From the parking lot, head east (left when facing the woods), passing the Visitor Center to the left. You are following the red-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail, which parallels Stony Brook, on the left. The trail follows a wide woods road, with a detour onto a footpath to the right to avoid a wet and rocky section of the road. After following this wide route for 0.4 mile, you’ll come to fork...
From the parking lot, head east (left when facing the woods), passing the Visitor Center to the left. You are following the red-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail, which parallels Stony Brook, on the left. The trail follows a wide woods road, with a detour onto a footpath to the right to avoid a wet and rocky section of the road. After following this wide route for 0.4 mile, you’ll come to fork. The yellow-blazed Stony Brook Trail, which proceeds straight ahead, will be your return route, but you should bear right and continue along the red-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail, which begins to climb.
Soon, the trail crosses Quartz Brook (a footbridge has been installed on the right, but it is easier to cross the brook on rocks when the water is low). Just beyond, the trail crosses a gas pipeline right-of-way, and it continues to follow a wide path along the hillside, high above Stony Brook (which can be heard below to the left).
About a mile from the start, an unmarked trail on the left descends on steps, but you should bear right to continue along the red-on-white blazed Pine Meadow Trail. A short distance beyond, you’ll reach a junction with the orange-blazed Hillburn-Torne-Sebago Trail, which leaves to the left. Turn left and follow this trail down to Pine Meadow Brook, which is crossed on a footbridge just above the scenic Cascade of Slid. On the other side of the bridge, turn right onto the white-blazed Kakiat Trail, which follows the north side of the brook. In another third of a mile, the blue-on-white Seven Hills Trail joins, and a complex junction is reached just beyond. The Kakiat and Seven Hills Trails turn right to cross the brook on another wooden footbridge, but you should continue straight ahead (do not cross the bridge), now once again following the red-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail.
The trail ascends gradually through mountain laurel thickets, with the brook to the right. In another quarter mile, several huge boulders may be seen to the right. These boulders are known as Ga-Nus-Quah (Stone Giants). There are attractive cascades in the brook here, and open rock ledges just beyond are a good spot to take a break.
After proceeding through a fairly level area, the Pine Meadow Trail bears left and reaches a stone foundation, topped by concrete pillars – the remains of a building that served as the headquarters for several Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the 1930s. The “CCC boys” built several lakes in the area and the infrastructure for children’s camps around the lakes, but the camps themselves were never completed. A broken, rusty pipe atop the foundation is a remnant of a water system installed but never used.
A short distance beyond, you’ll reach a junction with the yellow-blazed Diamond Mountain-Tower Trail. Here, the Pine Meadow Trail bears right and descends, but you should continue straight ahead, now following the yellow blazes of the Diamond Mountain-Tower Trail. Soon, you’ll pass a large concrete structure below on the right. This structure was built in 1934 to serve as a septic tank, but it was never put into operation.
Soon, the yellow-blazed trail turns left and begins a rather steep climb of Diamond Mountain, with views of Pine Meadow Lake below. Near the top, the trail turns right and runs along open rock ledges, which afford views to the right over Pine Meadow Lake (to the right) and Lake Wanoksink (to the left). The yellow trail then bends to the left and descends slightly to end at a junction with the blue-on-white-blazed Seven Hills Trail.
Turn right onto the Seven Hills Trail, which heads northeast along the ridge of Diamond Mountain. Soon, the trail comes out on open rocks, with a panoramic view to the north of Lake Sebago. This is another good place for a break. Continue ahead along the Seven Hills Trail, which briefly joins a woods road and then turns left, leaving the road, and descends.
About a quarter mile after leaving the road, you’ll reach a junction with the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail, blazed with a red dash on white. Turn sharply left and follow the Tuxedo-Mt. Ivy Trail downhill through thick mountain laurel thickets. The trail crosses Diamond Creek, climbs a minor rise, then descends to reach a junction with the orange-blazed Hillburn-Torne-Sebago Trail just before Stony Brook.
