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