This hike caught my attention when I learned that there used to be a Trolley Park in the area that was a destination for people during the turn of the century. They would take the trolley out from Portland and enjoy various activities.
According to the City of Portland Website, “Riverton Trolley Park was established in 1896. At the turn of the century, the Park was one of Portland’s premier attractions. It was established in 1896 and operated until 1929. The park, which was served by a trolley that departed from Square, contained a casino, an amphitheater, dance hall, and a wildlife petting zoo.“
That description fills my head with glorious pictures of a bustling vibrant area dotted with an array of activities as people wandering along the river’s edge. Sadly, little of the park from my imagination remains other than a few stone structures that hint of the way things once were.
Before heading out on our hike, I had looked up information on the trail at Maine Trail Finder, which is a fantastic resource for learning about hiking trails in Maine. Their site indicated that the Riverton Trolley Park trail was a “2 mile loop of peaceful, gently-sloping, packed earth trails through woods and fields with river views“. While it was lovely, with great views, it was much steeper and more rugged in spots than anticipated although we might have accidentally veered off the trail in a few areas. I wasn’t clear how it actually looped either, but we managed to check out most of the trail and I let myself dream of how it might have been long ago.
After exploring the Riverton Trolley Park trail we headed back in the other direction to try the Presumpscot Network trail for a bit. The two trails are connected by an underpass that goes beneath Route 302. The Presumpscot Network Trail follows along the river, with parts of the trail going into the woods and then through the edge of a field before heading back into the woods and to the river again. This is a longer trail that links to others trails as part of the Sebago to the Sea network. We didn’t do the whole thing, but we did hike up and back a few miles.
Because this trail links up to others, you can make it as long or as short as you would like. Having started with the Riverton Trolley Park trail first, a few miles of the Presumpscot Network Trail was good for us on this particular outing. Maybe someday we’ll get ambitious and try to walk the entire Sebago to the Sea series of trails although at 28 miles that might require a bit more training than our Saturday outings provide.
|things to know|
|Trail||Riverton Trolley Park|
|Location||822 Riverside St, Portland, ME 04103|
|Favorite ♥||Remnants of Another Time|