The path leading me to new trails is not always calculated or well planned. There's no master list or method to the madness. Still, I continue to find new trails every week because they are quite literally everywhere. Sometimes the best way to find them, is to just open your eyes.
Last week, Finn and his friends asked if I'd bring them to the new skatepark in Gorham. My dog also (desperately) needed a walk, so I brought her with us in hopes of finding a trail nearby. The skatepark is behind the police department as they often are (skateboarders get an undeserved bad rap) and to the left of the Narragansett Elementary School. The large field to the right of the skatepark looked like a great place to let Romy run, so we headed off. As we neared the edge of the field near the woods, I spotted a trail kiosk. Bingo. The Claire Drew Trail is one I'd had on my list to explore, but I didn't realize it was here! How fortuitous to find a trail directly next to the skatepark.
Planning for the Gorham Skatepark began in early 2021 and the final ribbon cutting happened in September of 2022. This project was the result of community members and local businesses working together, towards a common goal. According to an article in the Gorham Times, the skatepark "measures 10,000 square feet and caters to all ages with a mix of both novice and expert features. The park accommodates not only skateboarders, but also scooter riders, inline skaters, and BMX bicyclists."
On to the Claire Drew Trail. The interesting history of this trail, is that it winds through a major tornado pathway on the town-owned Chick Property. This tornado, which touched down in July 2010, leveled old pines, which can still be found on the perimeter of the property. Look for snags remaining along sections of this trail. Claire Drew was a school nurse, whose efforts helped to make this trail a reality.
This loop is 1.6 miles and is great for cross-country skiing, walking and dogs on leash. All Trails shared the following accessibility information, "There are 7 designated accessible spaces in the paved parking lot off of Chick Drive at the south end of the Traill. All of them are van-accessible with striped access aisles. The trail surface is a natural surface (dirt, leaves). It is typically at least 6 feet wide. The majority of the trail is estimated to be in the mostly gently (5% or less) grade category but there are steeper sections at about 1.0-1.2 miles when going counterclockwise."
As we neared the trailhead, two fawns ran directly in front of us. They blend right into the fall colors here, so look closely.
They disappeared as mysteriously as they'd arrived, and we carried on, grateful for the experience. The trail was peaceful, quiet and the perfect size loop for an early evening walk.
We returned to the skatepark as the sun was beginning to set. The boys were having the time of their lives, so we sat and watched until it was too dark to see. We were all tired for the drive home, even the dog. Many needs can be met at this place. I suggest bringing the whole family.