December is here and if our already chilly, snow-filled days are any indication, our days of hiking without snowshoes are numbered. So, when we hit a stretch of cool but beautiful weather earlier this month, we headed to Evergreen Cemetery to explore a new trail. There are a lot of trail options in and around the cemetery. We choose to do a large loop on the outskirts of the actual cemetery.
We had just come from the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland‘s holiday event so it was fitting that ninety percent of the hikers we encountered on this trail were with their dogs. All the dogs we met were friendly, happy and focused on racing through the trail. It seemed to be the place to take your pup for some exercise.
According to Maine Trail Finder [“Evergreen Cemetery.” Evergreen Cemetery – Maine Trail Finder. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2016.]
“The undeveloped north west end of the cemetery is a City-designated off leash area for dogs, where dogs may walk unleashed as long as they are under voice command.”
So, the fact that we ran into so many dogs on this hike makes a lot more sense. While it was mainly hikers of the four-legged variety, we did have one determined mountain biker pass us as we hiked along the trails too.
The trail is surrounded by neighborhoods and buffered by Warren Avenue on one side. Especially in the winter, when the leaves have fallen and the branches are bare increasing visibility, you never really feel like you are isolated or alone in the woods. There’s always a house or other reminder of the suburban neighborhoods beyond the tree line.
We entered through the trailhead near the Brentwood Farms Community Garden. Although there are multiple entry points to this group of trails, this one worked for us. There was street parking available too which was helpful. As we started down the path, crushed stone had been laid on the trail which I actually found a little harder to walk on so I was happy when we reached the main part of the trail and were back to the usual combination of pine needles, tree roots and granite. It’s what I’m use to when I’m hiking.
We’d had a few days of heavy rains that week so we did encounter some muddy spots but nothing unmanageable although we did have to get creative with some of our sidestepping to avoid the deepest puddles. Because there are many offshoots on this trail, you can do both a quick hike or something a little longer depending on your interest and energy level. We did the wider outer loop which went out to Warren Avenue before circling back onto an access road towards the cemetery.
While we opted to stay on the trails and not go through the cemetery, we did take a few minutes to enjoy views of the pond, located immediately to our left as we entered the cemetery, before we headed across the entrance road and back to the trail.
Here it got a little more complicated, as we seemed to get off the trail and did a little wandering through the woods before we hooked back up with the main path. I don’t think we got confused, I think one trail ended and there was just a bit of a break before the other one picked up but it’s always possible we just missed it. We hike a lot but I’d still classify us as novices. We did however remember our backpack of supplies (our go-bag) so actually had water on this hike. We’re getting better!
This was a relatively easy hike and seemed to be a popular destination. It was a great way to spend a cool December afternoon.
|things to know|
|Entrance||Brentwood Street (This is the entrance we used, but there are multiple trailheads.)|
|Website||Portland Trails | Evergreen Cemetery|
|Favorite ♥||Happy Hiking Pups|