On a hectic weekend with little time to spare, we still managed to sneak out for a few hours to get in a quick hike. Hike may be overstating the exertion needed for the terrain on this particular trail. It was really more of a beautiful walk but, given our time constraints, was the perfect destination for this particular Saturday outing.
We had driven by the entrance to the park many times. It is marked by a large, rectangular granite sign etched in black lettering, announcing the entrance to the Donnabeth Lippman Park. But, this was our first time turning down to discover what was at the other end. Given how busy things were this particular weekend, we had not done any research ahead of time so had no expectations on what the trails would be like.
As we drove up to the park entrance, it became clear that this was a family friendly destination. A large green, plastic wonderland beckoned youngsters with colorful slides, and climbing space, while across the way a wooden archway with blue painted letters proclaimed “Once Upon a Time” and enticed youngsters onto the start of the trail.
While there was another, less magical trail entrance up further, my inner child was excited to head under the archway and find out what came next. We were immediately greeted with a wide, well maintained trail. Laminated, computer printed signs on small wooden poles setup at varying intervals, encouraged younger trail goers to hop like a frog, gallop like a horse, and walk like a robot among other things.
I’ll admit, we attempted a few of the signs ourselves. My galloping and flapping were reasonably good, but sadly my howl lacked conviction. I suspect younger trail goers could do it more justice.
The kids portion of the hike was not too long, and allowed you to loop back quickly which could come in handy when walking with extremely small children, but there was also an offshoot trail and other paths available if you wanted a more extensive hike. We veered off on one of trails that took us through a low flood plain, according to the information sign posted on the path. There were a few muddy areas, but overall it was dry during our trek. I’m sure in the spring, it’s more of a challenge to navigate.
The trail stopped abruptly at a dead-end which overlooked a large field that was littered with upturned trees and massive mounds of mud and tangled roots. Living in a flood plain must take it’s toll. While the trail didn’t go to anywhere in particular, it did add some distance to our hike which was our goal.
We looped back and returned to one of the main trails. The next trail we connected with was the one that circles Chaffin Pond. As we walked this trail, we came upon a few spots where the trees thinned and the trail edged closer to the water providing serene views of the still water which was decorated with lily pads and edged in tall grass. One area, which we first viewed from afar and then stumbled closer too as we circled around the pond, had a small dock with access to the water for fishing. While we did see people fishing, we were told the fish weren’t biting. Even if the fish weren’t hungry, it still looked like a great spot to spend some time.
The information posted by the trail entrance indicated that the pond is open for skating in the winter. You can also cross-country ski or snowshoe on the trails. I think a trip back this winter is definitely in the plans.
This was a really wonderful spot with gorgeous views of Chaffin Pond. There were picnic tables setup by the entrance. They were overlooking the lake and would be the perfect spot for to bring lunch on a lazy summer day. This trail was unexpected and full of many cool little things to see and do. It was a moment of peaceful calm, in an otherwise busy weekend.
|things to know|
|Trail||Donnabeth Lippman Park|
|Address||18 Chaffin Pond Rd, Windham, Maine|
|Website||Donnabeth Lippman Park|
|Favorite ♥||Storybrook Trail|