Maine Hiking, Nature May 01, 2018
The Little Known Trail Network Hiding In Maine That’s Impossible Not To Adore
In addition to the lobster and salty coastal air, one of the best things about Maine is the plethora of trails that exist in just about every town. While people are certainly familiar with crowd favorites such as Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park, there are plenty of smaller, community parks that offer just as much fun and beauty. This is one of the best hiking trails in southern Maine.
Horton Woods is part of the Saco Bay Trails system.
The Saco Bay Trails is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization committed to maintaining recreational trails in the Saco Bay Area.
The trails begin off of Buxton Road where there's a small parking lot and notice board with a map.
The entire preserve is about 100 acres and the maintained trails are comprised of about 3 miles of paths.
Each of the three main trails are very clearly marked, including wooden signs and blazes.
Much of the woods are surrounded by private land, but signs located throughout the area make it clear where you should stop.
Volunteers have made sure the the trails are well-maintained which includes very easy-to-follow signs marking where trails lead.
There are three main trails - Blue Heron, Big Pine and Red Maple - along with a few smaller paths.
Most of the paths are flat and easily traveled.
Almost as soon as you begin, you'll catch a glimpse of the many ecological habitats.
This includes forest, fields, marsh, stream, vernal pools and wetlands.
There are a few benches located throughout each trail which allow for some rest, or for some healthy arm dips for those looking for extra exercise!
Take a moment to appreciate those who have made these trails possible.
Depending on the time of year, the trails can get quite muddy.
But, volunteers have made every effort to ensure that trails accessible despite the mud.
There are even a few well-marked information boards to add a bit of education.
The Blue Heron Trail, which is marked by blue blazes and crosses over the Stackpole Creek, is our favorite.
Follow this trail for about 30 minutes and you'll eventually come to this bridge, which was built in 2007 The Appalachian Mountain Club.
From here, you'll have the opportunity to continue to the end of the Blue Heron Trail or cross the bridge to the Beaver Path along the other side of the stream.
Alternatively, you can take the Big Pine Trail beginning at the other end of the bridge.
Marked by green blazes, the Big Pine Trail is named for the big white pine tree located by the bridge.
From here you can continue over a series of planks leading to the start of the Red Maple Trail, marked by red blazes.
This trail gets its name from the huge red maple found on it.
Heading back, you'll find the Woodcock trail which is marked with yellow (we think they look white) blazes.
This leads more directly to the parking lot by crossing the Blue Heron Trail.
The entire network of trails can easily take up a good two hours depending on how often you stop. We recommend taking time to listen to the creek, the wind and the forest noises.
For more information on the Saco Bay Trails,
check out their website by clicking here.
Access to the outdoors is plentiful here in Maine. For more ways to get outside, check out these
11 gorgeous hidden lakes.
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