Rain or Shine Club
Next Outing; Thursday (9/21) at 10am: Bradbury Mountain State Park; GPS Address; 528 Hallowell Road (Rt.9) Road North Yarmouth, Maine. Dogs must be leashed. See the Schedule below for more details.
Presented by Royal River Conservation Trust
A New Adventure, Each Thursday at 10 AM
The Rain or Shine Club explores your backyard with a concise, thoughtful outing each week. Join the Club for a fun & well planned, no cost, guided adventure. Every Thursday, always 10 AM (for an hour or two), always free; rain (or snow, or wind…) or shine. Learn how and why RRCT protects land and access to it. We’ll explore a new place each week when we visit a different open space, land protection or agricultural project, or conservation area. We serve the communities and partner with other conservation organizations in Yarmouth, North Yarmouth, Pownal, New Gloucester, Durham, Gray, Cumberland and Falmouth. Check this page or our Facebook page for details and a schedule.
These weekly outings provide an introduction to our favorite places. When you return to these places with friends and family, you’ll see how much more there is to discover. Load your babies in backpacks or come toddle along, from infants to grandparents everyone is welcome, knowing a safe return is part of the plan. During wintery months there may be ample opportunity to try out snowshoes, sleds, ice skates, and thermos bottles. The rest of the year we try to keep it as simple as possible. If you have questions about gear or driving directions, or more please ask.
Be mindful of the weather, and dress accordingly. Bring appropriate gear, snacks and a thermos or water bottle. Check back here each Thursday morning, any updates or changes will be posted by 7am. Well behaved dogs are usually welcome with a leash and bags.
If you are running late or need better driving directions please call or text Kyle. We have cell service at nearly all of our trip locations. (207)632-6112.
September 21, Thursday at 10am; Bradbury Mountain State Park/Maine Conservation Corps Environmental Stewards launch of the “Junior Rangers Program”
September 28, Thursday at 10am; Royal River, Upper East Side Foliage Float, 118 East Main Street, Yarmouth
October 5, Thursday at 10am; Knights Pond Preserve
October 12, Thursday at 10am; TBD
Where has the Rain or Shine Club been? Where would you like it to go?
This is a list of our earlier adventures but this is your club! Please let us know where you have a hankering to explore…or if you have a special place that you would like to share with the group.
9/14- Dunn’s Depot conservation lands, Memorial Highway, North Yarmouth
9/7- Pisgah Hill Preserve, Dougherty Road, New Gloucester
8/31- Old Town Landing, Tide Pools, Old Town Landing Road, Yarmouth
8/24- Bradbury to Pineland Corridor, Connecting to the Park, Lawrence Road, Pownal
8/17- Runaround Pond Recreation Area, Runaround Pond Road, Durham
8/10- Knights Pond Preserve, Tree Lane, North Yarmouth
8/3- New Gloucester Intervale Preserve, Intervale Road, New Gloucester
7/27- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street, Yarmouth
7/20- Bradbury Mountain Berry Farm, Pownal Village Center
7/13- Knights Pond Preserve, Greely Road Extension, Cumberland
7/6- Larrabee’s Landing, Burbank Lane, Yarmouth
6/29- Shaker Bog, Route 26, New Gloucester
6/22 – BPC South Side Connector, between Elmwood Road and Sweetser Road, Pownal
6/15 – Runaround Pond, Durham
6/8- Lane’s Island Preserve, Casco Bay, Yarmouth
6/1- Flowing North Preserve, Sawyer Road, New Gloucester
5/25- Pisgah Hill Preserve, New Gloucester
5/18- Broad Cove Reserve, Foreside Road, Cumberland
5/11- Pineland Public Reserve Land, North Loop, Depot Road, Gray
5/4- Dry Mills Trout Hatchery and Maine Wildlife Park, Waymouth Road, Gray
4/27- Mayall Mills State Historic Site, trout stocking on Collyer Brook, Megquire Road, Gray
4/20- New Gloucester Fish Hatchery, Brown Trout, Fish Hatchery Road, New Gloucester
4/13- Sweetsir Farm Preserve, 2017 vernal pools, Old Field Road, Yarmouth
4/6- Runaround Pond Recreation Area, Stone Mill hike and fly fishing, Durham
3/30- Katherine P. Tinker Preserve, Seal Lane, Yarmouth
3/23- Tryon Mountain feldspar quarry’s, Lawrence Road, Pownal
3/16- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street, Yarmouth
3/9- Sligo Road Property, Sligo Road, Yarmouth
3/2- Knights Pond Preserve, Tower Road, North Yarmouth
2/24- Bradbury Mountain State Park, Lawrence Road, Pownal
2/16- Fels-Groves Farm Preserve, Gilman Road, Yarmouth
2/9- Pisgah Hill Preserve-South, Dougherty Road, New Gloucester
2/2- Chandler Mill Pond Wildlife Management Area, Snow Hill Road, New Gloucester
1/26- Pisgah Hill Preserve- North, Winsaw Road, New Gloucester
1/19- Old Town House Park, Memorial Highway, North Yarmouth
1/12- Runaround Pond Conservation Area, Runaround Pond Road, Durham
1/5- Frank Knight Forest, East Main Street, Yarmouth
12/29- Skyline Farm, The Lane, North Yarmouth
12/22- Knight’s Pond Preserve, Greely Road Extension, Cumberland Center
12/15- South Bank of Chandler Brook, Pownal
12/8- Pratt’s Brook Park, Berryfield Road, Yarmouth
12/1- New Gloucester Intervale Preserve, Intervale Road, New Gloucester
11/24- Self Led Adventures Everywhere, Happy Thanksgiving
11/17- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street, Yarmouth
11/10- Chandler Brook Preserve, North Road, North Yarmouth
11/3- Knight’s Pond Preserve, Tree Lane, North Yarmouth
10/27- Katherine Prescott Tinker Preserve, Seal Lane, Yarmouth
10/20- Bradbury Mountain State Park, Hallowell Road , Pownal
10/13 – Skyline Farm, The Lane, North Yarmouth
10/5- Shaker Village, Shaker Road, New Gloucester
9/29- Bradbury Mountain Berry Farm, Elmwood Road, Pownal
9/22- Madeline Point & WST, Cousins Street, Yarmouth
9/15- Pisgah Hill Preserve-south, Dougherty Road, New Gloucester
9/8- Chesley Meadows Preserve, Davis Road, Durham
