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Every Trail Leads Somewhere: Lost on the 10-Mile Forest City Trail.

Updated: Feb 17

Sometimes we get lost in the woods. I am no mountaineer, just a mom who loves spending time in nature with my kids and exploring new trails for the sense of adventure. I don't own fancy gear, I'm often under-prepared, and sometimes I go left instead of right, which recently took us to Westbrook instead of the Presumpscot River. Let me back up...

Last week, the boys and I were feeling ambitious and decided to attempt the 10 mile Forest City Trail on bike. This Portland trail connects the Stroudwater to the Presumpscot, with 7 trails in between. We packed the camelbaks, loaded up with snacks and headed out early morning. We were nervous, excited, and not yet fully awake. We parked at the end of Blueberry Road (off of outer Congress), as suggested by our trusty Portland Trails map, quickly found the trailhead and our journey began. After an hour of biking through some beautiful, yet technical trails, I realized we were not heading towards Portland. We were heading for Westbrook. Tour of Husson University boys? I had no compass and sometimes my phone GPS goes on strike in the middle of the woods...hey, everyone needs a break. So, we did what any novice hiker would do, we just kept on keepin' on. Pushing our bikes up steep, muddy trails and over down trees. Hoping to run into any person who had a clue where we were (we saw NO one).

The story ends with a call to my supportive husband, who picked us up on Spring St in Westbrook. We shared a good laugh and although I was disappointed, I was so proud of my kids for their ability to stay calm and carry on. I realized that this trip was just as valuable as the others...if not more. At one point during the hike, as I was beginning to get frustrated, Henry said, "It's ok mom, every trail leads somewhere". And it did, just not to the Presumscot River. We still spent quality time together in a beautiful place and learned some lessons about resilience. Our adventures don't always turn out as we'd hoped, but we always feel better after being outside.


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