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10 Healthy Walks You Can Do This Summer

June 19, 2019

Below is an article that ran in the Times Record on June 19, 2019.  It is written by Chamber Executive Director Cory King and highlights ten walking trails in the region for you to explore.  Enjoy!  

10 Healthy Walks You Can Do This Summer
By: Cory King

Everyone wants to get out and enjoy the summer weather, and going for a walk is a great way to be with nature, unwind and have a great experience with friends and families.  In last year’s chamber guide, we actually had a top ten list of walking trails for our region.  This year, my wife and I are trying to hit all ten trails and I thought it might be some good information for you to have too. 

Please note, these are by no means every trail there is.  It’s Maine- there are plenty of great places to go for a walk, especially some shorter walks not highlighted here (thinking of Giant’s Stairs in Harpswell or the walking path gardens behind Mid Coast- Parkview Health.  However, when we did a Facebook poll of favorite walking trails in 2018, these were the ones that were voted on.  These are not ranked in order, these are simply, as a collection, the top ten. 

Here they are in reverse alphabetical order (why- because not enough people use reverse alphabetical order).  With each trail we list where the trail begins, and a difficulty rating.  For more information on these trails, either google the name, or check out mainetrailfinder.com

Whiskeag Trail, Bath
Distance: 5-mile biking & hiking trail      
Difficulty: Easy (according to Maine Trail Finder)
Trailhead: Congress Street, Bath
Description: A wilderness walk while still in town; the Bath bus system makes stops along the trail and it is one of the only widely accessible bike baths for mountain biking. 

Walkable Downtowns: Brunswick, Bath, Wiscasset
Distance: Varies by downtown
Difficulty: Easy; all paved
Trailhead: Varies
Description: Brunswick’s Maine Street is highlighted by the Brunswick Mall, on one end and the Frank J. Wood Bridge on the other.  Explore dozens of boutique storefronts and over two dozen restaurants.  The crosswalks are well-marked and well-respected in the community. 
Bath has a walking trail connecting nearly two dozen historical markers in their very walkable downtown, and even have a guided tour of ship captain’s houses.  There are some very slight hills in this downtown that lead you to the water’s edge. 
Wiscasset is a high-traffic downtown on popular coastal Route 1 highlighted by the downtown patrons walking towards the Sheepscot River to stand in line for nationally-featured Red’s Eats.  Maine DOT is in the process of creating several new parking lots to make exploration even that much more accessible in Wiscasset.  If you need local information, the wharf on the water has the Wiscasset Chamber info center. 

Thorne Head Trail, Bath
Distance: 3.5 mile biking & hiking trail   
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (Maine Trail Finder)
Trailhead: Upper High Street, Bath
Description: On the Kennebec Estuary Land Trusts 96-acres, this trail ties into the Whiskeag Trail and is one of the longer trail systems in the region. 

Topsham Bike Path, Topsham
Distance: 0.7 miles biking and hiking trail         
Difficulty: Easy (Maine by Foot)
Trailhead: Topsham Town Office 
Description: This is the first stage in a paved bike path stretching from the town office to The Highlands, the next stage is under construction now and be open soon.  This is a perfect midday walk on a lunch break for local Topsham business people. 

Sprague Pond Preserve, Phippsburg
Distance: 5.5 mile hiking and snowshoeing trail
Difficulty: Moderate (Maine Trail Finder)
Trailhead(s): (2) Basin Road, Phippsburg; Main road (Route 209), Phippsburg
Description: A scenic walk on a dirt path highlighted by Skull Falls and Burnt Ledge (aka Pasture Ridge) which is one of the largest pitch pine woodlands in Maine.

Potts Point, Harpswell
Distance: 0.6 mile hiking trail
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate (Maine Trail Finder)
Trailhead: Harpswell Neck Road/Route 123, Harpswell
Description: Parking is roadside (don’t block the boat landing) but you are rewarded with tidal pools, and gorgeous views on this rocky ledge trail. A bit of an adventure but well worth it for those looking for a bit of a challenge. 

Popham Beach State Park, Phippsburg
Distance: 1.2 -2.4 Mile hiking trail
Difficulty: Easy (Maine Trail Finder)
Trailhead(s): (2) Fort Baldwin Road, Phippsburg; Perkins Farm Lane, Phippsburg
Description: Completely original experience, this trail is not a loop but a 1.2 mile stretch of trail with ocean views everywhere you look and three historic forts to explore. 

Morse Pond Trail & Carousel Trail, Georgetown
Distance: Varies (network of trails) hiking & biking trails
Difficulty: Unranked
Trailhead: Seguinland Road, Georgetown
Description: These trails are on Morse Pond Preserve and only ¼ mile from the entrance of Reid State Park.  Though there is no official difficulty ranking, many who have been on say it is for the moderate nature enthusiast. 

Cathance River Trails, Topsham
Distance: 2.0 mile hiking trail
Difficulty: Moderate (Maine Trail Finder)
Trailhead: Cathance Road, Topsham
Description: This 2-mile stretch leads to a 60 foot aluminum bridge that leads to five more miles of trails on the Cathance Preserve- a more challenging trail.  This is sometimes gets referred to as the CREA trails as many educational exploration walks take place here, and include a waterfall.  One of the most popular trails for birdwatching and leisurely exploration walks. 

Androscoggin River Bike Path, Brunswick
Distance: 2.6 mile biking, dog walking and biking trail
Difficulty: Unranked
Trailhead(s): (3) Water Street, Brunswick; Grover Lane, Brunswick; Topsham via Merrymeeting Bridge
Description: Highly visible 14 ft. wide paved path that runs along Route 1 and has a dog park. There is also a soccer field near the Water Street boat launch and trailhead which routinely has games going on.  Very visible, this is usually the first trail in the region utilized once the snow melts and the last used before snow begins falling due to it’s multi-purpose use, multiple trailheads and paved surface.  

Again, Cliff Trail, Devil’s Back, Topsham Fair Mall Road and dozens of other trails are wonderful too.  There is no wrong way to stay healthy and I hope this gives you a taste of some of the places you can explore, with ease, this summer. 

 

 

 

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