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Friday, August 5, 2016

A local excursion at Windham's Lowell Preserve - By Lorraine GLowczak

A change of pace and a little adventure always adds new vigor to our everyday lives. Although it is true that, for many, travel to foreign lands is what kicks renewal back into our souls, we often overlook and dismiss the beauty and charm that surround us. There is no end to the Maine adventure and many of those expeditions for daily rejuvenation can occur right here in the Windham/Raymond area.

One backyard adventure can be seized at the 308 acres of trails in Windham at the Roscoe and Elva Lowell Preserve, known simply as the Lowell Preserve. The preserve was purchased by the Windham Town Council as a recreation area in May of 1999. Located at the East Windham Fire Station on 47 Babbidge (Falmouth) Road, one can safely park their car and easily find the entrance to the preserve at the left of the fire building.

Entering the newly mulched trail entrance, the hiker will immediately find herself in a wooded paradise that contains a number of trail loops, ranging from .3 to 3.4 miles in length. This expansive sanctuary is open to every form of activity, accommodating individual preferences that include walking and hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, snowmobiling, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The nature paths are also dog friendly so a morning hike with your fur buddy off leash is a great way to start the day.

The trails contain various surfaces that not only include a few wood-chipped paths but packed soil, large rocks, and exposed roots as well. You will also experience slow inclines from time to time and walk over bridges built out of thick logs or wood slatted crossings. A hiker will also meet up with large wet boulders to cross the beautiful McIntosh Brook. As a result, it is best to wear some good hiking shoes to safely enjoy your adventure.
The assorted trails that meander through the preserve consist of three major loops that are marked by yellow, blue and green blazes. The Maine Trail Finder describes the loops in detail. “The yellow-blazed loop is called the Libby Hill Loop Trail and circumvents the boundary of the property, almost 3.5 miles. Most of the Libby Hill Loop Trail is for hiking, mountain bikes and ATV users. The blue trail-blazed trail is called the Virginia Trail and heads towards the center of the property, looping back after ending about half way into the property. The Virginia Trail is 1.7 miles in length. The green-blazed trail is called the Roscoe Loop Trail and is a 1.5 mile loop in the northern section of the property.” And as with most trail loops there are the connector paths that link up all the loops marked by orange and red blazes. For more detailed information, go to the Maine Trail Finder website: http://www.mainetrailfinder.com/trails/trail/lowell-preserve, or visit the Windham Parks and Recreation website for a trail map at: http://me-windham.civicplus.com/Facilities/Facility/Details/Lowell-Preserve-34

The unknown author of a meaningful quote once said, “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” So, let us seek out the adventures that are so abundantly around and available to us, the residents of this state and the towns surrounding the great lakes region. When you need that break from your daily routine to put a little renewed hop (and hope) into your life, you need not go far. Visit one of the local nature preserves, of which there are many. First stop? The Lowell Preserve in East Windham.

*It should be noted that during hunting season, the Lowell Preserve, as with many of the other surrounding wooded trails, are open to hunters. If you walk the preserve during hunting season, wearing an orange vest is advisable.

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