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Waterfall Trail, Cumberland

Updated: Feb 16

With all the rain we've had this past week, it's a great time to explore the Waterfall Trail at Rine's Forest. I've hidden another Seek'em for you on this trail, so now you have three reasons to visit: flowing falls, two hidden treasures, and the vivid colors that appear after a rainstorm.

Why does nature appear more colorful after the rain? I've often pondered this question and found one explanation on a blog called "A Life Spent Wondering". The answer is long and involves a lot of science, but it has to do with the way light interacts with and is absorbed by different mediums. You can read their full blog post if you're interested, but I'll give you the short and sweet summary. From what I understand after reading this article, as sunlight hits the atoms in an object (moss, leaf, bark, etc.), wavelengths of light are either absorbed or reflected. The reflected light is what we see with our eyes. This is what we perceive the color of that moss, leaf or bark to be. After a rainstorm, when the sun hits an object covered in droplets, the wavelengths of color are more absorbable. This leaves the color that is reflected back to us even more vibrant, because it's not watered down by the other colors that were absorbed by the moss, leaf, or bark. According to A Life Spent Wondering, "The leaf’s molecules still have no interest in the green wavelengths of light and so those are still being reflected back to the observer. The net effect of this is that the reflected light is diminished of more absorbable wavelengths of color, making the green that reaches our eyes that much more vibrant. Extrapolate this phenomena to every plant, tree and flower in nature and you are then presented with a picture-perfect outdoor scene." Mystery solved by a random article I found on the internet. Hopefully it's accurate. I welcome any scientists out there to confirm, deny or elaborate on this explanation because I'm curious. Either way, we know from experience that hiking after rainstorms will lead you to magical candy colored forests and that's reason enough to go do it. Just be sure to wear waterproof and slip resistant footwear.

The Waterfall Trail is short and sweet at .7 miles one-way. This trail easement, owned by the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust, provides public access to Rine's Forest from Blanchard Road in Cumberland. The trail runs through fields, over small streams and eventually leads to the waterfalls at Rine's Forest. Open to the public during daylight hours. recreation here includes hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. For more details on this trail, visit CCLT's website:

I was looking for a longer walk with my dog last weekend, so we started the Waterfall Trail from the Rine's Forest side of things. We parked at the Rine's Forest parking lot on Range Road, then followed the blue trail until we reached the waterfalls. From here, we continued straight on blue until reaching the start of the Waterfall Trail, marked by a large bridge. Here's a map that shows how to connect to the trail from Rine's: Trail Map

This trail will continue through a field and onto Blanchard Road. We turned back to explore the waterfalls at Rine's. If you missed those details, you can read about them here.

As I mentioned earlier, the waterfalls are flowing in this vibrant and colorful forest. Now is the time to go. Hope to see you out there!

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