Natural Heritage Hikes

heritagehikes2014_forblog

The residents of Maine own the world’s fastest plant, the world’s most dramatic tides, and North America’s largest rodent. And most of them don’t even know it.

As an artist and naturalist, I’m seeking to change that. I’m using creative writing to bring the state’s natural history secrets to Mainers and Maine visitors – for free.

The Natural Heritage Hikes project, a joint venture between the Maine Natural Areas Program and the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist Program, will help connect hikers to Maine’s public lands, and all they need is an Internet connection.

Because of the space limitations of guidebooks, most trail descriptions are bland and matter-of-fact directions. Any mention of nature is limited to “the trail enters the trees” or “the trail leaves the trees.” Thanks to the Internet, trail narratives can expand to include natural history tidbits. They can be read on a portable device or printed individually and carried on the trail.

Last summer, armed with maps, a full backpack, and a green pickup truck with the windows rolled down, I waded through fog, bog, and biting insect taking copious notes on fifteen of the state’s most scattered and spectacular trails. The Maine Natural Areas Program will soon unveil fifteen exciting new trail descriptions available on the Maine Trail Finder Website. Complete with maps and illustrations, they are guaranteed to capture the attention, and hopefully hearts, of Maine’s hikers.

This summer, I’ve been hired to continue the project with ten more trails. Follow me as I explore every corner of the great state of Maine!

Click here for a map of sites I visited in 2013 (blue), and sites I am visiting this year (yellow)!

Screen shot 2014-06-30 at 3.08.13 PM

2014 Natural Heritage Hikes (hyperlinked sites are those that I visited already)!

Trail Trail Manager Location
Sanders Hill Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance Vienna
Big Moose Mountain Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands Greenville
Borestone Mountain Maine Audubon Elliotsville
Angel Falls Trails for Rangeley Area Coalition Township D
Dodge Point Dodge Point Public Reserved Land Newcastle
Speckled Mountain White Mountain National Forest Stoneham, Stow
Sunkhaze Meadows NWR Department of Fish and Wildlife Milford
Quaggy Joe Aroostook State Park Presque Isle
Tumbledown Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands Township 6 North of Weld
Mount Megunticook Camden Hills State Park Camden

 

2013 Natural Heritage Hikes:

Trail Trail Manager Location
Bald Mountain Trail Bald Mountain Public Reserved Land Rangeley
Big Chief Trail Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land T10 SD, T9 SD
Black Point Brook Loop Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land Cutler
Burnt Hill Trail Sugarloaf Ski Resort Carrabassett Valley
Coastal Trail Quoddy Head State Park Lubec
Cranberry Peak Trail Bigelow Preserve Wyman Twp
East Royce Trail White Mountain National Forest Batchelders Grant Twp
Grassy Pond Trail Baxter State Park Baxter State Park
Head of Gulf Trail Appalachian Mountain Club Bowdoin College Grant East Twp
Ledges Trail Loon Echo Land Trust Bridgton, Denmark
Maiden Cliff Trail Camden Hills State Park Camden
Smith Trail Francis Small Heritage Trust Limerick, Limington
Summit Trail,
Northern Loop Trail (loop)
Bradbury Mountain State Park Pownal
Tupelo Trail, Red Oak Trail, White Oak Trail (loop) Ferry Beach State Park Saco
Wonderland Trail Acadia National Park Southwest Harbor

 

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