Quarry remains along a Clifford Park trail — Photo courtesy of Mark PechenikIn many ways, Clifford Park represents the time-honored New England tradition of re-utilization. The property, now owned by the Town of Biddeford, was once home to several rock quarries. Granite from these quarries was used in everything from stone bridges to the construction of expansive mill factory complexes that were so common during the area’s manufacturing boom of the 1800s into the mid-20th century.
Now, with its industrial era a matter of history, Biddeford has re-purposed this destination into a prime mountain biking spot and trail walking area. Clifford Park features five main trails with several smaller offshoots. While the park is not particularly large, the trail layout makes excellent use of restricted space so that cyclists and walkers can spend several hours enjoying this place.
Most trails are wide and smooth — Photo courtesy of Mark PechenikThe trails are generally wide and smooth with occasional rocky and rooty sections. Each winds through thick growths of trees, plants and bushes. Several upland and downhill sections offer fun challenges for aggressive riders. Beginner riders, however, may need to walk their bikes up these paths. A couple of the lower sections even course into wetlands. Here, it is possible to take in the picturesque views of trickling streams, swimming frogs and buzzing dragonflies.
Several trails border wetlands sections — Photo courtesy of Mark PechenikWhat makes this place truly distinctive, however, are the trails which wind their way around abandoned quarries. Cyclists are able to pedal past massive stone blocks, many of them featuring stone cutter indentations, on their travels. The haphazard scattering of these behemoth granite pieces gives the fun impression of giant child’s building blocks. There are also large quarry holes that have become scenic ponds, further adding to the park’s current pastoral character.
To sum it up, Clifford Park is an excellent destination for those who want to mountain bike locally within a truly unique setting.