9/1- Knight’s Pond Preserve, Greely Road Extension, Cumberland
8/25- Pratt’s Brook Park, North Road, Yarmouth
8/18 – Fels-Groves Farm Preserve, Gilman Road, Yarmouth
8/11- New Gloucester Intervale Preserve, Intervale Road, New Gloucester
8/4- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street Yarmouth
7/28- Sandy Point Beach, Cousins Street, Yarmouth
7/21- Tryon Fields and Chandler Brook, Lawrence Road, Pownal
7/14- Gooch Island and Royal River Park, East Elm Street, Yarmouth
7/7- New Gloucester Fair-Grounds, Bald Hill Road, New Gloucester
6/30 – Pineland Public Reserved Land (north loop to Royal River), Depot Road, Gray
6/23- Old Town Landing, Old Town Landing Road, Yarmouth
6/16- Pisagh Hill Preserve, Dougherty Road, New Gloucester
6/9 – Wescustogo Park, New Gloucester Road (Rt. 231), North Yarmouth
6/2 – Lanes Island, Yarmouth
5/26- Frank Knight Forest & Yarmouth Community Garden, East Main Street, Yarmouth
5/19 – Skyline Farm, 95 The Lane, North Yarmouth
5/12- Old Crow Ranch, Davis Road, Durham
5/5- Sam Ristich Nature Trails, Village Square Road, North Yarmouth
4/28- Sligo Road Property, Sligo Road, Yarmouth
4/21- Knight’s Pond Preserve, 2016 vernal pools, Greely Road Extension, Cumberland
4/14- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street, Yarmouth
4/7- Dry Mills Brook Trout Hatchery, Waymouth Road, Gray
3/31- Bradbury Mountain State Park, Hallowell Road, Pownal
3/24- Cousins Island North, Cousins Street, Yarmouth
3/17- New Gloucester Trout Hatchery, Trout Lane, New Gloucester
3/10- Royal River Park, East Elm Street, Yarmouth
3/3- Shaker Village and mill ruins, Shaker Road, New Gloucester
2/25- Knight’s Pond Preserve, Tree Lane, North Yarmouth
2/18- Pisgah Hill Preserve, Dougherty Road, New Gloucester
2/11- Fels-Groves Farm Preserve, Gilman Road, Yarmouth
2/4- Chandler Brook Preserve, North Road, N. Yarmouth
1/28- Pratt’s Brook Park, Berryfield Road, Yarmouth
1/21- Chesley Meadows Preserve, Runaround Pond Road, Durham
1/14- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street Yarmouth
1/7- Bradbury Mountain State Park, Tryon Mountain, Lawrence Road, Pownal
12/31- Knights Ponds Conservation Area, Greely Road Extension, Cumberland
12/24- West Side Trail Santa Walk! Tyler Technologies, Yarmouth
12/17- Royal River Park and the Islands, East Elm Street, Yarmouth
12/10- Bradbury Mountain State Park, Hallowell Road, Pownal
12/3- Fels-Groves Farm Preserve and West Side Trail, Gilman Road, Yarmouth
11/26- Thanksgiving Break
11/19-Sandy Point Beach, Cousins Street, Yarmouth
11/12- Chandler Brook Preserve, North Road, North Yarmouth
11/5- Runaround Pond Recreation Area, Runaround Pond Road, Durham
10/29- Pratts Brook Park, North Road, Yarmouth
10/22- Frank Knight Forest, E. Main St Yarmouth
10/14- Katherine P. Tinker Preserve, Seal Lane, Yarmouth
10/7- Knights Pond Conservation Project, Greely Road Extension, Cumberland
10/1- YMCA Eagle Scout Leadership Playground, and Freeport Conservation Trust
9/24- Bradbury Mountain Berry Farm, Elmwood Road, Pownal
9/17- Pisgah Hill Preserve-South, Dougherty Road, New Gloucester
9/10- Fels-Groves Farm Preserve, Gilman Road Yarmouth
9/3- Pineland Public Reserve Land; south loop, Depot Road, Gray
8/27- Shaker Village nature walk, Shaker Road New Gloucester
8/20- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street, Yarmouth
8/13- New Gloucester Intervale Preserve, Rt. 231 New Gloucester
8/6- Old Town Landing- Princes Point Road, Yarmouth
7/30- Runaround Pond Recreation Area, Durham
7/23- Bradbury Mountain State Park, South Ridge & Summit Trail, Pownal
7/15- Littlejohn Island Preserve, Pemasong Lane Extension, Yarmouth
7/9- Old Town House Park, Dunns Depot-Rt 9., North Yarmouth
7/2- Holiday Recess!
6/25- Chandler Brook Trail, Sweetser Road, Pownal
6/18- Royal River Park & Gooch Island, East Main Street Yarmouth
6/11- Pratt’s Brook Park, Berryfield Road, Yarmouth
6/4- Pisgah Hill Preserve, Dougherty Road, New Gloucester
5/28- Yarmouth Community Garden & Frank Knight Forest, East Main Street, Yarmouth
5/21- Tryon Mountain, Lawrence Road, Pownal
5/14- Yarmouth Upper East Side, Concord Circle, Yarmouth
5/7- Pineland Public Reserved Land, Depot Road, Gray
4/30- Whitney Boulders, Elmwood Road Pownal
4/23- Pisgah Hill Preserve-north, 2015 Vernal Pools, Fickett Road, New Gloucester
4/16- Chandler Brook Preserve, North Road, North Yarmouth
4/9- Knights Pond, Tower Road, North Yarmouth
4/2- Fels-Groves Farm Preserve, Gilman Road, Yarmouth
3/26- Skyline Farm, Baston Road, North Yarmouth
3/19- West Side Trail, Tyler Technologies, Yarmouth
3/12- Sam Ristich Trail, Village Center, North Yarmouth
2/26- Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, farm tour, New Gloucester
2/26- Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, farm tour, New Gloucester
2/19- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Vacation Special
2/12- Sandy Point Beach, Cousins Street, Yarmouth
2/5- Chandler Brook Trail, Elmwood Road, Pownal
1/29- Tryon Fields, Lawrence Road, Pownal
1/15-Knights Pond, Greely Road Extension, Cumberland
1/8- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Bayview Street, Yarmouth
September 14, Thursday at 10am; Dunns Depot conservation lands (Baston Park, Route 9- Royal River Access and Old Town House Park, RRCT Conservation Easement and Trail Rights), North Yarmouth. Plenty of parking at Old Town House Park. We’ll start our neighborhood explorations on Town of North Yarmouth owned and managed trails, pass the Route 9 Royal River access and follow the west bank of the Royal downstream through an RRCT Conservation Easement and view a potential acquisition that would further protect the river. Plan on one and a half or 2 moles of hiking along wide trails without appreciable elevation. Dogs are welcome. Finish off on your own with a picnic at Baston Park, directly across the river. The Town has just completed mowing and their parks look great.
September 7, Thursday at 10am; Pisgah Hill Preserve South, 74 Dougherty Road, New Gloucester
Maine. The feeling of Fall is here and it’s time to hit the trail! Bring a friend (or a kid…or two) and meet new ones. We’ll hike the 1.25 mile lollipop loop over the summit of the third highest point in New Gloucester, across exposed ledges, through grand hemlock stands and by remnants of historic granite quarrying. The trail is single track with exposed roots, a little bit of up and down and lots of chances to stop for a snack and enjoy the time above the busy blacktops below.Parking in the tiny lot at the trailhead is limited, so if the lot is full park along he shoulder of the road on the same side as the lot (parking on both sides of the Dougherty Road will create a traffic hazard). Dogs are welcome.
August 31, Thursday at 10am; Old Town Landing, Old Town Landing Road, Yarmouth, Tide pool exploration on a dropping tide on the last day of August. Casco Bay perfection. The landing itself has been used by commercial fisherman since the late 50’s early 60’s.
“Not sure when it was developed, but I’m going to guess it was in the 1960’s around the same time Interstate 295 was built. In 1985 the town commissioned a Harbor & Waterfront Study by Kimball Chase Company that recommended improving the facility. Improvements were completed several years later.”said Yarmouth Police Chief, Morrill
August 24, Thursday at 10am; Bradbury to Pineland Corridor, Pownal. Come explore with the Rain or Shine Club this week and learn why RRCT and all of its preceding forms has worked tirelessly to protect this chunk of Cumberland County. This hike will be considerably longer distance than typical outings so please be prepared. We can adjust the pace to match the group to some extent but if your little would prefer to explore intensively along the way, this there may be more appropriate adventures in coming weeks. Expect to gain/loose several hundred feet of elevation. This is a spectacular part of the protected land around the State Park. We will also Show you how the Bradbury to Pineland Corridor connects to the State Park.
Dogs are welcome. Bug dope suggested. See you out there!
August 17, Thursday at 10am; Runaround Pond Recreation Area, GPS; 259 Runaround Pond Road, Durham, Maine. Join us tomorrow morning at Runaround Pond Recreation Area in Durham. RRCT is proud to have partnered with the Town of Durham Town to polish this gem at the headwaters of the Royal. With infrastructure improvements (signage and privy and parking bollards) and access improvements to the pond and new trails this has become a destination for a daily dose of woods and waters time. The Rain or Shine Club is excited to show you what we’ve done and what’s to come. Plenty of parking, dogs allowed, bug dope suggested, picnic spots abound. We plant to leave the parking lot around 10am and hike clockwise around the 3/4 mile loop trail on fairly level, well marked singletrack trail. See you out there.
August 10, Thursday at 10am; Knights Pond Preserve GPS: 88 Tree Lane North Yarmouth. Join the Rain or Shine for a two town hike on Thursday morning. Several route potentials depending on the motivation of the group. We’ll show you a quiet trailhead and lots of well marked, mapped trails under a cool and shady canopy. The GPS directions will bring you to the last house on (private) Tree Lane, continue a few hundred feet (you’ll spot our blue flag) further along under the powerlines and park in the small gravel lot or along the shoulder of the road. Please leave room for traffic to pass through the FAA gate though.
August 3, Thursday at 10am; New Gloucester Intervale Preserve, (GPS address:642 Intervale Road New Gloucester Maine). This week the Rain or Shine Club will duck the heat for a stroll around the upper Royal River marshes on the trail in a lovely upland peninsula. This is prime habitat and if we move quietly we’ll be sure to spot lots of bird life and maybe a salamander. NGIP has copious parking, an inviting trailhead, hand-carry access to the river, several subtle art installations, and a nearly level but rustic loop trail (3/4mile).
July 27, Thursday at 10am; Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, 429 Bayview Street, Yarmouth- Park in the small lot or along the shoulder to the right of Bayview Street about a mile and a half from I-295 Exit 17. We’ll explore this lightly managed and most cherished neighborhood open space. This Land for Maine’s Future project along the coastal reach of the Royal River owes its success to overwhelming community financial support and a committed partnership between the Town of Yarmouth, RRCT, LMF and federal partners. Stay tuned to RRCT news for information on how you can contribute to the acquisition of more river front property in 2017.
Dogs are welcome, ticks are likely, good company and lovely views are inevitable. See you on the trail.
July 20, Thursday at 10am- Bradbury Mountain Berry Farm, 429 Elmwood Road Pownal, but don’t wait for the Rain or Shine Club, go visit farmer Dwight and family to find some sustainably grown pesticide free berries. This farm has long been protected as the dominant view from the “Ledges” at Bradbury Mountain State Park and shares thousands of feet of common boundary with the the east side of the park. For 20 years or more this farm fell fallow. RRCT is proud to partner in the success of local agriculture and delighted that perfect berries are right around the corner from June though October now.There will also be the opportunity to access the State Park trails on the East Side for those who want to get a little more exercise. No dogs allowed.
July 13, Thursday at 10am- Knight’s Pond Preserve, 477 Greely Road Extension, Cumberland Center. This amazing new preserve was opened in 2015 funded in part the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program, the Town of North Yarmouth and Cumberland, the Royal River Conservation Trust, the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust, and so many others. We’ll hand out LMF passports (with prizes!) continuing this new summer program.
