Bear Trap

No, it’s not about Bulls trapping Bears like in the financial markets, it’s about an old Native American trap to capture real bears! Or maybe it was an early settlers’ trap rather than Native American. Hard to know at this point. Anyway it’s a structure made out of stone slabs with an opening for a bear to enter and begin hibernation. Here’s a picture of it I took yesterday afternoon:

Note the stone slab in the lower left with the two holes in it. When the bear is sound asleep, a group of people can lift this heavy stone slab, using the two holes I would imagine, and place it across the opening of the structure, thus trapping the bear. Of course, if the bear is strong enough he could push that heavy slab away and escape. But they probably can back the slab up with more slabs and make it impossible. Not nice for the bear, eh?

It was such a beautiful day here yesterday, cool with a completely cloudless sky, that I couldn’t resist driving over to the wooded area where the bear trap is located. It’s about a twenty-five minute walk from the parking area up the hill through a path in the woods to the bear trap. Also, on the way there’s an old quarry that was last used over one hundred years ago. Here’s a picture of the remains of that:

  1. GeologyJoe’s avatar

    Hey Mard. Cool pics. Where is this? Id like to come see it for my self.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Hi Joe. It’s off Ingalls road in Bridgton. You go to the Narramissic Historic Farm on Ingalls road. There are signs to Narramissic on that road. Once you get there, you walk across a wide field in the direction indicated on a sign. At the end of the field is the path. Just follow it all the way. It curves around a little and goes by the old quarry which is indicated off to a side path. From the quarry road it’s another five minutes or so to the bear trap near the top of the hill which is called Fitch Hill.

  3. barbara’s avatar

    Hi Mardé,
    This is very interesting; I really enjoy discovering these areas that have a cultural or historical interest. It’s rather clever, but I agree that for the bear that it was not fun.
    I can just imagine the weight of each slab and the precision they needed to keep it standing without morter.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mardé’s avatar

    Yes, Barbara, that’s an interesting question: how is the trap constructed? It’s been stable for many, many years. Two or three hundred? I may go back there again and look more closely at how it’s constructed. Maybe I’ll climb inside? No telling what’s in there! I was thinking of at least taking a picture from the mouth of the cavern.

    Thanks for your comment, and you take care and have a great day (although I guess it’s already noon-time over there:)

    GeologyJoe: There’s another way to get there but probably the gate is closed. If you come from the south on Rt. 107, you go by Bear Trap road about a mile before you get to Ingalls road. Bear Trap road leads up to the top of Fitch Hill to a gated community of maybe three or four houses. From the top of the hill the bear trap is only a minute walk down a wooded road. However, as I say, the gate is probably closed, and anyway, it’s more fun to walk up the path on the other side.

  5. Xerendipity’s avatar

    Hey, Marde!

    Do you know why they trapped bears? Is it dangerous in tbat vicinity? (poor bears) :sad:

    Anyway, I really appreciate your comments on my latest entry. It’s really a lift to my ego. Really tried so hard for my site despite of my so busy work sched. Still able to manage it. Hope you could be a regular commentor.

    http://www.writinerary.com

  6. Mardé’s avatar

    Hi X! Thanks for your comment. Yes, the black bears can be pests. They’ll eat anything, raid bird feeders, overturn garbage cans, etc. Usually nowadays, the bears are caught (tranquilized?) and transported back to more remote areas. But also they’re hunted for sport. In the old days of the early settlers, who knows? Maybe they caught them for food. Bear meat?! :mrgreen:

    Yes, I think your site is a very interesting and well organized one. I love the little chimes you’ve built in. I’ll try to visit often if I can. Thanks.

  7. Xerendipity’s avatar

    Hi Marde,

    Thanks for coming back again to my site! Did appreciate it. Well, this is to let you know that I’m tagging you to participate on the Free View Desktop. Just check out my site to know what I mean. :smile:

    http://www.writinerary.com

  8. Mardé’s avatar

    Hi X. I’m sorry but I don’t do memes any more. Besides I don’t have a very interesting Desktop. But I wish you well; you have a very nice imaginative blog! Your Desktop is interesting and neat too.

    Cheers,
    Mardé

  9. chris davis’s avatar

    I really enjoyed the pictures, Marde, and I am planning a trip there for a nice walk.
    Thanks, Chris

  10. Mardé’s avatar

    Yes, it’s an easy walk with great scenery. The old quarry on the way is interesting too. Drisana should like the walk too. The Bear Trap is fun to see. Thanks for your comment and best of luck.

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