Hiking Maine | An amazing winter hike on the Cathance River Trail in Topsham.

Winter hikes are my favorite. Each season certainly has its charms, but I’ll take winter hiking any time. There are no bugs and the landscape is magical when coated in white.

We headed to the Cathance River Trail in Topsham this past Saturday. After arriving at the trail, we sat at a bench near the entrance to put on our Stabilicers in anticipation of icy trails. As I was adjusting my crampon straps, a father walked out of the trail entrance carrying his young son who had taken a minor sledding spill on the slick trails. The boy’s nose was bleeding, but he had a big smile.  After glancing at us, the father commented “You came prepared.” It was going to be an icy one. Continue reading

Hiking Maine | Belfast Rail Trail on the Passagassawaukeag

Fall is one of my favorite times to hike. It’s not too hot and not too cold. Goldilocks would approve. There are some other advantages too including stunning views not impaired by mosquitoes. The conditions are ideal. Unfortunately, since we’ve had a busy few months, we haven’t been hiking as much this season as we would like. So, when we recently went to Belfast for an overnight visit, our first stop was to the Belfast Rail Trail for a quick hike.

After a sad mishap where one of our iPhones went swimming in the lake, we had to make an emergency visit to the wireless store for a temporary replacement. The unplanned stop meant a delayed start to Belfast and by the time we arrived, darkness was only an hour or so away.  This meant we had to do an abridged hike since we were racing the coming darkness. Continue reading

Hiking Maine | Great Salt Bay Preserve Heritage Trail in Newcastle

With summer winding down, we were looking to take advantage of some of the last of the warm weather so we headed up the coast for a hike on the Great Salt Bay Preserve Heritage Trail in Newcastle. It was an interesting hike with varied trails and some fun vistas.

Key Points

Vistas. While the initial path was on the edge of the marsh and marked by planks to keep you above any mud and water, the trail quickly turned into a more wooded area without direct views of the bay. Fortunately, there were plenty of side trails leading to viewing areas throughout the hike. These side paths bring you to the water’s edge and open up views from all angles. Some of the vistas included Grandfather Point, Picnic Point, and Lookout Point. Continue reading

Hiking Maine | Fall Trek to Clifford Park in Biddeford

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. Continue reading

Hiking Maine | An Especially Lovely Hike on the Presumpscot River Trail

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. Continue reading