July 6, Thursday at 10am- Larrabee’s Landing, Burbank Lane, Yarmouth, 211 Gilman Road Yarmouth Maine. This week the Rain or Shine Club explores a few neighborhood gems. Park at the open space hub of Fels-Groves Farm Preserve off Gilman Road for a 1.5 mile meadow & neighborhood walk to the Royal River at town of Yarmouth owned and managed Larrabee Landing. There is shade and a perfectly-placed picnic table at the turnaround point next to the coastal portion of the Royal River. We will do a loop through the meadow before crossing the road and walking to the river. The tide will be high but at only 8.4 feet forecasted, there should still room to allow for some exploration of the marsh and grasses. The meadows are alive with birds and bugs, there is a little bit of road shoulder and a crossing on Gilman Road and much quieter Burbank Lane to navigate (maybe a few hundred yards?). From the Landing we should be able to see lots of boat activity as they cruise the channel between the Yarmouth Marinas near the head of tide on the Royal and the open ocean.
Town dog rules at the trailhead are very specific and we must be deliberate about observing them; dogs must be leashed within 100yds of the parking lot and waste removed. MCHT, RRCT and the Town of Yarmouth contributed to the success of land protection in this neighborhood. This is also one of the parking lots of the along the fantastic West Side Trail. See you out there.
June 29, Thursday at 10am – Shaker Conservation Land, 707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester. A vast 1700 acre conservation easement put in place nearly 15 years ago by Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program, RRCT, NEFF, and others protects the working forests, orchards, Sabbathday shoreline, uppermost reaches of the Royal River, and more. Join the Rain or Shine Club to explore the shoreline of Shaker Bog. Parking will be along the southbound side of Rt.26 (aka the Autobahn), but the shoulder is wide and we’ll try to have some traffic control. Because of the parking and the proximity of our hike to the resource this weeks outing is not dog friendly. We’ll hand out LMF passports (with prizes!) to launch this new summer program. Passport details are on our events page.
June 22, Thursday at 10am – Bradbury to Pineland Corridor, 520 Lawrence Road, Pownal. We have new trails that are (almost) ready for prime time, and (certainly) ready for the Rain or Shine Club connecting RRCT trail rights to the state park system’s trails. Funded by the Land for Maine’s Future program, the Bradbury Pineland Corridor project has been ongoing for more than a decade, with more trail connections coming in the future.
June 8, Thursday at 10am- Lanes Island, Casco Bay, Yarmouth. This is our favorite trip of the year. We’ll meet at Freeport’s Winslow Park (132 Staples Point Road, Freeport) at 10am, where power boats and staff from the Maine Island Trail and Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) will shuttle us out to MCHT’s Lanes Island, located in Yarmouth at the mouth of the Royal. The boat ride is only a few thousand feet. We’ll have PFDs, but bring your own if you have one. Bring your own kayak, too, as an alternative. The boat leaves from a dock (easy to step in and out), but arrives on a beach, requiring wet feet and a four-foot descent off the boat (shuttling kids, with lots of support.) Winslow Park charges $3 dollars for entry. Boats will shuttle back beginning at 11am, but please don’t expect us to allow strict attention to any schedule demands. Horseshoe crabs should be on the beach, and the full island is open to explore. The ocean air is always colder than inland air; bring warm clothes, versatile footwear, insect repellent, sunscreen, plenty of water, and snacks.
June 1, Thursday at 10am- Flowing North Preserve, 198 Sawyer Road, New Gloucester Maine. This week our outing is off trail, off the end of a long dirt road and not of the faint of heart. This preserve is as wild as the day we acquired it. The reward is the most beautiful little section of the Royal River. We’ll trek and explore and maybe get a little wet, probably a little dirty. Dogs are welcome.
If you are looking for a great trout fishing hole, come explore with us tomorrow morning. The mosquitos and ticks are feirce, so proper clothes and bug-dope will be critical for a good expericnce. http://rrct.org/preserves-trails/flowing-north-preserve/
May 25, Thursday at 10am- Pisgah Hill Preserve South, 78 Dougherty Road, New GLoucester.
May 18, Thursday at 10am- Broad Cove Reserve, (GPS address 179 Foreside Road, Cumberland Maine) (the parking lot is just off foreside road on Beach Lane which doesn’t gps well because it is a relatively new private road).
Summer is staged a comeback and the Rain or Shine Club headed to the beach! Thoughtfully protected by the Payson family and CCLT , this property is now owned by the town of Cumberland and open to the public. Broad Cove Reserve benefits from municipal grade, off-street parking lot, through informational and instructional signage, a cabana, picnic tables, beach sand, tidal flats, geology, a giant pier and views of Yarmouth, Portland, the islands and the bay. Tomorrow’s low tide occurs at 11am. With water temps in the upper 40f’s the forecasted 80-90 degree temperatures may be softened a little by the perfect onshore breeze rolling in over Casco Bay. Be sure to wear sun protection, (I prefer cloths to goo), and bring water and snacks.
The parking lot is located on your starboard side as you leave Foreside Road. Look for the blue RRCT sign at this intersection to find us. Walk about half mile to the beach along a crushed stone sidewalk parallel to the road. This is a lovely downhill stroll with sweeping vistas Alternately, (or for the return trip) this site allows short term traffic for passenger drop-off within fifty yards of the beach. No dogs allowed this week and it will be unreasonably hot to ask them to stay in the car, so please leave them home, in the shade. See you out there.
May 11, Thursday at 10am- Gray Fiddlehead forage. Pineland Public Reserved Lands forestry management unit. (GPS address; 193 Depot Road, Gray). The Royal River meanders and riffles its way across north Cumberland County leaving wide nutrient rich floodplains, abandoned oxbow’s, pirated channels, and subtly migrating knickpoints on valley’s relentless march to sea-level. When the right amount of sunlight filters through the streamside canopy and falls on the right types of soils along the river, food pops right out of the ground. Join the Rain or Shine Club for this adventure to hike a 1.5 mile loop and see if we can harvest some wild vegetables. This is a great place to bring dogs, just watch out for the busy road near the parking lot. Overflow parking is along the side of Depot Road. This is a loop hike, so be sure to prepare to move even the tiniest of legs the whole way.
