One Friday in mid-August I decided to take a solitary walk. After one year in the new house, my husband was still busily trying to finish the base cabinets in the kitchen and I really did not want to take him away from this endeavor during his time off. I know this seems very generous on my part, although some may think it smells of impatience, but we were both getting tired of the “open space” décor of the kitchen. So, without my hiking partner, I needed to find a place that would provide a flat walk with no worries about my physical capabilities. I decided to head to Searsport to explore Moose Point State Park
Moose Point is located on the Penobscot Bay side of Route 1, so it offers great views of the water, and tidal pools to explore during low tide. There are three trails, each about a ½ mile long that lead the wanderer through three different habitats of woods, meadow and shore. I planned on navigating all three trails for a nice 1.5 mile walk.
After paying my $2 admission (which I thought was a real bargain), I headed to a set of stairs leading down towards the water. A few families were exploring along the rocks or attempting to skip stones across the water. The tide was coming in, so there were no distinct tidal pools to investigate. After surveying the rocky shore for a bit, I made my way back up the stairs to begin my own investigations.
I started my walk on the Big Spruce Trail, a trail that led through a forested area but never wandered far from the ledge overlooking the bay. Bunchberries, a ground cover that is related to the Dogwood Tree, had long lost their flowers and were beginning to display the bright red berries of the next season. I occasionally spotted a leaf that was a mixture of red and yellow.
What I really loved about this trail were the benches that not only provided a resting place but great views of the water as well. I could envision enjoying a breakfast of coffee and bagels at any one of these spots. One of these open views of the bay kept me hidden but close enough to watch the gulls perched on the nearby rocks. Just before the Big Spruce Trail merged with the Moose Trail, I noticed a sign informing me that the White Spruce tree it was near, was over 100 years old. The Big Spruce Trail ended at an open corner of the park, with wonderful views of the stony beach below, Belfast in the distance and the forested shoreline nearby.
The Moose Trail moved away from the shoreline, taking me into a more wooded habitat. Here the ground cover consisted almost entirely of ferns. Even the ferns were beginning to display the shades of a colder season. One fern with an intricate yellow pattern splashed among the green caused me to pause and study this artwork for a bit. The trail soon diverged, but since neither one had the appearance of “a road less travelled”, I opted to continue straight on my journey. The path continued as before, with ferns, Indian pipes, and some unnamed flowers. I crossed over a small bridge, finding some lovely Jewel-Weeds on the other side. This trail ended at the admission booth, leading to the Meadow Trail on the opposite side.
The Meadow Trail was a path through an open field. I explored the fields filled with Queen Anne’s lace, Purple Loosestrife, Golden Rod and Purple Thistle. All this against the backdrop of the bay. On this side of the park, there was a gazebo where one could meditate on the waves beyond the meadow. I finished my loop in about an hour, descending the stairs to the rocky shore one more time before ending my explorations.