QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 60 acres
- Trail Mileage: 2 miles
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy
- Sights: river
If you like jumping off cliffs, this is the park for you. This 60-acre town park borders more than a mile of the Saco River. The river here must be very deep, because there are many places people have strung up rope swings from riverside cliffs. It looks dangerous but it must be okay since so many kids do it. On a hot summer day, this place is busy! (I have heard from a couple of people that unfortunately this place has become a haven for underage drinking. I didn’t run into many people mid-day during the week, and I have a high tolerance for scruffy trails! Both recommended the lovely Indian Cellar Preserve, on the other side of the river.)
For me, the nicest part of the park was the southern side, where there are several benches and picnic tables by the river, as well as an old cemetery (and no rope swings). The interior paths are less used, so are overgrown. But they do allow you to make a loop from one end of the park to the other. Once you leave the quiet side and go to the cliff-y side, the ground becomes well trammeled.
Although it’s easy to make your way through the forests here, the paths here are blazed. There are many spots along the river that make good swimming launch sites.
Directions: From 202 in Buxton, turn onto Route 117. Soon after turning, you’ll come across an old entrance to the park (it’s been around a long time), but you are not allowed to park alongside the street here. Continue up the 117 a little bit farther, and turn into Simpson Road. On your right will be a large parking lot.
The town does not maintain the property well .During the summer it becomes a haven for under aged drinking making it unsuitable for young children. The best time to visit is spring or fall. Indian Cellar does not appear to have the same problems and is well maintained.
The park needs imaintainance and has become haven for drinking. During the summer you might be better off trying the Indian Cellar preserve. It is better maintained. and more suited to families looking for some outdoor fun.
That’s too bad! I visited during the week when it was quiet and empty. I can make a note in my write up.