May 4, Thursday at 10am-Dry Mills Trout Hatchery, 158 Weymouth Road
Gray, ME. Continuing our discovery of the cold water fishery in Southern Maine we will take a tour of this State of Maine brook trout rearing facility, attached to (and affiliated with the Maine Wildlife Park); occupied by many of Maine’s furred, feathered or finned creatures who are unfit for return to the wild since their rehabilitation, this facility is a great way to learn who lives in our woods and why we strive to protect various habitats. This is a brook trout specific facility and they have outstanding success with selective husbandry, selecting the strongest and most resilient native strains of beautiful “brookies” with fabled names like “Kennebago” and “Nesowadnehunk”, hailing from the cherished big-woods of our state. The Rain or Shine Club visit to the hatchery will examine the whole cycle of trout rearing from egg to broodstock, leaving plenty of time to explore the Wildlife Park on your own. Lots of parking, bring quarters ($0.25’s) to feed the trout.
Great science, a clear vision and competent enforcement in the past few decades has caused Maine to reestablish a world class recreational fishery and the habitat to support it. Not a lot of walking this week and dogs are not a good fit. 5 minutes from I-95 Exit 63. See you out there.
April 27, Thursday at 10am- Trout Stocking at Mayall Mills State Historic Site, GPS address; 258 Mayall Road, Gray Maine (at the intersection of Magquire Road and Mayall Road. Parking is along Magquire Road). Join the Rain or Shine Club to explore State of Maine Historic Site and continue to learn about the cold water fisheries and fishing in North Cumberland County. A quarter mile of babbling Collyer Brook tumbles through this property with rustic trails and interpretive panels to inform your visit and bring the narrative of the dominant mill ruins to life. We will have 100 fish to move from the truck and gently release to the stream. so wear your tallest rubber boots so you can help the State Fisheries Biologists. This small site and tall shady glen are conducive to small group exploration so bring your sense of adventure, a snack and a friend.
The Royal River Conservation Trust works in this corner of Gray, which is part of the Royal River watershed. Join us with leaders of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust which works in other parts of Gray, which are part of the lower Presumpscot River watershed. Parking is not optimum along the shoulder of this road, but there is room. Please leave room for (and be aware of through farm traffic across this bridge).
The roads, delicate aquaculture and small site suggest this not a great week for dogs unless they are leashed and mellow.
Kyle (me) won’t be joining this week as we expect to meet our twin sons in the next three days!
April 20, Thursday at 10am- New Gloucester Fish Hatchery, (GPS address; 312 Fish Hatchery Road, New Gloucester Maine. The Rain or Shine Club continued a month long exploration of coldwater fisheries management in north Cumberland County with a tour of a State of Maine brown trout aquaculture facility to learn about where and how the trout are grown to be released (stocked) in nearby streams. Built in 1932 as a CCC project, this State owned facility grows trout purely to supply the recreational fishing market. Hatchery staff may be available to lead a tour with advance notice but this facility in p[articular is conducive to drop by visitors and self exploration. The NGFH is a unique aquaculture venture in the state where fish are reared on a stream bed and are quite subject to current environmental conditions. The staff has learned to adapt to prevent loss of the fish to warm water, low oxygen levels and wild predation. The contrast between the two geographically close IF&W hatcheries is remarkable. Please, no dogs on this farm. The walking tour of the facility is on level gravel roads near the hatchery streams and is way less than 1/2 mile total.
April 13, Thursday at 10am- Vernal pool visit. Sweetsir Farm Preserve, (GPS address: 100 Old Field Road, Yarmouth Maine) (note that you leave North Road on Concord Circle before arriving at Old Field Road). RRCT Board President emeritus and fluent naturalist Eugenie Francine will lead us through the early stages of vernal pool biophysiology. Join us on the Upper East Side of Yarmouth to discover the optimum habitat for wood frog and salamander propagation and learn what actually makes a vernal pool such important habitat. “Vernal pools, also called vernal ponds or ephemeral pools, are temporary pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals. They are considered to be a distinctive type of wetland usually devoid of fish, and thus allow the safe development of natal amphibian and insect species unable to withstand competition or predation by fish.” In Maine, these wetland features are heavily regulated and fiercely protected because of the high value they contribute to a sustainable and functioning ecosystem. Each year in the middle of April the world of land development holds its breath and counts amphibian eggs to discover the development potential of their property. With lots of patches of snow left in the woods, ground frost melting and leaving gaping crunchy holes in the trail, at least two wet stream crossings, the woods are truly in a dynamic period. Tall rubber boots will most certainly be necessary. To improve your chance of spotting eggs in the pool, polarized sunglasses will help.
Please be respectful of the pools and keep dogs out of them. Please, park along the edge the cul-de-sac.
April 6, Thursday at 10am- Runaround Pond Recreation Area, (GPS address: 217 Runaround Pond Road, Durham, Maine). It’s spring, and we are lucky to be getting lots of seasonal precipitation to keep the past years drought at bay. With all this fresh water and the now opened Open Water Fishing Season we will scout out some open water and try our luck. The outlet to Runaround Pond is the headwater of Chandler Brook and part of the best habitat block in southern Maine. Kyle plans to bring fly-fishing gear to demonstrate. The forecast is for rain after melting snow and lots more rain so come prepared to stay warm and dry. We’ll plan on a short trail walk, a little bit of off trail exploration and a spooky story. We’ll also learn how this State owned, Town managed recreation and access project relates to the land protection work RRCT is doing in the neighborhood.
March 30, Thursday at 10am- Katherine Tinker Preserve, (GPS address: 2 Seal Lane, Yarmouth Maine). Neighborhood parks are cherished everywhere but few as much as on Cousins Island in Yarmouth. Join us this week and see why. Protected by the last of the family who worked this saltwater farm, this land, bisected by a town owned gravel lane now serves the community differently. When Katherine Tinker legally protected the farm nearly 50 years ago she was careful to describe her vision for future educational endeavors and passion for community access to this land.
‘Tinker Preserve is the proud new owner of a 14 page “storywalk” gifted to the town by local Boy Scouts of America Troop 38 in collaboration with Yarmouth schools, Yarmouth Community Services, the Nature Conservancy, and the neighbors. We’ll meet at the trial head, right off Cousins Street and hike the story and watch spring melt away the winter. The trail is short, just more than 1km, the walking will be wet and level, the opportunity to make larger (and much, much larger) loops exists, connecting beaches, and businesses and landings and neighborhoods. This week, dogs are welcome but are required to be leashed while on the Preserve.
