Saint Joseph’s College trails, Standish

The cross-country trails around campus are well taken care of, and smooth and wide enough for wheelchairs (if you can handle an occasional rock, root, and minor incline). The highlight of a walk is the view from the college’s Sebago Lake beach. On a clear day, Mt. Washington is visible, floating like a cloud above the lake and distant forested shore.

The perimeter trail is about two miles. All told, there are roughly three miles of trails here, according to my GPS. And…I believe you can park anywhere on campus, at least on evenings, weekends, and holidays. I visited on a Sunday, when things were sleepy and there was plenty of room. That might change mid-week.

Directions: St. Joseph’s College campus is on the left, off of White Bridges Road. Turn onto White Bridges Road from Route 35, across from Patch’s convenience store.

Randall Orchards, Standish

In the woods abutting Randall Orchards, a working apple farm, you can walk either a 1.5-mile loop or a 2-mile loop on land protected by the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust. (Be mindful if you do the 1.5-mile loop that you don’t miss the trail when it intersects with the spur to the Hannaford grocery store. It’s easy to cross the bridge and head in the wrong direction!)

The 2-mile loop weaves in and out of ATV trails and old logging roads. I recommend doing the 1.5-mile loop on the west side if you don’t want to walk the whole trail system. 

Directions: You can park on the northwest side of Randall Road, the entrance to the orchard off of Route 25. The trail head is on the right in about .36 miles from the intersection with Route 25.

Sebago-to-the-Sea Trail

This walking and biking trail theoretically goes from Sebago Lake to Portland, but a chunk of it is not yet complete. So you have to ride along a few roads or walk on abandoned railroad beds.

But there is a wonderful system already in place, particularly close to Sebago Lake. There you can ride along a mostly paved path from the lake to Windham. The trail passes through some bucolic farmland, and is flat, easy, and quite pretty. It is wheelchair accessible.

The trail connects to some trail systems closer to Portland, as well. Check out the Sea to Sebago maps. I suspect over time, the trail system will grow and improve.

Here is more information about Section I and Section II of the trail.

Directions: So, you can catch the beginning of the paved trail at the Windham post office on Main Street. The trail doesn’t begin right from the parking lot; rather you head down the road about 40 feet, and you’ll see the paved trail heading west, toward Gorham and Sebago Lake. There is an unpaved section heading east, toward Portland, as well. This is gravel for 1.5 miles, and then becomes railroad track.

Or, you can pick up one end in Standish, at the Otter Ponds Adventure Camp ballfields and parking lot, off Route 35. Another possible starting point is Gambo Preserve in Gorham.

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Sebago to the Sea, Section II, Otter Ponds Area, Standish

This 500-acre reserve offers a wonderful network of very well marked trails, about 13.5 all together, many of them groomed (by snowmobile, it seems) in the winter for nordic skiing. The little ponds are swimmable and stocked with trout.

This system connects to the long-distance Sebago to the Sea Trail and the Mountain Division Trail. I recommend you check out the lake-to-Windham section. Here’s more info from me.

You must fill out a permit to visit the land, but there is no fee. Dogs are allowed.

Directions: There are several places to park with kiosks. Each kiosk has permits and great trail maps. There is one off of Route 237, between Barstow Road and Route 35 (Chadbourne Road). There’s another off of Route 35, right before the train tracks. You can also pick up the trail at the Portland Water District offices at the intersections of Routes 237 and 35, or at the playing fields further up Route 35.

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Sebago to the Sea Trail, Section I, Standish

This is the beginning (or the end) of the long Sebago to the Sea Trail. This section, which has roughly 3.5 miles of trails, is lovely! Mostly because it takes you to a private little beach on Sebago Lake that is just outside of the no-swimming zone (so you can swim). You must fill out a Portland Water District permit at the kiosk of the trailheads. I didn’t, and I was ticketed! But the fellow I spoke with at the PWD was very nice about it.

The only downside to this trail is you have to cross two fast roads — Route 237 and 35 — which is a little alarming. I also remember it was not so easy to see the continuing trail on the other side of Route 35 when I was here in July 2016. It’s not directly across the road, and the sign for the trail is across a field.

Go here if you are inspired to do a biggish chuck of the Sebago to the Sea trail. I recommend the section from the lake to Windham.

Directions: There are two places to park. One is at the parking lot off Route 237, which connects sections one and two of the Sebago to Sea trail. Or you can park off Route 35, opposite the turn-off to Busque Road.

Here is a more complete map of the larger trail system: