Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Cliff Trail In Harpswell

The Cliff Trail in Harpswell is located just behind the town office on the Mountain Road. It is a trail of wonder that seems almost out of place on this stretch of land. You can park behind the town office and start your hike down a well kept picture perfect tidal inlet. The path goes in and out with the shore.The woods are deep and green with moss covering the fallen branches and stumps that are scattered along the way. As you go your way into the woods and leave the inlet behind a new world is revealed with large old pine trees towering overhead, allowing just a glimmer of light in. Ferns and reindeer moss cover the floor of this forgotten retreat. The trail is well marked with both white and yellow markers representing the two separate trails. My father in law, my dog ( ladybug )and I continued initially along the white marker trail. Up and down along a series of small hills and valleys till we came to a sign that stated we had truly entered a magical place. The sign said Fairy House Trail. In the deepest part of the wooded trail, if you looked carefully, were a large number of fairy houses that were constructed of various types of material. Wooden sticks, birch bark, moss, and even a fairy house with a stone roof. It was truly a magical sight to behold. I would have been satisfied with the walk if that had been the end of our trail but we had just begun to find the hidden treasures that were in store for us. We came upon the sign for the Cliff Trail loop and started our ascent to this magnificent overlook. Breathtaking views that can only be compared to some of the overlooks at Acadia National park. What a sight. The edge is very steep so you need to be careful and to keep your dog leached for their own protection. The trail followed this incredible stretch of cliffs for a good while and there were many places for resting and reflecting on the beauty of the place we live. From there we were led  back into the woods with it's many wondrous sights that only the most preserved northeastern woods can provide to the hiker. I found it amazing that we were only minutes form the town office and the cross road we call mountain. The trail is well kept and fairly ease to walk. The two trails are about a total of 3 miles and can be done easily in a couple of hours. A must walk when in the Maine Mid Coast Area.

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