March 23, Thursday at 10am- Bradbury Mtn. State Park, (GPS address: 520 Lawrence Road, Pownal). Dress warm and come explore the “cold side” of Bradbury. The trail is pretty frozen so snowshoes are optional for this 1-2 mile hike around Tryon Mountain, the feldspar quarries, and the south facing hardwood hillsides. RRCT is working diligently with the State Park to expand recreation options, make trail connections and help move the Bradbury to Pineland Corridor vision forward. Please no dogs this week. Park staff have temporarily posted this area to protect white-tailed deer wintering areas.
March 16, Thursday, at 10am- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, (GPS address: 427 Bayview Street Yarmouth, Maine) – Join the Rain or Shine Club when we return to Spear Farm Estuary Preserve in Yarmouth this week. We’ll celebrate that last outing of this winter season with some real winter weather. Snowshoes are probably a good idea, sleds for little ones are too. Owned by the town and protected with help from the Land for Maine’s Future Program, the neighbors and RRCT, this preserve with off street parking, well marked trails and stunning views and potential to spot lots of wildlife is the perfect spot to get bring your family on a weekend outing. Come learn how to be the best guide you can be.
March 9, Thursday, at 10am- Pole Yard Property, Sligo Road, Yarmouth. (GPS address: 269 Sligo Road, Yarmouth Maine) – Visit the Town of Yarmouth owned property at Sligo Road this week with the Rain or Shine Club to learn how this property may fit into a larger scale conservation vision in Yarmouth. We’ll also discover how the water we drink is protected and how it gets to your kitchen. The Yarmouth Water District now shares a small portion of this property and YWD Superintendent, Bob MacKinnon has agreed to show us how the magic happens.
We’ll plan on a short hike around the winter meadows and to the edge of the Royal River impoundment. Today the ice was singing loudly but was not looking particularly safe to be on. There is a picnic table on the river bank for snacking upon and lots of wildlife to witness and interpret. Once back at the parking lot you’ll be welcome to step into the beautiful new YWD facility and hear about the science and strategy of protecting groundwater and delivering it to our community.
Come on out and get some fresh air, and water.
March 2, Thursday, at 10am-Knights Pond Preserve, Bruce Hill And Blueberry Hill ridgeline adventure, (GPS address: 80 Tree Lane, North Yarmouth Maine). Join your friends and RRCT at the North Yarmouth trailhead to Knights Pond Preserve. There is still lots of snow in the woods and the forecasted weather could make travel tricky or at least slow. Depending on the group we can choose to do a 1/2 mile flat walk along the ridgeline or make a more spirited trip of it and hike up to several miles if the conditions and adventurers are favorable. Snowshoe’s matched with tall rubber boots are my recommendation. We host these outings throughout the year because we all need to get outside all year. We also notice that the midst of the storm or as the clouds clear tend to that special way the light acts excited or pings off the last of the millions of rain drops still clinging to the twigs before they join their friends in the freshette. Come on out, let us show you around.
February 23, Thursday, at 10am- Bradbury Mountain State Park, Sledding Tryon Fields, (GPS address: 520 Lawrence Road, Pownal Maine). Come enjoy the sunny side of Bradbury Mountain State Park. The State Park maintained parking lot and trailhead are easy to find and well suited for winter visits. The Rain or Shine Club will meet at the stone monument to the Tryon family’s conservation vision. We don’t plan to walk too far to the sledding hill away so stay for a quick walk, stay all afternoon, or drop by and visit on your own schedule. Kyle will be there until 11am or noon. The best way to get out and explore in these quickly changing late winter conditions is to stay nimble and to plan ahead. For this weeks outing, the best chance at an off trail exploration, bring snowshoes or skis and a sled. For an adventure that may or may not work just show up in your boots. There are endless sledding opportunities, if the snow is right.
Come on out and get some fresh air, and learn about how RRCT helps protect, expand and promote the proper use and management of Bradbury Mountain State Park.
February 16, Thursday, at 10am- Fels Groves Farm Preserve, (GPS address; 211 Gilman Road, Yarmouth, Me). Join us at the end of tomorrow’s storm and explore the fields and forests of FGFP. Snowshoes or skis will surely be needed. Littles may want to be dragged in your sled or lugged, but I expect the deep snow pack will present some real travel opportunities and limitations. Dogs are welcome but they must be on leash within 100 yards of the parking lot and waste must be removed promptly. There are several loop options depending on the group and whether we need to break trail.
February 9, Thursday, at 10am- Pisgah Hill Preserve– South Full Moon Celebration Preparation (GPS address: 70 Dougherty Road, New Gloucester, Me. Come help Kyle pack the trail, make luminaries, construct a snow bar and build great energy for our 6th annual hilltop soiree.
Once the small parking lot is full (only about 4 cars) park along Dougherty Road. Please park only on one side of the road and watch out for fast moving traffic. The three-quarter mile loop hike takes us up a couple hundred feet across bare (though not too steep ledges), through mixed hardwoods and a beautiful hemlock stand and by lots of deer and turkey tracks. Be sure to bring snacks and a thermos for a quick break along the way. The trail is quite steep in places (up and down) so dragging your littles in sleds isn’t necessarily optimum, though certainly doable. Tomorrow will be a storm day. We expect heavy blowing snow and snowshoes and full winter gear will be important.
Then be sure to bring the whole family back for the cosmic event of the month, on Friday night and watch a winter full moon rise at sunset and enjoy a campfire and toast a marshmallow or two on the summit to warm you on your hike back down the hill.
February 2, Thursday, at 10am- Chandler Mill Pond Wildlife Management Area (GPS address: 172 Snow Hill Road, New Gloucester).
Rain or Shine Club visited Chandler Mill Pond for the first time!
Protected by Chandler Brothers Inc. in partnership with Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and RRCT. This land is for trout fishing, ice fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, fat biking, skating, critters and you. The last undeveloped pond in Cumberland County will remain that way because the current generation of the family who have owned this land for the last 250 years feels a deep stewardship responsibility to the land they inherited. Join your friends at Rain or Shine Club, and conservation partner Steve Chandler to learn how the pond has been used, over used, fiercely defended, nurtured and now permanently protected (2016).
