Saturday, April 22, 2023

Rockingham Recreational Trail (Fremont, NH)

We were traveling to northern Massachusetts this weekend and stopped at the Rockingham Recreational Trail in Fremont to stretch our legs.  

The section of the trail north of Fremont is open only for non motorized use.  We hiked three miles roundtrip and saw only one other person as we walked through secluded woods.  

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Bar Island Trail (Acadia National Park)

I hiked the Bar Island Trail today in Acadia National Park.   I have wanted to hike the trail for awhile but haven't been able to time it when Bar Harbor isn't crowded and when the tides are right.

The 1.9 mile Bar Island Trail crosses a sandbar to reach the island.  Dry passage to the island is possible 90 minutes before to 90 minutes after low tide.  After crossing the sandbar the trail gradually climbs to a summit overlooking downtown Bar Harbor.  

This is a beautiful trail but also very popular so expect to see many people on the hike.  

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Coastal Land Trusts - Weskeag Marsh Preserve (South Thomaston), Plaisted Preserve (Owls Head), and McLellan-Poor Preserve (Northport)

I had an errand to do in Thomaston so decided to explore three coastal land trust properties that I had not previously visited.  

Weskeag Marsh Preserve

Weskeag Marsh Preserve is a 132 acre Maine Coast Heritage Trust preserve in South Thomaston.  The preserve features a mile-long grassy loop trail running adjacent to woodlands as it skirts the perimeter of a large open field.  The trail leads down to the marshy shore of the Weskeag River.  

Plaisted Preserve

Plaisted Preserve is a beautiful 17 acre municipally owned property is jointly managed with the Georges River Land Trust, which holds a conservation easement on the property.  A 0.8 mile trail leads through a coastal forest to a small ocean beach.  

McLellan-Poor Preserve

The 66 acre McLellan-Poor Preserve is managed by the Coastal Mountains Land Trust and features around 2.5 miles of wooded trails overlooking the Belfast Reservoir.  I have driven past the preserve's parking lot on Route One many times over the years and assumed that it was a small grassy preserve based on what is visible from the highway.  I was happy to discover that the preserve is almost entirely wooded with the exception of the small grassy area off Route One.  Today I hiked the one mile Overlook Loop.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

A Hidden Gem: Bradley-Sunkhaze Preserve (Milford)

I have been to Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge several times in the past few years, but until this week was not aware that across the road is a 12,710 acre preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy.  The Bradley-Sunkhaze Preserve connects the Bradley Wildlife Management Area with Sunkhaze Meadows to create 33,472 acre preservation area.   

Bradley-Sunkhaze Preserve was established by the Nature Conservancy in 2015, yet there are no signs along County Road nor trail markings at the two trailheads.   In fact, there were no markings on the trail until two side trails branched off on both sides of the main trail, over 1/2 mile into the hike.   The only indication this is a Nature Conservancy property are a few trail markers with the Conservancy's logo on them.  

I hiked 2.3 miles on the preserve's Birch Stream Trail this morning.  The forested trail starts as an old logging road and then narrows to a single path.  At around 8/10 of a mile I turned left and followed a yellow marked trail down to Birch Stream.   The trail then looped back and reconnected with the logging road.   

This was a great hike and very secluded.  There was one other set of footprints but otherwise the trail appears to be lightly used as evidenced by untrammeled moss growing along the marked trail.  For more information about the preserve visit the Nature Conservancy's website.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Pleasant Lake Preserve (Stetson)

I hiked 2.8 miles after work yesterday at Pleasant Lake Preserve in Stetson.  I've blogged about the preserve in the past and enjoy coming here as it's nearby.  Today the causeway connecting the island to the mainland was flooded.  Here is a short video of my hike through the water as I left the island.