Given a hot tip for hiking in the nearby town of Kittery by our friend, George Derby, Hannah and I have a free Saturday afternoon to explore the trails of the Norton Preserve. You see, our grandson Max’s seventh birthday party has been postponed one day due to unusually cold early May weather. Though the trailhead to the conservation land of the Kittery Land Trust is unmarked, George’s direction are as solid as a full house over a kangaroo straight.
Driving down Route One from York to Kittery, we, after the Pig’s Fly Bakery, turn left on Lewis Road. After a mile or so, Lewis Road ends at Norton Road, which is where we turn left down the dead-end toward the trailhead.
Down this country/residential road, we park on the right side one hundred yards from the road’s end in one of the six parking places. Walking up to a wide grassy path past a country estate with its own tennis court, we, in short order, reach the sign showing the four color-coded trails at our disposal.
Hiking left on the white trail through a forest of oaks, pines, and trees long since dead and spread around like pick-up sticks, we have regularly spaced white blazes on the trees to guide us. I never knew the origin of the term “blaze,” the colored markers on trees to guide hikers, until Hannah pipes up that we are blazing a trail. One good thinker.
Reaching the junction of the yellow trail, with the wetlands to our right we head north towards the Kittery/York line. Stepping around a small creek where logs have been placed for us to cross without sinking into the gooey ooze, we soon notice that the yellow blazes have ended. Entering the unmarked trails (as of May 2021) of the York Land Trust, we easily hike our way to Bartlett Road in York.
Returning the way we came, we eventually take a left on the orange trail that weaves in and out on a path parallel to the yellow trail.
After an hour, we return to the trailhead pleased that a ten-minute drive from our home has us hiking in the woods of southern Maine.
The next day the sun shines for Max’s seventh birthday party with both sets of his grandparents and local cousins. We do so appreciate celebrating outside together after a pandemic year.
Later in the week, we add our Peace flag to our front yard.