One week after the early November snowstorm that wreaked havoc on trees and power, we decided to stretch our unused limbs and locate a new place to explore. We weren’t up to a radical increase in elevation, so we decided to head to the Tanglewood 4H property in Lincolnville for what should have been an easy hike.
Part of the Camden Hills State Park, Tanglewood is located along the Ducktrap river. Originally owned by the Department of the Interior, the camp was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. But the movement for a national park near Bar Harbor drew attention away from the construction of a campsite in Lincolnville, leaving Tanglewood neglected. In 1982, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension created the 4-H camp at Tanglewood.
We had been to Tanglewood on a fine summer’s day a few years ago, when we travelled the Forest Loop Trail on the east side of Tanglewood Road towards the river. Our plan for this trip was to take a leisurely afternoon stroll on the western portion of the Forest Loop Trail until we reached the campsite. From there we would return to our starting point via the road.
Not long after we set out on our adventure, we discovered a number of trees blocking our way. At first we did not let this deter us as we worked our way down the trail; sometimes walking around the trees, sometimes climbing over them. At times the path was quite wet, the log bridges barely visible under the pooling water. But still we ventured on.
The variety of debris lying on the forest floor, allowed me to observe some unique features that I would not have otherwise noticed. On one side of the trail, I noticed an interesting fungus growing along the trunk of a downed tree. Further on, I was amused by a pine cone resting inside a tree; the trunk having split in such a way to allow the cone to rest in a hollow of the fresh split. Interesting formations of lichen were everywhere.
It wasn’t long before we discovered that the exertion of working our way around the obstructions were taking us longer to reach our goal than we had anticipated. We briefly lost the trail, when we had to walk our way around a number of downed trees. Just as we estimated that we should be getting close to the campsite, we found the trail completely obscured by a dense wall of pines lost to the storm. Knowing that there was no detour around this destruction and that we might possibly lose light, we opted to retrace our steps towards our starting point.
Since it was now late afternoon we picked up the pace a bit, not wishing to walk around or climb over the various blockades in the dark. Hurrying along, I climbed over one tree but failed to bring my foot completely over the trunk. And that is when I sailed through the air, landing flat on the hard ground. If I had done this over water, you would have witnessed a near perfect belly flop, but I can attest that doing one of those on the ground was a bit painful. Once I was able to breathe again we travelled on, reaching the trailhead within a few minutes.