July 9, 2020
Hiking right in our backyards
We are gifted with so much in the beautiful state of Maine and perhaps the biggest asset is our access to the beautiful outdoors! With the gorgeous landscapes that Maine provides, it is all too easy to want to experience them to their fullest. Luckily, we often don't have to go far to get outdoors and explore Maine. There are so many incredible trails and trail systems throughout the state, even ones close to downtown Portland! With state COVID-19 guidelines and safety measures, getting outside and enjoying some local trails is a great way to experience our beautiful state in the summer while staying safe.
Some great resources to check out when looking for trails to explore is the Portland Trails website and the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust website. There are over 70 miles of trails in the Portland Trails system and the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust includes the 28-mile Sebago to the Sea Trail, as well as a multitude of other, shorter trails. The accessibility of the trails is outstanding. For example, the Oat Nuts Park Trail in Portland takes off from North Deering and leads to the edge of the breathtaking Presumpscot River Preserve, a great spot to sit by the river and cool off on a hot summer day. The trail is well-maintained and easy for walkers of all ages.
Another great trail system to check out is Westbrook's Mill Brook Preserve. The 5-mile trail takes hikers along the Mill Brook, where alewife make their migration in late spring/early summer. The walk is pleasant and spots can be enjoyably challenging, as they take you up and down hills and along rocky ridges on the trail. Easily accessible in convenient Westbrook, embarking on this trail would make for a nice weekend activity!
Looking for something less wooden? Back Cove in Portland is a favorite 5k walk for many! As its name states, the walk takes you around an inlet in Portland which is peaceful, despite being right in the middle of the city. The Spring Point Shoreway is another great trail. In South Portland, the 5k roundtrip takes the walker from Willard Beach to the beautiful Bug Light Park.
Looking to get a little further from home in the city or the suburbs? Or, maybe you're looking for more rugged, challenging landscape and trails? Pleasant Mountain (home to Shawnee Peak), Douglass Mountain, Rattlesnake Mountain, Bradbury Mountain, and Mount Agamenticus are all fantastic options and great for a short day trip! Make sure to check for any COVID-19-related guidelines before exploring these and any trails to make sure that they are fully operational and open to public use! Happy hiking!