Friday, April 3, 2015

Hankering for Spring: Back Cove Loop

If you're from New England, you're sick of hearing it, so I won't say it.

Or maybe I will:  I really want spring to get here.

We've had some hints.  Like today, it's almost 60 degrees here, making it hard to figure out what to wear for a lunchtime run.  Shirtsleeves?  What are those?

But winter has been reluctant to let go. And that's been a real pain for coastal hiking.  There's not enough snow to snowshoe, but too much to hike.  Trails have been packed down to ice, making a walk in the woods difficult.  There are a lot of trails out there waiting for me, I'm just not enthused about venturing on them until that ice clears a bit more.

Winter lingers in the salt marsh.
So last weekend when the dog gave me her expectant look and sad little whimper, I packed her into the Mighty Kia and headed down to Portland, to enjoy one to the great urban trails that distinguishes the city.  For years I've been driving past happy joggers and strollers as I whiz down 295, and I decided it was time to circumnavigate Back Cove.

The trail is wide and great for walking or biking.
The Cove itself is a huge mudflat, and you all know what I think of mudflats.  Super cool.  There wasn't much to see this time of year, but plenty of ducks and gulls were foraging in the Cove, so it's clear life is there even if I'm too cold to get in there myself.

Dory got a little loopy in her happiness.

Until she saw this sign.  No Dogs?  Bummer.

Fine, we'll just walk.

Looking left . . . 

Looking right.
The path is an easy, flat 3 1/2 mile loop; hard packed and wide enough for several people to pass. The city is a joy to see from the path, with Munjoy Hill rising up and catching the afternoon sun.  I did a little gawking at the houses on Baxter Ave, fantasizing about which I would choose if I were blessed to be rich.  Luckily you don't have to be rich to enjoy this part of the city; there's plenty of parking near the Hannaford on Forest Ave.  Even Dory had a good time!

It was crowded with people having a great day.

Enjoying the sun and blue sky.


  1. we are definitely in between hiking and snow shoeing..maybe by this time next week it will finally be hiking!