By Connie Clarkson
As we all most know that Maine has some of the most beautiful wildlife and scenery in Northern New England. Maine is full of rivers, lakes, mountains, trails and of course, we have Acadia National park, the second largest national park in our country. Obviously, activities are currently limited due to the pandemic, but did you know that there are over 30 trails in the whole Greater Portland area? Plus more in the neighboring towns like Westbrook, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Freeport, etc. Now, you may be an experienced hiker, or just like to take strolls on Sunday mornings, either way, there is a trail for you. Most days, I’m sitting at the table for hours on end on Zoom, doodling or staring endlessly into the camera waiting for class to end, but sometimes when I’m in the mood, I go on my phone and look up local trails. I find that the secret, hidden, less traveled trails are the best, in Harpswell, there are over six different trails where the forest meets the ocean, gracefully. I find that walking trails are relaxing and are a great way to decompress and ‘disconnect’ haha.
Although getting outside to exercise is a reason why people go walk trails, another reason is the activity of Geocaching. Geocaching is a form of exploration where one uses GPS or a mobile device to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world. I first encountered geocachers once when I was walking a trail in Harpswell. I ran into a family who was looking for caches, I remember asking what geocaching was, the man said that people leave containers around different places in the woods, and you have to use GPS coordinates to find them. He had said that are apps that have millions of markers that represent geocaches. I found this very interesting, so I did some research and it turns out that geocaching is worldwide, not just local, it was originally used to teach geocachers about particular geological features. These markers are spread all over the world, all the way from the cold tundras of Russia to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland to the Iguazu Falls in Argentina. Overall, getting outside and walking is beneficial, according to Arthritis.com, walking has been proven to lighten moods, improve blood circulation, sleep, and lose weight. Trails are a great way to get out and exercise, either your taking a stroll down the Eastern Promenade, or are trudging through mud, either way; it’s a great way to explore your surroundings and get connected, in nature rather, wink, wink.
Next time you’re feeling couped up and tired, think about going on a walk, download AllTrails or go online to http://www.MaineTrailFinder.com, or visit www.visit-maine.com If you’re interested in geocaching download the FREE Geocaching app in the AppStore.