Our January was mild. That’s not always the case in Maine, but it made for some nice outside adventures last month. On one outing, we decided to try the trails at Horton Woods in Saco. There wasn’t a lot of snow on the ground, but we were a little unsure about how icy things would be. We only owned one pair of crampons. Crazy, I know and an error we have since corrected. But, for this outing, even with just the one pair, we decided to give it a shot.
The trail started off with only a light coating of melting snow and little ice so we were encouraged, but as we headed deeper into the woods there was more of a mixture of snow and ice so we ended up with our own little A/B test. My husband wore the crampons and I stayed with just my hiking shoes. In the end, it was a tie as we both managed to remain upright for the entire hike and in a few spots the crampons were more challenging mostly because they came off and had to be re-adjusted.
Our initial plan was to do an easy two-mile trail. We headed out on the Blue Heron trail because it was marked with blue paint, and the other option seemed to be one marked in taupe. We didn’t think we’d manage to stay on the taupe trail easily as the color blended into the winter woods, and was not clearly visible from a distance. Off we went, eyeing the blue markers to help keep us relatively close to the trail which is harder to follow when covered in snow.
We were easily distracted on this hike and wandered off course, first onto a green trail that had a pretty wooden bridge spanning a creek below. While mostly frozen, there were sections where the running water had managed to break through the ice. We took this trail for a while before running into a yellow one that promised a visit to the stone bridge on Simpsons Road. I like stone bridges. We were sold. But it proved a fools journey as we walked about a mile and ended up at the back of a private farm. I’m sure if you know the area, you may be able to get to the bridge, but for us it was the end of our search.
We started retracing our steps back and, as we weren’t sure if any of the trails were loops, we didn’t dare try any shortcuts. Unfortunately, we learned after that we could have used the woodcock trail to help cut off some of the distance on the way back but we didn’t want to risk it at the time. We walked about four miles which is not bad, but because of the ice and snow, which was especially tricky to navigate on the inclines, I think our muscles were tensed up as my calves were sore for days after this one. It may have been a little further than we anticipated, but it was a pretty hike.
|things to know|
|Address||464 Buxton Road, Saco, Maine|
|Website||Maine Trail Finder|
|Favorite ♥||Wooden Bridge|