanced access of the site to the public in a way that protects this very special natural resource area.
The definition of Sustainable Forestry is: The stewardship and use of forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions. In simpler terms, the concept can be described as the attainment of balance – balance between society’s increasing demands for forest products and benefits, and the preservation of forest health and diversity. This balance is critical to the survival of forests, and to the prosperity of forest-dependent communities. (Wikipedia)
Since 2010 the District has been creating and improving trails throughout the Demonstration forest and installing signage to help visitors understand and appreciate some of the unique aspects of this property. In 2017 the District received 2 additional donations of land; 20 acres from the Hiram Hill Trust and 97 acres from Robert Hughes, bringing the Demonstration Forest to about 328 acres. We received a grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund to improve the new land with trails and signage, a footbridge and several viewing platforms.
News Update: In 2021 and 2022, 205 additional acres were generously donated by abutters, Peter McDonough and MAE Development LP. We are currently working plans for the newly acquired land to develop some innovative forestry demonstration projects…..stay tuned.
The demonstration forest continues to evolve as a valuable educational and recreational resource to the community.
Mon – Fri: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
4 thoughts on “Tenmile River Demonstration Forest”
Your photos and words were so wonderful I shared them to the Oxford County SWCD Facebook page. Thanks Leigh!
Thank you, Leigh Hayes, for your wonderfully shared exploration of our Demonstration Forest on wondermyway. We’re so glad you enjoyed it.