QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: Not sure
- Trail Mileage: More than 5 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: easy
- Sights: Sandy River, fields, river floodplain
(Wheelchair-accessible trail marked in red.) The fields adjacent to the downtown, which lie between Main Street and the pebbly Sandy River, have a network of easy and pretty paths—including a fabulous 0.6-mile accessibility trail.
The accessible trail, made of compacted crushed rock, was the outcome of a collaboration between University of Maine Farmington (particularly rehabilitation services professor Gina Oswald) and High Peaks Alliance, which promotes public access to the outdoors. The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund contributed money for the project.
The trail system’s main parking area is off Front Street. The lot can accommodate a fair number of cars, perhaps as many as 10 to 12, and there is a trailhead kiosk with a map of the easy-to-follow but unmarked trails. You can also access the trail system from other small side roads that connect to Main Street.
The accessibility trail begins in a river floodplain and silver maple forest carpeted with ferns and Japanese knotweed. The knotweed looks beguilingly delicate but is actually a fierce invasive that has proliferated in Maine.
There are a number of short side spurs that lead down to the beaches of sand and smooth pebbles, popular places to wade and swim. High Peaks Alliance is working to rebuild the demolished bridge across the river to connect the Whistle Stop Trail to town.
Leaving the accessibility trail, you can walk along the side of the playing field to access a 1.5-mile loop around a large field, probably best walked when there aren’t many ticks! There are several short side path to quiet spots along the river.
Directions: Coming into town on Main Street from the south, turn left after the McDonalds onto Front Street. The main parking area is 530 feet ahead, on the left off Front Street.