Good-Will Hinckley Trails & Bigelow Brewing Company

Hikes & Brews: Good Will-Hinckley Trails & Bigelow Brewing Company

The stone Dartmouth Trail Entrance at Good-Will Hinckley was funded by the Outing Club of Dartmouth College. Photo courtesy L.C. Bates Museum

The stone Dartmouth Trail Entrance at Good-Will Hinckley was funded by the Outing Club of Dartmouth College. Photo courtesy L.C. Bates Museum

A walk in the woods on the campus of Good Will-Hinckley is a delightful experience rich with natural beauty and interesting history. The 1,000-acre property on the banks of the Kennebec River in the village of Hinckley features six miles of meandering footpaths and a lot more worthy of a few hours of contemplative exploration.

Hidden among the mixed forest of conifers and hardwoods are at least 12 historic stone monuments built between 1912 and 1940. Each structure is unique and serves as a memorial to an important person or period in the colorful early timeline of this place, which was established in 1889 by George Walter Hinckley as a home, school, and farm for underprivileged boys.

The trails begin immediately behind the L.C. Bates Museum, an early 20th-century natural and cultural history museum. Stroll theDartmouth Trail, Bowdoin Trail, and Continental Trail to savor the many jewels en route. Before you go, visit the Good-Will Hinckley website and download a copy of “Stone Monuments along the Good Will-Hinckley Trails,” an essential companion guide (see below).

Bigelow Brewing Company

Bigelow Brewing Company

Five miles south of downtown Skowhegan, set in a bucolic spot partway up the north slope of Bigelow Hill, is where you’ll find Bigelow Brewing. Established by Jeff Powers and Pam James-Powers in 2014, the brewery just so happens to be located in their backyard in a converted barn. It’s a comfortable, community-gathering place that’s got a friendly, old grange hall vibe.

The flagship brew and number one seller is the Bigelow Brown Ale, a “good beer that tastes like another,” said Powers, who had been homebrewing since his wife bought him a kit back in 1989.

You’ll also find a pleasing selection of other great drinkable brews on the tap list to sample in the barn tasting room or outside in the large, grassy yard.

Hungry? Good! Enjoy one of the best pizzas around hot out of the outdoor wood-fired oven. Choose from a host of delish combinations or build your own. And if you find your mouth watering as you hover around the oven, well, you won’t be alone. It’s that good, and as far as possible, made from locally sourced ingredients, just like their beer. Mmmm!


HIKE: Good-Will Hinckley / L.C. Bates Museum

DownloadStone Monuments along the Good Will-Hinckley Trails

BREW: Bigelow Brewing Company

Story & photos: Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island. Carey is an avid hiker and beer drinker and the author of the new book, “Beer Hiking New England.”

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