Saco Bay Trails, an open space preservation group, has established an impressive network of recreational hiking trails just south of Portland. There is no charge for entry to the trails which span a remarkable variety of terrain in the area.
A restful spot along Stackpole Creek — Photo courtesy of Mark PechenikAt Horton Woods, hikers and walkers make their way along clearly marked trails winding through this 100-acre preserve. Spanning 1.3 miles, the Blue Heron trail is the first path encountered upon entering the preserve. This trail leads walkers through mixed woodlands, an open meadow and along Stackpole Creek. A comfortable bench near the trail’s end enables you to enjoy the brook’s trickling waters.
Strolling the upland Red Maple Trail — Photo courtesy of Mark PechenikA more aggressive (but not too taxing) hike is possible along the half-mile Big Pine Trail which makes its way through a stand of pine trees, over highlands and across lowland bog bridges. The nearly half-mile long Red Maple Trail also stretches along uplands and passes through a beautiful cluster of Red Maple trees (including one of the largest such trees in Maine).
This property is especially appealing in the autumn, with the changing hues of tree leaves adding a special touch of colorful magic to the place. However, any time of year is great for indulging in Horton Woods – a wonderful refuge definitely worth experiencing.