The beginning of September brought cool nights and pleasant days; perfect weather for exploring the outdoors. Due to my exploration buddy’s health issues and long work hours, I had not dragged her on any adventures in quite some time, so I was surprised when she asked if I wanted to join her on a trip to Brunswick. She was thinking she might need a change and wanted to head down towards the bigger town to scout out job opportunities. After spending the morning collecting applications, I thought I might be able to convince her to fit in a small exploration. She agreed to a simple walk and so we headed off to the Brunswick Commons.
We left the Main Street area and headed a short distance south of Bowdoin College before locating a decent size parking area for the Commons. Before setting out, my buddy did inform me that she was not going on any unknown loop trails (I swear I don’t do that….much) and only wanted to do a straight out and back trail. I agreed to this and soon we were walking along a wide path through the woods.
Prior to our trip, I had researched the Commons while looking for something that I thought my friend could manage. I had noticed that there were some comments from just a few years ago that complained that trails were unmarked and the newcomer could get confused in the network of trails. Perhaps, because we only covered a small section of the park and stayed on the “Main Trail” we only discovered one place near our turn around point, where an unmarked trail branched off the central corridor.
At one point I gazed longingly down a path called “Johnny’s Trail” but my friend laughed, commented about my desire to explore and refused to follow this side trail. I gave one last look down Johnny’s Trail before turning back towards the Main Trail. The path we had chosen was easy and since I did not have to worry about obstacles under foot, I had time to really enjoy my surrounding. I had already noticed, during my explorations throughout August that the wildflowers were turning, but now I noticed that September was beginning to speed up these color changes. I found a Maple sapling that had already turned red.
As we continued on our journey, we found a few informative signs that presented information about Pine Barrens (Pitch Pine Loop) and the Chestnut Tree. Again we kept to the central path, passing the other end of the Pitch Pine Loop, until we reached a point where the trail continued past two boulders. I assumed that the road continued to one of the surrounding neighborhoods, so we decided to turn back.
As we approached that second turn off to the Pitch Pine Loop, I convinced my friend to veer towards this section of the woods. She probably agreed because she already knew where this side trip intersected with the path that would take us back to the entrance. Walking through a different section of growth, I noticed once more that the small wildflower vegetation was done for the season and the ferns were well on their way. The summer had disappeared rather quickly this year. I suppose the long, wet Spring that extended well into June, left us only two short months of Summer before Autumn caught us by surprise. I could only hope that the new season would linger awhile.