When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Sebago to Sea Trail - Westbrook Section 5 (East Bridge Street)

I've known about the Mt. Division Trail that runs from Sebago to Windham - we've hiked it many times. I knew that the Mt. Division Trail had also become part of an initiative to run all the way to the coast and had merged with the Sebago to the Sea Trail project. I've eyeballed the trails many times and today, decided it was time to test them out. I figured it would be a good place to walk the dogs.

There are 8 sections of the Sebago to Sea Trail and it runs through the towns of Standish, Windham, Gorham, Westbrook, Portland and Falmouth essentially running an individual from Sebago lake to East End Beach. The section that connect Gorham to Westbrook, however, is currently under construction to fix the railroad bed and is closed to traffic. Now I'm on a mission to walk the whole thing! It'll take time, but I'm making it a goal for 2014.

I chose to try out Section 5 today, so we parked at the ballfield off East Bridge Street and walked our way across towards the back and easily found the trail. It sloped downwards and the snow was crusted over but totally passable, even with two dogs pulling me excitedly along. At the foot of the hill we officially hit the Sebago to Sea trail and turned left to head towards Rt. 302. The trail itself winds it's way sandwiched between East Bridge Street and the Presumpscot river along this section. There were opportunities to see mallards wallowing their way along the icy shoreline of the river and plenty of hardwoods to make you feel almost like you were in the back country. The trail had been hard packed with one single snowmobile track so I'm assuming that was done to assist with walking and staying on the trail. Thank you - whoever did that!

We crossed over East Bridge Street and followed the trail in as far as it would go before we were forced to either try to cross a wide stream over some really sketchy looking ice or turn around - so, we turned around. It took us about an hour and we went about 2 1/2 miles. We saw squirrels, robins, a harrier and a Red Tailed hawk, Starlings, goldfinches, doves, chickadees and nuthatches. By the time we got back to the truck the dogs were pooped and well - they are still sleeping. I won. So go forth and trail, and make sure to take the time to look around you! The images below are what I found when I took the time. Enjoy!

A snippet from Trail Map #5 - you can see where we accessed and how far we got

The trailhead from the ballfields where we parked



Mill Brook, winding it's way towards the Presumpscot


Hmmm - not sure I want to be out this way during the fall....
 
Minnie keeping an eye on what's ahead

Another treestand - there were three within 50 yards of each other. Jeesh!

Looking very concerned as a Harrier flew over and the Red Tailed Hawk made his presence known - it was noisy, trust me

Sensitive or Bead Ferns waiting for spring to shed those seeds

Rollins hears a who

Minnie waits for him to figure out what's going on

There's that Red Tailed Hawk, waiting for his meal ticket

Leftover apple pieces, probably from the robins. Not the cleanest eaters in the world!

Starlings just hanging around

This is a big mix of starlings and robins



Goldfinches singing from the treetops

Another mess of apple parts, this time I'm blaming a mouse, chipmunk or a squirrel


More evidence of good feed for the birds....

...closer inspection reveals Bittersweet, a winter staple for wintering birds



The Presumpscott River

Hmmm - extracurricular activity huh?

There's some of that Bittersweet vine...


Asters in Winter

American Basswood seeds hold in there for dear life, waiting for spring so they can land

And finally, a wild cucumber carcass




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