Sunday, November 17, 2013

Urban Hiking - Forest City Trail in Portland, Maine

Forest Trail, Portland, Maine. 
Photo courtesy of Jenny Galasso
This time of year is hard for me.  The weather is unpredictable, the trees depressingly bare, and trails covered in wet, slick leaves.  I often curl up at home on the weekends instead of burning gas to go to the mountains.  The wait begins for the day that snow covers my favorite paths, and I can take joy in hiking again.  Fortunately, my friend Jenny got me out of this funk and out into nature despite my reluctance for late fall hiking.  This time, instead of heading to the hills, we went to the city and took a walk along one of the hikes in the "Portland Trails" network.  This little hike revitalized my affair with nature and was a great reminder that November is a great time to be outdoors. 

Here is how to recreate this adventure...

Adventure: Forest City Trail in Portland, Maine
Photo courtesy of Jenny Galasso

Getting there:  We accessed the trail from Summit Street in Portland's North Derring neighborhood.  There is a large trailhead sign (see photo) and street parking available.

Trail: The trail immediately drops into a hardwood forest.  When you get to the power-line swath, continue straight.  After the power-lines, you will come to a seasonal stream.  Continue along the path and it will wind along the stream bank.  This will take you to the Presumpscot River.  At the river junction, turn right and continue along the bank, enjoying views of rapids and flowing water.  The trail ends at a lookout of the Presumpscot Falls. 

Difficulty:  The trail is easy and mostly flat with a few up/downhill parts towards the river.  Fallen, wet leaves made the trail slick at parts.

Presumpscot Falls, Portland, Maine
Photo courtesy of Jenny Galasso
Distance: Approximately 1 mile one-way (2 miles round trip).

Recommendations:  This is a great little urban trail to see waterfalls, woods, and still be in the city.  It is a dog friendly trail.  Be prepared to see a lot of fellow hikers with their pups.  It's a great choice for children and families due to the easy terrain. 

Jenny and I enjoyed our stroll through the woods on this brisk fall day.  I recommend taking a hike when the shorter days and cold weather is getting you down. 

Friends enjoy a fall urban stroll

Please leave comments and questions below.