Updated: Nov 3, 2020
I was lured to this trail in search of an exotic mushroom that was recently discovered here. We had just finished watching Fantastic Fungi, a documentary that teaches about the mysterious, magical, healing world of fungi through an incredible time-lapse journey. This documentary had such an impact on me that I headed straight to the mushroom section of the grocery store the next day - a section I typically avoid.
As my newfound appreciation for fungi progressed, I started to notice it everywhere. As luck would have it, the Royal River Conservation Trust posted about the first Asian Beauty fungus (Radulomyces copelandii) ever documented in Maine, found at the Fels-Grove Preserve. Here's a screenshot from their Instagram page:
We did not find this fantastic fungi, but what we did find, were some gorgeous trails. We also found woodpeckers, ferns, and forest with black cherry, birch and large red oaks.
Located at 211 Gilman Road, this preserve offers 25-acres of fields and 30-acres of woodland forest. The 1.2 miles of trails here serve as the primary trailhead for Yarmouth's West Side Trail. According to the Royal River Conservation Trust's website, "RRCT, the Town of Yarmouth, CMP, the New England Mountain Bike Association, Yarmouth Rotary, and many others are expanding the trail network to connect to more neighborhoods." There was a nordic team preparing for training as we were leaving...seems like a great spot for mountain biking, trail running, and nature observation as well.
We did leave another clay guy for you here. To locate it, park in the main dirt lot off of Gilman Road. Head straight across the open field until it connects with West Side Trail. There you will see a trail map and a bench to the left of it. Look under the bench to find our friend. Feel free to pick him up and take him for a walk with you..as long as you return him to his bench warming duties.
We came here in hopes of finding a magical mushroom, which we did not. But really, it's about finding anything that will motivation us to keep getting outside, keep exploring and keep seeking new experiences. And while you're out here, don't forget: