I knew this past weekend may be the only weekend left to get outdoors and see the fall leaves at their peak. Mother Nature must have known my plans, and decided to grant me the most spectacular fall weather, with the sun shining and temperatures reaching almost 70 degrees. I had a short hike in mind, as I got in my car and headed a few towns over, to Bradbury Mountain State Park.
Bradbury Mountain will always hold a special place in my heart, as I spent my early childhood years growing up in Pownal, Maine. Furthermore, my very best friend of elementary school lived on the grounds. Her father was the head park ranger, and their house sat at the entrance. I hadn’t been back in awhile, but knew this would be the perfect hike to get a quick top view of the colored foliage.
The mountain is made up a wide assortment of trails, ranging from short steep trails such as the Summit trail (0.3 mi), which is steep but still not a difficult hike, to the Northern Loop (1.0 mi) which makes a wide gradual ascent towards the top. The various options make this a perfect option for families with small children, or older generations who still want to venture for a hike outdoors.
The 15 minute hike up the South Ridge Trail (0.5 mi) was an ideal mix of steep towards the beginning to get my body active, with a gradual ascent towards the top of the trail. And the view was exactly what I was looking for.
Once I had made my way back to the car, I realized I still had an hour and a half left before the Patriots game, and decided to head over to Windham, ME to take a quick hike along the Presumpscot River. The parking lot was full of avid fly fishers who were taking advantage of the beautiful day, on this river which could be fished all year round. It was an iconic image, looking down the river, with the various fly fishermen and women wading half way out into the current.
The vibrant colors were astounding, as they reflected off of the crystal clear water, and back up towards the blue sky. The trail was quiet, as we continued further down beyond the other visitors. The two short hikes were exactly what I had needed, to engulf myself amidst the peaked leaves and the sunny warm weather, before it will get cold and grey, far too soon.