National Trails Day is not so much a celebration as it is a reminder to make trails happen. That reminder will echo Saturday in Maine along the coast from York to Freeport and beyond.

While the York Land Trust celebrates National Trails Day on Saturday with the first public hike along its new 151-acre acquisition, Portland Trails will conduct work on its $6.2 million urban trails, and a Freeport land steward will unveil new trail signs at 140-acre Pettengill Farm.

Elsewhere in Maine, National Trails Day will be celebrated with hikes and outings by no fewer than 25 land organizations.

Those events can be found at the website www.americanhiking.org.

“We want to communicate what’s here to Maine (people). This program, we hope it connects families and children and they come here to enjoy the outdoors and learn something while on the trail,” said Christina White, director of the Freeport Historical Society, which owns the 140-acre preserve around Pettengill Farm.

The work of the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day is focused on helping all Americans access trails just 15 minutes from their door.

Portland Trails has made that goal its mission in the Greater Portland area, even right in downtown Portland where the Bayside Trail project is becoming a reality.

Portland Trails will host a guided tour of the new 1.5-mile Bayside Trail on Saturday at half-hour intervals from 10 a.m. to noon. And at 9 a.m., volunteers can help construct rain gardens along the trail, which has cost $4.6 million and requires another $1.6 million, said Portland Trails Executive Director Nan Cumming.

Portland Trails also is hosting its annual crosstown walk, a 10-mile trek led by Portland Trails co-founder Tom Jewell.

In Freeport, the day will be celebrated at Pettengill Farm with the unveiling of 33 new trail signs along the farm’s 3.5 miles of trails, created by children at nearby Mast Landing School. The signs explain the flora, fauna and social history at the farm. The 200-year-old Pettengill farmhouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

And yet the 140-acre farm located less than two miles from the busy outlet stores on Route 1 is unknown to many, said White.

Educating the public about new lands will be the work in York this weekend when David Mallard of the York Land Trust leads the first hike of Highland Farm.

“It will be open for recreation by foot and cross country skiing, hiking, walking,” Mallard said of the farm that has views of the York River.

The hike will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. but will be limited to 25 people. Hikers should contact the land trust at 363-7400.

 

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:

[email protected]