Saco Heath Preserve, Saco, ME

An Indian summer day, that’s what we were calling it at work. But apparently, we were wrong. According to the Farmer’s Almanac there are very specific conditions that need to be met for beautiful autumn days to be considered “Indian summer.” In reality, it was just another ordinary, beautiful fall day here in Maine.

As the work week progressed and promises of warm, sunny days were met, I started thinking about ways to spend the few hours after work outside enjoying the weather. I ended up working late on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday became my running day because I wasn’t able to run on Tuesday. I looked to Thursday as my opportunity

I am blessed to live in an area of Maine with a number of hiking trails. These short, fairly flat trails, are quick getaways into the woods. A person can leave the sounds of traffic and civilization behind. On this particular day, I decided to visit the Saco Heath Preserve.

The alarm clock woke me at the usual time: 4:38 a.m. Rather than hitting the snooze button, I rolled out of bed–not my usual practice! But I had extra things to do to get ready for the day. If I didn’t get them done, my plan to escape into the woods could be jeopardized!

Those 10 minutes were used to pull my pack down off the wall; stuff it with my hiking clothes; stuff a snack in my Ribz front pack; and fill a water bottle. I also grabbed my camera and tripod.

Our gear room

Our gear room

Our gear room is coming together nicely–except Earl seems to think everyone is 6-foot-a hundred like him. I had to use the step ladder and strrrrrreeeettttcccchhhh to reach my day pack.

The work day passed with the usual stressors. I kept glancing out the window to see if it was as sunny as I hoped. It was. I kept asking people as they came in from outside if it was as warm as it looked. It was. I counted the hours until I only had minutes left to be stuck indoors.

After giving the shift passdown, I changed into my hiking clothes and was on my way to the trail. Fifteen minutes later I was parked at the trailhead. Convenient, eh?

Saco Heath Trailhead parking lot on Rte 112 in Saco, Maine

Saco Heath Trailhead parking lot on Rte 112 in Saco, Maine

Saco Heath information kiosk

Saco Heath information kiosk

Besides being outdoors on a relaxing jaunt thru the woods, I also had another purpose for choosing the Saco Heath Preserve for my adventure. I have wanted to start recording video segments of hiking tips, gear reviews, and general thoughts about the joys of hiking.

I admit to feeling silly wearing my Ribz front pack, my day pack, and a tripod on this 2-mile hike. I met a few people and can only imagine what they thought of my gear load. The reality is they probably thought nothing of it.The first bit of trail is on a wooded path. The sounds of the road can still be heard. Although lovely with yellow ferns mixed with the greenery, this area was too dark for a video. I knew the boardwalk would be a lovely area to shoot a video, but hoped it would be wide enough to set up my tripod without blocking the path completely.

I stepped on to the boardwalk. I began to doubt my plan. The boardwalk is somewhat narrow. If there were a lot of people, I would have to move the tripod to allow them to pass. There had been three cars in the parking lot. I had only encountered two sets of people. I thought the occupants of the third vehicle must still be ahead of me.

Saco Heath Preserve – 1

I kept walking with my doubts until I found the perfect spot!

Saco Heath Preserve – 2

Saco Heath is a lovely two mile out-and-back hike on wooded trail and colorful boardwalks. The terrain is easy to walk on, the trail is well marked.
If you fall off the boardwalk, just look for the trees with the yellow blazes to find your way back to the trailhead!
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the things going on in your life, take a short walk in the woods. Be prepared to be soothed by the sights and sounds of nature.

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