Many times during my travels along Route 1, I had noticed a small sign behind the larger “Welcome to Waldoboro” sign that seemed to indicate a possible trail, and I thought I should investigate it one day. So, as the temperatures soared to near 50 that last week in January, I invited a co-worker to walk with me and we set out to explore the Waldoboro Town Forest.
The forest occupies an interesting bit of land; a long narrow corridor that runs from Route 1, stopping just shy of Route 32. I discovered that this small oasis occupies a strip of land that is only 350 feet wide. The trail meanders approximately 1.25 miles through the forest.
Heeding the comments of my companion that the worst part of the snow was from the parking area to the trailhead, I left my spikes and poles in the car. It was true, that the first part of the trail wasn’t too bad since the snow was packed down from snowmobiles but later on we discovered that the slushy snow hid slippery roots and rocks. I did find it humorous that she did not hike alone due to a fear of falling, but I was the one who slipped on one of those hidden roots, landing in the soft snow. No harm done, I was able to get up and we continued on.
We followed the trail through an old hemlock forest, occasionally spotting evidence of new growth as well. It wasn’t long before the noise of Route 1 died away and we were walking through a peaceful winter wonderland. In the stillness, we were able to concentrate on the gifts that nature had to offer. We stopped to admire the open rosebud of a hemlock cone resting on the snow, a green fern draped across the root of a tree, and moss peeking through the snow. We even found some interesting leaf-like lichen growing on the side of one of the trees.
With all the snow melt, the trail was quite wet in spots. In fact, some portions of the path seemed to be more stream than earth and we had to navigate carefully through these areas. As we travelled further along and the signs of human traffic diminished, the area became a bit boggy. Soon, we found the tell-tale sounds of marsh land; an area devoid of all but the remains of the trees that once grew on dry land.
After an hour, we could see an old cemetery through the trees. There was evidence of private property between the trail and the churchyard, so we could not investigate the grounds. Here, the trail ended and we made our way back towards Route 1.