We plan to cross the ice. We also plan to explore the exquisitely managed woodlot surrounding the pond, where today the snowpack was positively frozen and allowed super easy transit across the top. New snow, temperature shifts, heavy wind or any other variety of of variables may change this. The skating was really good today with lots of clear blue ice. Lots of cosmic twangs and booms as the ice continues to grow and shift and lots of stress cracks, but we scouted it today and will stick to the safe parts of the pond. Snowshoes are a very good idea to bring along, or skis, and sleds and ice skates, snacks and warm thermos bottles are also great tools to enjoy winter outside.
Parking is along the side of Snow Hill Road. Depending on the amount and type of snow we get on Wednesday it could be tight parking along this 45mph road. This week is not a great fit for dogs because of the close proximity to roads, areas of thin ice (which we have mapped out and are easily avoided) and the goal of spotting critter tracks to interpret the rest of the story.
January 26, Thursday, at 10am- Pisgah Hill Preserve– North, Winter at the Beaver Flowage. Please have AWD or 4WD to join this weeks outing, Parking is going to be tricky and will require a bit of patience as it will be a first in, last out scenario. If you have time restrictions beyond 11:30 or so, please let me know when you get there. Also, tall insulated rubber or water-proof winter boots and snowshoes are going to be required. This persistent cycle of freeze-thaw-whacky precip This exciting edition of the Rain or Shine Club will go off-road and check in on a huge beaver flowage. There is lots of furbearing critter activity We’ll see if we can spot how some the native critters use the modified habitat to broaden biodiversity, and how they exist during the frozen months. RRCT owns and manages this land as the quiet side of the Pisgah Hill Preserve. Please, no dogs this week. The recently drained beaver flowage complex is positively alive with small mammal life and it will much easier to appreciate without dog tracks.
January 19, Thursday, at 10am- Old Town House Park, (GPS Address: 470 Memorial Highway (Rt.9), North Yarmouth Maine). Meet up in the Dunns Depot neighborhood of North Yarmouth and enjoy lots of easy parking and a riverside stroll through the fields and forests of this Town of North Yarmouth owned and managed property. Somewhat adjacent to Old Town House park is the Route 9 access to the Royal River about 9 river miles upstream from the Yarmouth boat launch at the East Elm Street Dam.
Winter is here for real and snowshoes are required for our outing tomorrow. Sleds or snowshoes are a great idea for our littlest adventurers too. Plan on a 1 – 2 mile stroll in the “Lower Fields” and along the mostly frozen Royal River. Dogs are welcome. Leash please near the parking lot.
January 12, Thursday, at 10am-Runaround Pond Conservation Area (GPS Address: 217 Runaround Pond Road, Durham Maine). Join the Rain or Shine club this week to explore a partnership in land protection, rejuvenated by recent RRCT acquisitions in the neighborhood. When local families, farmers, local land trusts partner with local government and state government we can begin to build a comprehensive conservation vision for a wild and beautiful but sleepy neighborhood that is undoubtedly going to keep seeing more commuter and development pressure in the coming decades.
Oh and young Stephen King was raised as a boy, literally within sight of this facility. Join us and learn how this landscape scale conservation project can be part of your story.
January 5, 2017, Thursday, at 10am- Frank Knight Forest, (GPS address: 598 East Main Street, Yarmouth). Come enjoy a winter walk. Winter is here and it looks like it is here to stay for a little while. The trail should be plenty frozen tomorrow morning but for any off trail explorations snowshoes will undoubtedly be helpful. Traction control devices will help with high traffic trail areas. Plan on a 1+ mile loop hike to keep warm. The hiking trails should be suitable for a dragged sled if little legs don’t want to walk the whole way. Parking is in the lot near the Yarmouth Community Garden. Dogs are welcome, but need to be on leash in the parking lot.
Since 2001 this property 67 acre parcel has been owned and managed by the Town of Yarmouth for community agriculture, wildlife habitat and low impact, passive recreation.
December 29, Thursday, at 10am- Sledding at Skyline Farm, (GPS address: 95 The Lane, North Yarmouth). Join us to celebrate the last Rain or Shine Club meeting of 2016! This club is a success because of you and the great energy and beautiful children you bring each week. Skyline Farm has graciously invited us back to enjoy their campus, and slide in the fields. Bring your favorite sled or share one of ours. Also, please feel free to bring a snack to share (Kyle prefers chocolate chip cookies even though it is Christmas-cookie season).
It looks like there will be a little bit of old snow left to slide around on and with the promised winter storm (bombogenesis) rolling in by mid morning, it will be a special time to join your friends and bid adieu to the Rain or Shine Club for 2016. The temperatures should be fairly mild and we don’t plan to venture far from the parking lot so come on out and enjoy the morning then retreat back home and let it snow!
December 22, Thursday, at 10am- Knights Pond Preserve (GPS address 477 Greely Road Extension, Cumberland Maine) Despite our best efforts to schedule a skating party for this weeks outing, it looks like the best we’ll be able to do is go generally stomp about and get some fresh air. Since this Club celebrates all year long, the suboptimal forecast this week doesn’t scare us from hosting this weeks outing. As we enter a serious freeze-thaw phase through the first official days of winter, we can be glad there is still some solid snow on the ground. Let’s hope this is a great base to build a deep winter on!
We’ll meet in the new Knight’s Pond Preserve parking lot and hike toward the pond. Depending on conditions we can check the ice for thickness, scan for animal tracks, watch of winter birds and enjoy great company in the woods. Forecast is for rain or snow showers. Trail conditions should be sloppy, lumpy and/or slippery. This is a good reason to bust out the sled’s for dragging littles, snowshoes or “Kreepers” for sticking your feet to the trail and thermoses filled with warmth and snacks to enjoy between squalls.
December 15, Thursday, at 10am- South Bank of Chandler Brook, Pownal, (GPS address: 95 Sweetser Road Pownal, Maine) Park along the west side of Sweetser Road for a 4+ mile round trip, trail scouting and connectivity planning outing between Elmwood Road and Sweetser Road, Pownal. We will also offer a standard (toddler friendly) route this day from the same meeting spot. As the State Park begins the 5 year interval review of the current Management Plan for Bradbury Mountain State Park and the Bradbury-to-Pineland Corridor, RRCT is uniquely positioned to offer alternate routes to the utility corridor for certain types of recreation. Understanding the value of this and broadening the community awareness of this resources will be an important component of this outing.
