Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at

It is beautiful out there right now. The rains are easing up a bit, the sun is out, but not too hot. It doesn’t get much better than this, folks.

I hope you and yours are able to get out there and enjoy this weather before summer is nothing but a memory.

At the start of the summer, I like to make a list of all the things I plan on doing – camping trips, foreign adventures, outer island visits, that sort of thing. It helps me to not get too lost in the individual day. This year, the plans sort of slid off the rails a bit. Nothing major, nothing catastrophic, just life being life.

As I began to realize the major trips simply were not going to happen, I decided I could either pout about it or adjust. I chose to adjust. Down came the list of lofty expectations and up went a more attainable set of excursions, all within my immediate surroundings. I am determined, however, to relish these excursions, and lucky for me, I have access to a major asset in bringing this about. Luckily for you, so do you.

I am speaking here of the website Maine By Foot. It is the work of a West Bath resident who simply loves to walk the trails and, thankfully, record those adventures for the rest of us to learn by.

You can search, for example, for a trail within your town or county, or the next town over. You can learn if it’s an easy climb or strenuous, what features or sights you might find along the way, and if your pet is allowed on the trail, too. (Be sure to pack those poop bags so you leave no trace.)


If you are a person who loves to find a good swimming hole, those are also marked on the site along with a special sub-listing of locations that incorporate art or history along the path. Each listing is outlined in the author’s friendly, engaging and personal manner.

For example, the site notes Dresden Falls Archaeological Preserve is “the largest and most intensively occupied site of its era known in Maine, according to the Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, which helped protect it with The Archaeology Conservancy and Land for Maine’s Future. More stone tools have been uncovered here, like spear points and cobblestones for net sinkers, than any other Early to Middle Archaic (8,000-3,000 B.C.) site in New England.”

And did you know that the Ridgewell Preserve in Phippsburg features rock carvings by artist Kevin Sudeith? And “the trails on the 46-acre Ridgewell Preserve hook up with a series of paths on abutting preserves to form a long and interesting walk up to and along forest ridges, over streams and by stone walls, and to views and historical sites. … Massive boulders lie like slumbering monsters – they’re called Dinosaur’s Rocks, and it does seem as if they might wake up at some point. They’re about (a 3/4 mile) from the trailhead. There are also remains of old settlements and cemeteries with worn headstones deep in the woods.”

The Maine By Foot website, which also offers maps you can download on your phone, is my new obsession.

We are so fortunate to live in this amazing, beautiful and storied state. I am happy to have a new tool to help me continue discovering it. If you, like me, have a summer not destined for a grand adventure, this helps make every adventure grand. See you on the trails.

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