Hodson Preserve – Rheault Trail

I took a short trip to Camden, Maine this week and managed to get in a hike or two while I was there. The first hike was in the Hodson Preserve – Rheault Easement Trail. The lower portion of this hike is the Hodson Preserve and wanders through a lovely wooded area.

As we entered the preserve we saw a tree that had snapped within the last few weeks. The jagged wood at the snap point looked fresh so this break must have happened during the last few weeks. Further down the trail a birch tree had uprooted, probably during the recent storm. Again, there was evidence that this uprooting had occurred within the last few days.

When I am out on my walks I am always amazed at how nature dictates direction over time. During this hike we discovered this tree root growing over a moss covered rock. To me, it looked like the tree root was grabbing the rock with no intentions of ever letting it go.  I wondered how many years it took that root to claim the rock.

After crossing one stream on a sturdy wooden bridge, we came across another stream that I found somewhat challenging. Since my hip surgery I have found that I am very nervous about falling and often proceed a little more slowly than I have on past hikes. Although this stream doesn’t look very wide in the photo, I did need to maneuver across several stones in order to get across. My trekking poles supported me while I tentatively made my way across and my husband helped my step up on the other side.

Once across the stream, the trail became much steeper than what I have been used to in recent weeks so I was glad to have my trekking poles. At this point we found a sign that directed us one way for the Hodson Loop and another way for the Rheault Conservation Easement. We decided to hike the easement first and do the Hodson Loop on the way back.  As we made our way up the trail, we stopped from time to time to view the stream below and found there was still some ice across the water.

Continuing up the trail, we stopped to rest at a stone wall and admired the handiwork of the local woodpeckers. I did wonder about the size of the birds that would make holes that big.

We continued climbing up the trail until we came to a sign that indicated we were entering a working farm area. Since there had been a sign at the trail head that asked hikers not to hike the summit of this farm from April to November we turned around and headed back the way we came.

On the way down we saw a number of finches flitting among the leaves looking for food. Although we stayed still for a short while, none of them stopped long enough for us to get a good look at them.  We continued down to the Hodson Loop and although the loop was only 1/2 mile   my leg was getting tired so we decided to save the loop for another day.

We had been on the trail for about 1.5 hours and had hiked approximately 2 miles.


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