With the new snow, going could be slower, especially for shorter legs . If you have snowshoes that you are eager to try, bring them along, with the snow not too deep yet it will be an easy way to troubleshoot your gear. Sleds are also good ways to move kids in the snow, not required but sometimes pretty helpful. As we head into the hard part of the winter, our local wildlife has to work much harder to stay alive. Please be aware of your dogs activity and prevent them from chasing or interfering with wildlife.
December 8, Thursday, at 10am- Pratts Brook Park, Yarmouth (GPS address: 167 Berryfield Road Yarmouth Me) Parking is at the very end of Berryfield Road, at the trailhead. We will explore the Chipmunk Trail and the quiet side of Yarmouth’s biggest and most popular park. Plan on a 1 or 2 (or more) mile hike, depending on climatic and human variables. Pratts Brook Park is owned the Town and managed by Yarmouth Community Services with the guidance of RRCT Stewardship. The community is currently considering changes to the 15 year old management plan to keep pace with current uses and infrastructure. This is 220-acre community resource with 3 different trailheads is worth knowing about and taking great care of. Join us this week to learn more. Everyone is welcome.
December 8, Thursday, at 10am- Pratts Brook Park, Yarmouth (GPS address: 167 Berryfield Road Yarmouth Me). , Parking is at the very end of Berryfield Road, at the trailhead. We will explore the Chipmunk Trail and the quiet side of Yarmouth’s biggest and most popular park. Plan on a 1 or 2 (or more) mile hike, depending on climatic and human variables. Pratts Brook Park is owned the Town and managed by Yarmouth Community Services with the guidance of RRCT Stewardship. The community is currently considering changes to the 15 year old management plan to keep pace with current uses and infrastructure. This is 220-acre community resource with 3 different trailheads is worth knowing about and taking great care of. Join us this week to learn more. Everyone is welcome.
December 1, Thursday, at 10am- New Gloucester Intervale Preserve; (GPS address- 642 Intervale Road, Route 231, New Gloucester Maine) Join the Rain or Shine Club this week to learn about how industry and agriculture have helped define the conservation potential in the “intervale” and how to access it. We will explore the edge of a wide freshwater marsh along a half-mile upland trail. The trail is short but that should allow us to move slowly and enjoy what the day offers. There is rain in the forecast but temperatures should be fairly warm. With the foliage down for the season, this is a fantastic time for long views and slow strolling and good company.
RRCT owns this preserve and manages the public access primarily with volunteerism.
November 24, Thursday, at 10am, Happy Thanksgiving! No scheduled club meeting today. Review the list below of our past 90+ outings and take your whole family out to you favorite site, or ask for a personalized suggestion. Happy Thanksgiving! We love seeing photos of you during our weekly adventures so please snap and post to our Facebook page! Thank you!
November 17, Thursday, at 10am- Spear Farm Estuary Preserve (GPS address- 425 Bayview Street Yarmouth Me.) This week the Rain or Shine Club returns to Spear Farm Estuary Preserve.We’ll explore the 1 mile trail under the ancient red oaks, through an invasive plant to native community restoration project, between a freshwater pond and a highly functioning salt marsh and past several perfect spots for snacks and visits. We protected this property over the past dozen years, partnering with the Town of Yarmouth (fee simple owner and recreation and habitat managers) and the Land for Maine’s Future Program. Meet in the small parking lot near the barn off Bayview Street and explore with the group, or even strike off on your own!
November 10, Thursday, at 10am- Chandler Brook Preserve, (GPS address-1411 North Road, North Yarmouth). Since 2004 RRCT has been a proud partner, protecting and preserving this 60 acres of stream-side, meadow and forested habitat, with the Town of North Yarmouth and Maine Bureau of Parks and Land. It remains open for hiking and hunting because of the great management work being done by the Town. Join us this week for a short stroll through the meadows and along the banks of the Royal.
Wear orange/hunting season. Dogs best on leash or at home during hunting season.
November 3, Thursday, at 10am, Knights Pond Preserve, (GPS Address- 77 Tree Lane, North Yarmouth Maine). Use the GPS address for this week’s meeting location. While the normal access to Knights Pond Preserve is currently under construction for improved access from the west side of the preserve the Rain or Shine Club will meet this week at the North Yarmouth Trailhead (about 1.5 miles west of Walnut Hill Road (Rt.115)
The cold wet autumn weather is perfect for motivated hiking so we will explore a 1 mile loop from the top of Blueberry Hill down to Knights Pond and back to the top. Over the past couple weeks we have opened new trails, built new bridges, added updated maps, and hung new signs in the field. We are proud to open this space in so many of your backyards with the help of the Land for Maine’s Future Program in partnership with Cumberland Cheabeuge Land Trust, and the Town’s of Cumberland and North Yarmouth.
Hunting season is here and this land is open for hunting and wear orange or other bright colors helps reduce the chance for accidents. Dogs also look great in orange but are best on leash or at home to avoid conflicts during hunting season..
October 27- Cousins Island conservation and recreation loop, Tinker Preserve’s new “story walk” interpretive panels. (GPS address-34 Seal Lane, Yarmouth Maine)
This week the Rain or Shine Clubs returns to Cousins Island in Yarmouth at Katherine P. Tinker Preserve owned and managed by the town and protected by The Nature Conservancy. This former salt water farm was donated in the 1970’s with a goal of making thee open space available to neighbors, wildlife and the education community. One of the ways this conservation goal is being accomplished is the construction of a permanent story walk for all of us to revisit. It is currently being built by local Eagle Scout Candidate Ethan Hunt. We’ll preview it tomorrow and it will be completed soon. After we’ve read our story we can stretch our legs and walk to Camp SOCI (a former Girl Scout of America Camp now owned and managed by the Town) and a small section of the best of the West Side Trail.
Parking should be plentiful along the dirt road (GPS address is 3 Seal Lane , Yarmouth, Maine) or in the small parking lot near the trailhead. This is an outing for everyone. First timers, regulars, irregulars, infants or ancients. This club is because we all need open air and lots of space.