Updated: Nov 14
To be completely honest, I used to get turned around in these woods every time I visited. I've spent countless hours in here and am truly in awe of the fact that I sometimes find myself lost, STILL. That is why I love these woods. They are extensive, interesting and a real challenge! They include easy sections as well as rock boulders for climbing and difficult mountain biking. The woods are shady, filled with bird sounds, ancient trees and green ferns. It's heavenly in here, and many people have no idea it even exists. Shocking, because at 239-acres, this is the second largest cemetery in Maine and Portland's largest open space. It is also the site of the city's largest urban forest.
There's a rainbow of meandering trail colors in these woods and I've hidden THREE Seek'ems for you to find here. Finn and I set up the same trail challenge for you several years ago (most of these pictures are from that time). Those Seek'ems, however, are long gone and I've just hidden new ones in new spots. Now I will attempt to walk you though the route I took this afternoon when I hid them. This may be a wild goose chase since, as I said earlier, I get a bit confused in these woods and only knew where I was 65 percent of the time today. Ok, 45 percent.
I will do my best to lead you to all of the Seek'ems, but finding ONE will be an accomplishment and will certainly count for the completion of this challenge. Find all three and I will assume you have magical powers. Ok, let's go.
Park at the end of Brentwood Street, near the community garden.
There is a small path that starts just to the right of this garden and heads downhill before winding right towards the woods.
In early June, you will pass a beautiful patch of lupine on the right near the bottom of this hill. If you visit this trail in June and get to enjoy the lupine in bloom, take in the view and thank the Lupine Lady. Side note, I just learned that there actually was a lady who spread lupine seeds all over Maine, so the story was based on truth. That just feels good to know.
Now would be a good time for me to share a map with you, which you will also find at most intersections along these trails - THANK YOU Portland Trails! You can also find an interactive map of the cemetary roads here: https://portlandmaine.gov/591/Evergreen-Cemetery
As you can see here, we've started out on the blue trail. Once you've arrived at the intersection of blue and green (red dot above), stay left on green (following the loop clockwise), until you've reached the yellow trail. Take a right onto the yellow trail and follow it until you've reconnected with green. At this spot you will see a trail map and a stump to the right of it. Look behind the stump for your first Seek'em.
From here, go left onto the green trail and follow it until you've reached the purple trail. Before moving on, I should stop to mention that although I did not hide Seek'ems on the red and black trails, they are worth checking out. This area is called the ledges and is filled with large rocks and boulders for climbing and exploring.
Back to the purple trail for my favorite Seek'em hideout - the most incredible natural gnome fort I've seen yet.
Purple eventually connects back with green (take a right once you've reached it). Green will bring you down a hill to the white trail. Take a right onto the white trail, then walk past two black blazed trailheads. Just beyond the second, look for this mossy stump along the right side of the white trail. Inside is another Seek'em.
Follow the white trail until it reconnects with green (go right here) and you will eventually find yourself at the turtle pond. The pond that was once home to otters. Read about "The Elusive Otters of Evergreen" here.
Explore the pond, then continue clockwise along the green trail all the way back to blue, then your car. You may also choose to walk back through the cemetery.
My advice, just come to these glorious woods and enjoy getting lost for a while. Find some Seek'ems or don't. Then add in a visit with the egrets and snapping turtles at the cemetery ponds.
I LOVE these woods and do hope you enjoy exploring them. This cemetery is especially spectacular with fall colors. Enjoy!