Emmons Preserve, Kennebunkport
The highlight of this preserve was the Community Labyrinth, constructed with stones donated in honor of loved ones. I knew nothing about this trail before stepping foot on it, so it was a real surprise to discover this large, beautifully constructed labyrinth along the path. Never underestimate a trail suggestion you get from a local.
This suggestion came from Flora at Frinklepod Farm in Arundel. I had some trail guides to drop off to her and asked if she could recommend a trail nearby. She mentioned Emmons Preserve and shockingly, I had never been there. Since my brother was already in the car, I brought him along. After the trail, I also brought him along to the Frinklepod Farm store. He hadn't signed up for any of this, but was a good sport about it - he's pretty easygoing. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if he asks for an itinerary the next time I pick him up.
Parking for this 3.3 mile network of trails is located at the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust headquarters at 57 Gravelly Brook Road. The headquarters also hosts local nonprofit events, family gatherings, private functions and more. The preserve includes the Baston River, a small waterfall, an old mill site, the Emmons Cemetery, a stick fort tunnel, a stone labyrinth, and the Learning Loop, which includes thirteen learning stations with information about landscape, flora, fauna, and the history of the place. As if that wasn't enough, dogs are allowed. And motorized vehicles, are not.
The land was donated to KCT by Steve and Natalie Emmons, who homesteaded here. According to KCT, "Steve's dream was to have the property serve as a place for children to connect to nature." He had already cut some trails into the woods and enjoyed exploring the area. The original path, Jeremy's Trail, was named in memory of fifteen year old Jeremy Walker Georgics.
After parking in the large lot near the KCT building, look for the stick tunnel on the short trail to the left. This winding trail includes a fairy village and follows a short loop.
Once you've returned to the parking lot, head onto the Batson River trail towards the Batson Bridge and Learning Trail. Here's a map to help you get your bearings.
You won't be on this trail long before arriving at the labyrinth, located in a field to the right. This was the absolute perfect place for us to hide a Seek'em. To find him, follow the labyrinth until you get to the stone bench along the outer circle. Look underneath and to the inside left.
Continue on to the Learning Trail. We were short on time, so turned back here, but I encourage you to keep on going! I will definitely return to explore the old cemetery, waterfall and old mill site.
Round out your day with a trip to a sweet family farm. Frinklepod Farm is located at 244 Log Cabin Road in Arundel, a quick drive from the preserve. Their farm store offers organic produce , fruits, herbs, flowers, snack items, Maine-made goods, natural beauty products, unique groceries, seedlings and more. They also offer a variety of cooking classes, community meals, and other events year round. Check them out here: http://frinklepodfarm.com