Slow, lazy Sunday mornings that gradually lead into more active adventure later in the day are the routine in my house. So on a past Sunday morning, still in pajamas and streaming episodes of the Gilmore Girls, I was content knowing I’d get more active later in the day. But, when the living room suddenly darkened as thunder showers passed through, it made the hike we had planned for later that day more tentative, and the chances of me staying rooted to the recliner more likely.
Fortunately for my health, the storm, while intense, was brief and followed by brighter skies signaling the return of our outdoor plans. Once things cleared, we headed out to the Presumpscot River Trail, which is part of the Portland Trails network.
While there are multiple entry points to this trail, we had to do a few loops in the general area before we were able to find the Overset Road trail entrance. Although there are Portland Trail signs scattered throughout the neighborhood, we still struggled a bit, but once we were closer, the signs were helpful in directing us to the parking area.
The air was still damp with the lingering remains of the earlier storm, but the sun had warmed things up considerably. After crossing a wooden bridge spanning a small brook, we took the trail towards the river. The forest carpet, a mixture of pine needles and other natural debris, was springy and a bit musty from the rain but fortunately things had dried enough so as to not be too slippery. Even so, we went slow and steady.
Once the trail reaches the Presumpscot River it branches in both the right and left directions. We opted to head right towards the rapids. At this point, the trail stays parallel to the river until the end. As we hiked along the river’s edge, we weaved in and out of the family ahead of us. They had successfully dislodged a small log from some rocks in the river, and were watching as it traveled through the rapids.
There were a few openings along the river’s edge, where you could hike down to get a closer view of the water. It was extremely serene and picturesque. We found a great spot, in one of the rock outcroppings, to have our snack and enjoy views of the river. As we reached the end of the trail, my husband was happily engaged in picking the wild blackberries that he had discovered.
While we only encountered the one family with whom we had played leap-frog as we traveled up the river, on the return trip, it was much busier and we passed many other hikers along the way. We encountered a large number of the four-legged variety too including a golden retriever, Labrador retriever, and springer spaniel. All the pups had a singular focus, getting to the river as quickly as possible. Who can blame them? It was a beautiful day and the water was warm which we had learned when we dipped our hands into the edge to test it.
We also passed a group of mountain bikers walking their bikes up an especially steep spot covered in roots and rocks. I give them credit. The trail seems like it would be quite a challenge to manage on a mountain bike, but maybe that’s the point. While the trail is listed a moderate, we found it fairly easy to walk.
I loved this trail. It’s picturesque and the river, especially around the falls where the rapids run, is so tranquil. September is also a wonderful hiking month. It’s still warm enough for shorts, but there is usually a refreshing breeze. This September hike was perfect. I’m glad that the thunder showers passed so quickly.
|things to know|
|Trail Name||Presumpscot River Trail|
|Entrance||Overset Road, Portland, ME|
|Website||Presumpscot River Trail|
|Distance Hiked||3.5 Miles|
|Favorite ♥||River Views|