This story was initially printed in June 2015.
Taking a look at on-line path descriptions and photographs, it’s usually troublesome to guage what trails are greatest for teenagers. The next are 9 trails (or path networks) which are simple, lead by stunning habitats and supply alternatives to find out about nature, making them perfect for youngsters, households and others within the wildlife of Maine. That is certainly not a whole listing, as there are a lot of nature trails within the state which are nice for teenagers, nevertheless it’s a bit of one thing to get you began.
1. Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park
With instructional indicators scattered alongside 4.5 miles of intersecting trails, Wolfe’s Neck is a great spot for teenagers of all ages to find out about nature. The indicators embody diagrams, photographs and written details about varied habitats and wildlife seen all through the property. And you probably have very younger youngsters with you, an excellent portion of the path community is stroller accessible. The park additionally options non-public picnic areas and a seaside, the place you’ll be able to seek for horseshoe crabs.
In celebration of Nationwide Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is holding a celebration at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport. The occasion, starting at 9 a.m., will function guided hikes, path work alternatives and different outside actions.
The path begins out as a single path and splits right into a loop. On the far finish of the loop is a large boardwalk that travels out right into a peat lavatory, which is house to a wide range of attention-grabbing vegetation, together with carnivorous vegetation such because the pitcher plant. Academic indicators on the boardwalk platform show you how to perceive what you’re seeing. The whole hike, out and again, is 2.4 miles. There are a number of benches and interpretive indicators alongside the path, the place you’ll be able to cease and find out about space wildlife and habitats. Whereas the path is comparatively flat, the footing could be tough in some areas, making it troublesome for younger youngsters. There are a lot of slender lavatory bridges that span over soggy sections of path.
3. Hirundo Wildlife Refuge in Alton
This 2,404-acre refuge spans Pushaw and Useless Streams, a man-made pond, wetlands and forestland. Open to the general public yr spherical, the refuge options an in depth path system that’s clearly marked and signed, and three of the paths within the community are interpretive trails with self-guided tour brochures. And when you’d moderately find out about nature with a gaggle, the refuge naturalist works with different wildlife specialists to prepare all kinds of packages, together with guided nature walks and paddles, frequently.
4. Fields Pond Audubon Middle in Holden
Fields Pond Audubon Middle is a 192-acre wildlife sanctuary with trails winding by subject, wetland and forest, and alongside the shore of the 85-acre Fields Pond, the place individuals usually see massive snapping turtles. Chook containers and feeders positioned all through the fields, attracting all kinds of birds. To study concerning the wildlife you’ll undoubtably spot as you stroll the paths, go to the sanctuary nature middle, the place there are taxidermy shows, wildlife art work and a retailer. The middle affords dozens of year-round public packages and day camps for kids.
5. McPhetres Farm Forest in Veazie
The paths in McPhetres Farm Forest add as much as rather less than 1.5 miles. The forest is pretty hilly, so anticipate a couple of brief uphill climbs, in addition to lavatory bridges and uncovered tree roots. The forest is an authorized tree farm within the nationwide American Tree Farm System and is an amazing place to find out about tree identification and forestry practices. The paths lead guests by all kinds of bushes, together with white ash, sugar maple, beech, crimson pine, white oak and a stand of towering white pines that’s greater than 100 years outdated.Academic indicators are situated all through the path community so individuals can find out about forest administration and pure options, corresponding to cavity bushes and ant mounds. This hike could also be extra attention-grabbing to older youngsters.
6. Hidden Valley Nature Middle in Jefferson
House to almost 30 miles of multi-use forest trails, Hidden Valley Nature Middle is a nonprofit schooling middle that provides guests entry to 1,000 acres of contiguous forest in Lincoln County, together with extra an one mile of shoreline on Little Dyer Pond. For teenagers, there’s an amazing group of simple trails proper close to the primary trailhead and parking space. On the gatehouse close to the trailhead, you’ll be able to choose up path maps and a pamphlet for a scavenger hunt sport that entails “Path Guys,” massive wood inexperienced males created by Aaron Weissblum, an area sport designer and artist. The Path Guys are posted on bushes alongside the kid-friendly Warbler Path as effectively HVNC’s group clearing, the place picnic tables are situated. Every Path Man has a unique image on its chest,
in addition to a corresponding letter. The objective is to search out every Path Man and document their letters to decode instructions to “the scroll,” the place you’ll be able to write your title and e-mail to be put right into a drawing for prizes.
Additionally not removed from the parking zone is the Kettle Gap Lavatory Boardwalk, the place there are a number of instructional indicators explaining concerning the varied wildlife that may solely be present in a sphagnum moss lavatory.
7. Birch Level Path in Steuben
Birch Level Path is one among two interpretive trails within the Petit Manan Level Division of the Maine Coastal Islands Nationwide Wildlife Refuge Advanced. The hike is a bit more than 4 miles, spherical journey, and travels over pretty even terrain. A lot of the path is vast and clean. On the far finish of the hike, the brief path to Lobster Level and the small loop path to Birch Level are each slender and require extra consideration to footing. The Birch Level Path begins in a blueberry subject, then passes by a combined forest and results in the salt marshes of Dyer Bay. Chairs and benches are situated alongside the path, in addition to a number of colourful interpretive indicators. The path exploring Birch Level is a small loop that results in a number of views of the water and crosses a cobble seaside, which hikers can study extra about from an interpretive signal by the shore.
8. Beech Hill Protect in Rockport
Beech Hill Protect, 295 acres of blueberry fields and forest in Rockport, is without doubt one of the official stops on the Maine Birding Path, with greater than 125 species on its guidelines. The protect’s Summit Street Path is simply 0.75 mile and results in Beech Nut, a historic stone constructing on the high of Beech Hill, making for a 1.5-mile spherical journey. The path is vast and clean a lot of the best way, making it an amazing stroll for kids. A number of instructional shows alongside the path inform guests concerning the grassland habitat and blueberry operation, in addition to the historical past of Seaside Nut.
9. Orono Lavatory Boardwalk in Bangor and Orono
This explicit stroll is stroller and wheelchair accessible. Beginning on vast gravel trails of the Rolland F. Perry Metropolis Forest in Bangor, the Orono Lavatory Boardwalk is a 1-mile lengthy boardwalk travels by a forest crammed with ferns and out into a big peat lavatory. Alongside the best way are many benches and detailed shows concerning the varied vegetation and birds. Maintain a watch out for the carnivorous pitcher vegetation within the lavatory. Volunteer naturalists supply guided walks on the boardwalk, often to teams, frequently.