There are two trail heads in Newfield on rte 11 that I drive by quite often. They are about four miles apart from each other, one on each side of the road. I decided today would be the day to finally explore one or both of these trails. So on my way home I pulled off at the first trail. An old decaying hand carved wooden sign said, "Bond Homestead, Bond Mt Summit, Silver Mine, and Burial Ground. Well Worth the Walk. Enjoy." There was a spring near the road with a sign saying to help yourself at your own risk. The water was crystal clear, cold and delicious.
The trail climbed steadily for about a mile. The incline was just right for running, hard work but not hard enough to bring me to a walk. At the top there were several old foundations with hand carved signs indicating the historic significance of the different sites. The summit probably had nice views about ten years ago, but now it is covered with ten foot high hemlocks. I enjoyed looking around and imagining what this hill top looked like when Sergeant Thomas Bond lived here with his family back around 1820. The burial ground was flooded over with snow melt. As I left I noticed another small sign mounted on a tree with the following inscription carved onto its face, "Thomas and Amanda Bond Married here in 1993." I thought that was sweet.
I zipped back down to the spring for another drink, jumped into the car, and drove the few miles to the next trail head. The sign here read "Vernon Walker Wildlife Preserve, Maintained by Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife." This trail is the kind of trail I run on in my dreams! (Yes, I do dream about running on trails sometimes). The path was a carpet of old pine needles and the woods were dense and dark and pressing in on both sides. It was about 6:30PM and cloudy. The lighting was just right to make the woods feel mysterious and a little scary. The trail sloped down to a fast moving brook that looks like a great trout stream. I should know, I was married to a trout fisherman for 23 years. I have the waders and fly rod to prove it. There was a nice little wooden bridge over the stream, quite a luxury!
There seems to be a complicated and extensive network of trails through this area. The trails are in beautiful condition with very little erosion. I ran up to the height of land and had some nice views of some distant mountains. I'm not sure which ones they were, possibly the Ossippee Hills. I turned back when it started getting dark. there is a lot of trail left to explore out there with some really great running! I can't wait to get back out there. I might be able to run there tomorrow before work, it depends where they send me.
The trails are still quite wet in spots, but most of the snow is gone. I did hit a little ice and snow in some of the more sheltered spots, but nothing serious. The shoe drier that Dan gave me two years ago has been working overtime. It has been plugged in and running with one or another pair of running shoes on it for the past two weeks. That is one of the best gifts I have ever received!