Finally! We are back from a busy summer break that included finalizing a big project (details in a future post), entertaining houseguests, road trips, and all variety of camps for the kids. While our family adores summer in Maine, we consider September, with its golden sunshine and mild temperatures, one of the best months of the year.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy a September Sunday, and for us, a visit to a new park or preserve is always a treat. Androscoggin Riverlands State Park in Turner has long been on our list of places to visit. Located on the shores of the vast Androscoggin River, the 2,675-acre park has 10 miles of hiking trails to enjoy. On the day of our visit, we decided to explore a portion of the Homestead Trail.
We parked our car at the Center Bridge Road parking area, where there are ample spaces for guests. Near the entrance to the park, we discovered a trail map and a short, uphill start to an ATV trail. Walk towards the ATV trail and you’ll find the sign for the Homestead Trail on your left.
The trail begins in dense forest and comes to a portion of the woods where you’ll find large, stone remnants of historic homes. This is a particularly cool place for families to explore. It’s fun to imagine what these houses looked like long ago.
As we continued on the path, the trail began to narrow and was outlined by a stand of birch and maple trees. The pathway widened at the Picnic Meadow, where we were met with tall grasses waving in the breeze. Visitors will appreciate that there is a clean outhouse here. Walk a bit further and you’ll find a sheltered picnic area on your left. While this first picnic spot is near to the river, you will want to continue on the path until it reaches a second picnic area. This is where our crew discovered a shaded picnic table, a park bench, and a spectacular view of the river. As soon as we arrived at this magical spot, our family made a promise to return in the fall when the leaves are at their peak.
It was late in the afternoon when we visited, so our crew decided to follow the same route back to the parking lot. For those in search of longer or more challenging hikes, you’ll find several options available on the park map, which is downloadable here.
These outings are always restorative for our family. Our busy minds are at ease on the trails. We talk and take pictures. We watch for signs of wildlife or simply take in the unique beauty of each new place.
Note: We recommend the directions on the maine.gov web site, as Google Maps took us on a road on the opposite side of the river. Oops!