Hiking Rattlesnake Mountain in Raymond
By Jennifer Lague.
Every year, like an annual ritual, my family and I climb Rattlesnake Mountain off Route 85 in Raymond, Maine. Highway 85 is off Route 302 on the right, beyond Windham and before Naples. It’s a climb that pretty much anyone of any age in the family can achieve. The trail head has no signs but all I can say is, maybe it doesn’t need one. If you go about 3-5 miles on 85 and pass a beautiful view of Crescent Lake on your right you will go up a hill and soon come to see an opening on the left with a beautiful field and a fence. There’s a grassy area where cars can be parked.
It starts with a walk through an enchanting pine forest until the trail breaks into two. One way is the high road and the other is the low road (“…and I’ll be in Scotland before ye”). They both go to the same place, so no worries.
Pretty soon you will see a path to your right going straight up. It will go straight up for about 20 minutes if you keep a steady pace. There are lots of logs and rocks to sit on if you need to take a breather. It won’t be long before you come to your first view of the mountains. But, don’t take your pictures yet because you ain’t seen the real view. Continue on the trail and — I promise you— it will level out soon and once again it will become less of a chore and more of a lovely walk in the woods. When you come upon the most fabulous view of the lakes region ever you will know you’ve hit your destination. Did you bring some fresh fruit and a sandwich? Well, push the bug spray out of the way in your backpack and find them because you are going to sit here for a little while and take in the view.
Now that you’ve enjoyed the spectacular beauty of Crescent Lake, Panther Pond, and Sebago Lake, as well as mountains as far as the eye can see, I want you to get out your camera and get a picture of your loved ones in front of this lovely panoramic backdrop. Can you say Christmas cards?! Bingo! On your way down, remember that if you hike heel-to-toe, it saves your feet some hassle. You will always remember your lovely day hiking a mountain in Raymond, Maine. Now, go jump in a lake!