This week I have an exciting challenge for you: Locate the 11 gnome/elf homes and doorways tucked alongside the trails at the Pride Preserve. I'll bet you didn't even know these cozy little shelters existed here. I sure didn't...until their crafty designer emailed me, clueing me in to these magical little trail additions.
This creative soul would like to remain anonymous, so I will honor that request. They were, however, open to the idea of me spreading word about these tiny homes. They also generously offered to take us through the trails and point out each one. Only a fool would pass up an offer like that, so I scheduled a spontaneous field trip with my KMP Campers.
What we discovered was incredible. Such a fun adventure to locate all of the mini buildings and to play along the streams and waterfalls here. I will soon give you instructions on how to find each one. But first, a little about this gorgeous preserve..
The Pride Preserve opened in 2020 and is the largest conserved forestland in greater Portland. It includes 188 acres and 3.5 miles of trails, owned and maintained by the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust. It is also adjacent to the 63-acre Hardy Road Conservation Area in Falmouth.
After parking in the dirt lot off of Duck Pond Road, pass the pond and head right, along the Blue Loop trail. You will pass a large wall of boulders that your kids will surely enjoy climbing, just before reaching a small cave that we all agreed was cozy enough for a bear cub.
In less than a mile, you will reach the first connector, a wide dirt road. As you enter this part of the trail, start to look for your first gnome home on the left.
Take the connector to the Red Loop trail and follow it to your right, all the way to the Rapids Spur. Continue to look for the gnome homes and doorways as you travel. I will try to post them here in the order we discovered them...although my memory is not the best!
There are a whole bunch of these tucked into the woods along the small waterfall at the Rapids Spur.
Some of these gnome homes contain LED lights so that you can see them during evening walks!
Once you're done adventuring along the spur, return to the Red Loop trail and continue to the right, following the trail counter-clockwise. There are many more gnome homes to discover!
Shortly before completing the Red Loop and returning to the Blue Loop, you will find one last gnome home on the right, tucked into a cozy patch of young shrubs.
When all is said and done, this is quite the adventure for young ones at an almost 3 mile hike. Pack plenty of snacks and may the gnome home challenge keep you going! Good luck!