This outing was a kid-free hike that I planned for my friend Becca's birthday. Originally, the plan involved a much larger hike and would have taken a full day. Due to rain, I searched for a shorter, closer walk and ended up finding this great spot in Harpswell. Things always end up working out...as long as we stay flexible, and make friends with women who don't mind walking in the wind and the rain. My kind of friends. :)
Managed by the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, the preserve offers fields, salt marsh and more than 4,000 feet of shoreline on Middle Bay Cove. The parking lot is located at 33 Skolfield Drive in Harpswell. The main trail system includes the Hemlock Loop and the Merrucoonegan Loop, which wind through forest and along the cove for a total of 1 mile. In May and June, horseshoe crabs come here to lay their eggs. I will certainly return with my kids to see that.
After parking and heading onto the trail, you will come to a short spur on the left that leads down to a historic, turn of the century boat house. It is quite picturesque...take the spur. You'll love it. There are benches along the way as the Hemlock Loop merges with the Merrucoonegan Loop. Eventually, you will reach a point before looping back towards the parking lot. At this point, I've hid a Seek'em for you, tucked all cozy inside a tree. Here's a picture.
I found some fun history on the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's website.
"The word Merrucoonegan derives from a Native American term for “easy carrying place.” Traditionally, this area was used by Native Americans to move up and down the coast using protected waters. Later it was a center for the Skolfield Shipyards in the heyday of wooden ship building. Today it is an important area for shellfish harvesters."
This trail is short and sweet. I can imagine it would be gorgeous in the summer months, but it was lovely, even in the rain. Or maybe that was just the conversation and time with good friends. Either way, I highly recommend a visit here. Enjoy!