Behind an iron gate lies a large park with a series of looping trails that weave you through trees and lovely green spaces. It’s hard to believe that this pretty piece of nature is in the middle of Biddeford and surrounded by more urban spaces. It’s a decent size park that makes you quickly forget the city at its edges, as you wander through trails or follow the path of a meandering stream that ends with a small waterfall.
Maybe a bridge to the urban can be found in how quickly this trail embraces technology. As soon as you arrive, there is a posted QR code on the trail signage, that allows you to access trail maps on your smart phone. My husband held up his smart phone and snapped a pick of the QR code, and immediately started planning out our route for our morning hike.
Even without trail maps, it’s fairly easy to navigate as we discovered when our cell phone battery died. No need to worry though, the color coded trails are mainly circular loops with a few detours here and there that eventually connect back. The entire park, while substantial, is surrounded by the city of Biddeford, so no fear of getting lost in the woods. You can always find a way out.
This was our first cool weather hike of the season. October temperatures were starting to kick in and my light sweatshirt felt a little thin as we started our hike, but once we got moving we warmed right up. Our original plans were to stay on the outer most “black” loop, which circles the outside of the park. The black trail is rated one of the easier ones having a wide path and fairly level terrain. But, as with all good plans, things changed, and we did end up heading on a few side trails during our trek as well. It all worked out, and added a little more challenge and mileage to our hike.
There was a small river, more like a stream, that wove through the park as well as lots of interesting rock formations along the paths. Once we reached the stream, we crossed over on a wooden bridge that was surprisingly springy. After exploring for a bit on the other side of the stream, we realized the trails were ending, so we headed back over the springy bridge and resumed following the path that curved along the stream and led us to a small waterfall.
We took a short rest and enjoyed the waterfall views, before returning to the main trail to hike out. You do need to watch for trial markings to be sure you’re staying on the main path as there are some occasional off-shoots that look like they might be a trail but I believe are entrances to the park for some of the local neighborhoods.
The different trails had varying degrees of difficulty with the outer loop being the easiest. Some of the other trails were more intermediate but nothing we found too difficult, just the usual need to keep an eye on rocks and tree roots that crisscrossed the paths regularly. Overall, I would say these trails had more rock than roots, but there’s always a little of both when hiking the the Maine woods, even when those woods are encircled by a town.
|things to know|
|Hiking Trail||Clifford Park|
|Location||130 Pool Street | Biddeford, Maine|
|Favorite ♥||Fall Colors|