Sunday, December 4, 2022

Bradbury Mountain State Park (Pownal)

Friends and I hiked a 1.3 mile loop on Bradbury Mountain this morning, ascending the Summit Trail and descending on the Northern Loop and Ski Trails.  

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Brown Woods (Bangor)

It's a busy weekend so I did a quick hike at Brown Woods in Bangor.  Although short it was nice to get outside even for a few minutes.  

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary (Mount Desert Island)

The Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary is a 250 acre preserve on MDI managed by a nonprofit with the same name.   The preserve protects a significant amount of land around Somes Pond.  

I hiked the preserve's 1.3 mile Spring and Nature Trails today.   This was a nice relatively easy hike with scenic views of Somes Pond.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Appalachian Trail n/o Rt 15 to Bell Pond (Monson)

It has been raining intermittently this weekend throughout the state, at times quite hard, so when the forecast called for only scattered showers this morning I hoped the rain would hold off long enough to get a quick hike in.

I explored the AT in Monson early this morning, hoping the break in rain would provide an opportunity to see wildlife.   Parts of the trail from Rt 15 to Bell Pond were soaked and, as my boots and socks became soaked as well, I gained a greater appreciation of the challenges faced by through hikers on the trail who often have to hike in inclimate weather and often lack a chance to dry off and warm up afterwards.  

It was an enjoyable 2.5 mile hike nonetheless, with the rain holding off until the final mile on my return trip to the car.   

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Compass Harbor Trail (Acadia National Park)

Just outside of Bar Harbor is the Compass Harbor Trail, a relatively easy 0.8 mile (roundtrip) trail that leads through the former George Dorr estate to the coast overlooking Frenchman Bay.  Dorr, known as the Father of Acadia National Park, was instrumental in the parks formation and expansion.

I explored the trail while my son climbed at Volta.   This is a nice walk leading to great views of the Mount Desert Island shore.   

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Ron and Lee Davis Conservation Easement (Orono)

Tucked away in the southern end of Orono adjacent to I-95 is the 33 acre Davis Conservation Easement, managed by the Orono Land Trust.  An one mile trail runs along the perimeter of the preserve.   

I hiked the trail this morning, greeted by a pileated woodpecker on a nearby tree before even starting the hike.   Despite it's proximity to the interstate, the preserve feels secluded, although as the trail approaches I-95 traffic sounds become more pervasive.   This was an enjoyable walk nonetheless.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Arizona Trip - Agua Fria National Monument, Sonoran Desert National Monument, Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, and Phoenix Sonoran Preserve.

My son attended a two day conference in Phoenix on Thursday and Friday this week so I accompanied him, and while he attended the conference I explored the Arizona desert.  

Thursday, October 27th

I started my trip with a hike at the 9,600 acre Phoenix Sonoran Preserve.  The preserve has 36 miles of trails through wild undeveloped desert.  
My next stop was the Badger Spring Trail in the Aqua Fria National Monument.  The 71,000 acre Bureau of Land Management (BLM) monument contains one of the most significant systems of prehistoric sites in the American Southwest in addition to a rich ecosystem.   Much of the monument requires a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle, but my low clearance rental Kia made it to the Badger Spring trailhead.  The trail follows a mostly dry creek bed - Badger Spring Wash - around 8/10 of a mile to the Agua Fria River.  At the confluence of the wash and the river is an impressive panel of petroglyphs carved into the rock.  
Friday, October 28th 

On Friday morning I explored a small portion of the 494,000 acre Sonoran Desert National Monument (SDNM) administered by the BLM.  Like Agua Fria, much of the SDNM is only accessible by high clearance 4x4 vehicles, but there are three parking areas along Highway 238 that provide access for the clearance-challenged.  

I parked at one such site, the West Butterfield Parking Area, and hiked into the monument, which includes part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.  

This was a beautiful hike and much more verdant than I had expected.  I followed the trail for the most part but did hike off trail near the start and towards the end of the hike.   I hiked up small rock hill, scaring a jackrabbit in the process.  I also located a few petroglyphs which I had not anticipated.