The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Demonstration Forest

Our Demonstration Forest is located on 180 acres in Williamsburg Township. The forest offers hiking, bird watching, hunting, snow shoeing and cross-country ski trails for year round enjoyment. There is an outdoor classroom, picnic tables, and a geocache site. Natural Resource and Cultural Heritage Interpretive Signs individually designed and made by Piscataquis County High School students guide and teach visitors throughout their forest journey. Brochures are available to the public to explain the significance of each posted location along the trails. The Southern Piscataquis Regional Recreation Map and Guide includes the Demonstration Forest as a recreation and tourism site in this county. The Maine Audubon Society has listed the Demonstration Forest in their Maine Birding Trails Directory.

Educational tours can be arranged through the PCSWCD by emailing info@piscataquisswcd.org or calling 564-2321, Extension 3.

More about the Demonstration Forest!

The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Demonstration Forest is located in the small town of Williamsburg, Maine.  Williamsburg began in the late 1800s as a small farming community. The land that makes up the Demonstration Forest once belonged to the Decker and Larson families and these families farmed the 180-acre parcel of land. These properties were abandoned during the Great Depression and then acquired by the U.S. Forest Service in the 1940’s. After great effort by the Piscataquis County Soil and Water conservation district Supervisors, the property was deeded to the district in 1980 and became an educational forest.

As you take a walk through the Demonstration Forest and this historic farm site, you can visit the old Larsen and Decker homestead foundations and get a feeling of how they once lived and worked the land. You will traverse the once-farmed fields, which are now growing timber. Notice the old stone walls that once edged fields of crops. Also, you will see the upland forest areas that have been harvested in the recent past, which are now growing the next generation of forests.

The Demonstration Forest provides an opportunity to explore an actively managed Maine community forest. We invite you to walk our interpretive trails through 180 acres of historic farmstead. As you wind through the trails, you will come across unique areas of headwater wetlands, which help to feed the Pleasant River, riparian areas, our own “canyon,” an enriched hardwood site, a Tamarack/Red Pine plantation and remnants of historic homestead sites.

Forest Management is an integral part of our Demonstration Forest and you may see evidence of an active harvest operation. Please stay on marked trails and away from the machinery.

Use your senses to discover the numerous songbirds, small mammals and amphibians that inhabit these areas. Sign of the elusive white-tail deer are everywhere, and lucky quests may catch a glimpse as these graceful animals bound out of sight. Our Demonstration Forest was highlighted in the Maine Birding Guide as a wonderful site for bird watchers and lovers.

Visit our outdoor classroom and take-in the beautiful view. If you dabble in geocaching, be sure to check out our geocache site(s) along the trails.

The Demonstration Forest is open to the public year-round. The trails offer great snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter, and great hiking, exploring and nature-watching in the Spring, Summer and Fall.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our Demonstration Forest!

There is much to learn at the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD)’s Demonstration Forest! You can pick up lots of interesting, useful information from our interpretive signs along our trails. Additionally, the PCSWCD is available to host groups – schools, home school groups, clubs, etc. – for day programs designed to further explore our natural resources.

Each year, our District hosts the 6th grade classes from Piscataquis Community Elementary School for a day at the Demonstration Forest where students explore topics such as tree identification, soil, forestry and wildlife in a hands-on way.

GE

If you are interested in participating in one of these educational programs at the Demonstration Forest, please contact our Educational Coordinator at katherine.weber@piscataquisswcd.org.

The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District has been involved with several projects at the Demonstration Forest. With help from volunteers, granters, local organizations, business and many more, we have been able to transform the Demonstration Forest into an open and inviting parcel of public land.

Here are some of the projects we have been involved in at the Demonstration Forest:

Our Board and Staff have completed a number of tree plantings, including planting chestnut trees along with trails. After a harvest is completed, work is done to plant native tree species that are well suited to the soil and landscape of the Demonstration Forest.

We have done a number of timber harvests at the forest, including our most recent tamarack harvest, which was part of a study completed by the University of Maine.

We have completed extensive trail work at the forest. We invite you to take a walk on these trails – take in the beautiful scenery and the sights and sounds of the wildlife that inhabit the forest.

Along these trails you will enjoy a number of eye-catching, informative signs, a large information kiosk and our entrance sign. These signs really add to our trails and were created through grants our District received.

Another exciting grant project funded our outdoor classroom, which can be found along our trails. Be sure to stop by and check out the beautiful view!

For more information about these projects or anything pertaining to our Demonstration Forest, please contact us at the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District!

Directions and Map

From Rt. 11 in Brownville: Take a left onto High St. across from the AE Robinson Irving. It goes up Brown Hill and continues past Moses Greenleaf monument. This road will turn into the Old Williamsburg Rd, and will turn to dirt, passing several homes. The site is 2/3 of a mile beyond the last home and is marked with a sign on the right hand side.

From Sebec Village: Follow the paved road north to Moses Greenleaf monument or the “T” in the road. Turn left and continue north on the Old Williamsburg Rd. The road turns to dirt passing several homes. The site is 2/3 of a mile beyond the last home and is marked with a sign on the right hand side.