Turn left and follow the orange blazes. In about 500 feet, the orange blazes turn left again and proceed uphill, but you should continue ahead on the yellow-blazed Stony Brook Trail, which begins here. For the next two miles, the Stony Brook Trail parallels the scenic Stony Brook, which is to the right. At first, the trail detours to the left to cross Diamond Creek, but for most of the way, it runs close to Stony Brook.
In about a mile and a half, the Stony Brook Trail is joined by the white-blazed Kakiat Trail, which comes in from the left, and both trails bear left to cross a footbridge over Pine Meadow Brook. (Note: As of April 2019, this bridge is out. It is scheduled to be replaced in the summer of 2019. It may be possible, under favorable conditions, to cross the brook on rocks or on a downed tree. If this is not possible, you can turn left onto the Kakiat Trail and follow it upstream for a quarter mile to the HTS bridge at the Cascade of Slid, then return to the trailhead on the Pine Meadow Trail.) A short distance beyond, the Kakiat Trail leaves to the right, but you should continue ahead on the yellow-blazed Stony Brook Trail.
After crossing a gas pipeline right-of-way, the trail crosses Quartz Brook (a footbridge has been provided on the left, but it’s easier to cross the brook on rocks when the water is low). A short distance beyond, the Stony Brook Trail ends at a junction with the red-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail. Continue ahead, retracing your steps on the Pine Meadow Trail back to the parking lot where the hike began.Publication: Submitted by Daniel Chazin on 12/29/2003 updated/verified on 10/23/2015
This loop hike at the southern end of Harriman State Park follows several picturesque streams and climbs to a viewpoint over Lake Sebago.
Whether you are going for a day hike or backpacking overnight, it is good practice to carry what we call The Hiking Essentials. These essentials will help you enjoy your outing more and will provide basic safety gear if needed. There may also be more essentials, depending on the season and your needs.
Hiking Shoes or Boots
Water - Two quarts per person is recommended in every season. Keep in mind that fluid loss is heightened in winter as well as summer. Don't put yourself in the position of having to end your hike early because you have run out of water.
Map - Know where you are and where you are going. Many of our hiking areas feature interconnecting network of trails. Use a waterproof/tear-resistant Tyvek Trail Conference map if available or enclose your map in a Ziplock plastic bag. If you have a mobile device, download Avenza’s free PDF Maps app and grab some GPS-enhanced Trail Conference maps (a backup Tyvek or paper version of the map is good to have just in case your batteries die or you don't have service). Check out some map-reading basics here.
Food - Snacks/lunch will keep you going as you burn energy walking or climbing. Nuts, seeds, and chocolate are favorites on the trail.
Sunscreen and insect repellent
Rain Gear and Extra Clothing - Rain happens. So does cold. Be prepared for changing weather. Avoid cotton--it traps water against your skin and is slow to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton and must return to your starting point, you risk getting chills that may lead to a dangerous hypothermia. Choose synthetic shirts, sweaters and/or vests and dress in layers for easy on and off.
Compass - A simple compass is all you need to orient you and your map to magnetic north.
Light - A flashlight or small, lightweight headlamp will be welcome gear if you find yourself still on the trail when darkness falls. Check the batteries before you start out and have extras in your pack.
First Aid Kit - Keep it simple, compact, and weatherproof. Know how to use the basic components.
Firestarter and Matches - In an emergency, you may need to keep yourself or someone else warm until help arrives. A firestarter (this could be as simple as leftover birthday candles that are kept inside a waterproof container) and matches (again, make sure to keep them in a waterproof container) could save a life.
Knife or Multi-tool - You may need to cut a piece of moleskin to put over a blister, repair a piece of broken equipment, or solve some other unexpected problem.
Emergency Numbers - Know the emergency numbers for the area you're going to and realize that in many locations--especially mountainous ones, your phone will not get reception.
Common Sense - Pay attention to your environment, your energy, and the condition of your companions. Has the weather turned rainy? Is daylight fading? Did you drink all your water? Did your companion fail to bring rain gear? Are you getting tired? Keep in mind that until you turn around you are (typically) only half-way to completing your hike--you must still get back to where you started from! (Exceptions are loop hikes.)
Check the weather forecast before you head out. Know the rules and regulations of the area.
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
The Trail Conference is a 2015 Leave No Trace partner.
(c) Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.