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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at MaineOutdoors@aol.com.

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Posted: June 3, 2016

It’s National Trails Day and time for another Harpswell Hiking Challenge

Written by: Carey Kish

 

Saturday, June 4 is National Trails Day, the 24th annual celebration of America’s magnificent trail system and its countless supporters and volunteers. Outdoor enthusiasts all over the U.S. will be getting into hiking, trail work, paddling, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, running, trail celebrations and festivals and much more.

Here in Maine, Harpswell Recreation, in partnership with Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, is putting on their 7th annual “Harpswell Hiking Challenge,” a huge event that spans both Sat and Sun, June 4 and 5. So get you and your hiking friends and family to Harpswell to experience eight wonderful coastal walks with the challenge of completing all 10-miles of trail in two days.

Hiker on the highpoint of Cliff Trail, Harpswell. Carey Kish photo.

Hiker on the highpoint of Cliff Trail, Harpswell. Carey Kish photo.

The coastal town of Harpswell has an astounding 218 miles of oceanfront, the most of any town in Maine, and is well known for its marine resources. Harpswell also has many places to walk – over 15 public access properties with walking trails – all with at least some waterfront.

The great hiking folks in Harpswell have selected eight properties that exemplify the geographic and landscape diversity of Harpswell. And or the fourth time in the last five years, Harpswell will be opening a new trail in conjunction with National Trails Day. The Devil’s Back Trail – East overlooks Gun Point Cove with beautiful views of the coastline and seal rocks, where the local seals like to hang out and sun themselves when the tide is out.

Long Reach from Devil's Back Trail, Harpswell. Don Miskill photo.

Long Reach from Devil’s Back Trail, Harpswell. Don Miskill photo.

The self-guided walks range from the easy, wheelchair-accessible loop at Mitchell Field to the moderately difficult Cliff Trail loop. You can start at any trail. This is not a race! Take your time to see other Harpswell sights, take rest stops or plan to have lunch in town.

Free registration forms and directions for the Harpswell Hiking Challenge are available online or the morning of June 4 at the Harpswell Town Office, back parking lot, 263 Mountain Road. The information booth will be staffed from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM both Saturday and Sunday. Light refreshments, water, restrooms, participation sheets and Harpswell Guides will be available.

Giant Stairs, Harpswell. Hikers of all ages will enjoy the Harpswell Hiking Challenge. Don Miskill photo.

Giant Stairs, Harpswell. Hikers of all ages will enjoy the Harpswell Hiking Challenge. Don Miskill photo.

Hardy hikers who complete all eight trail loops and 10 miles will be recognized as having completed the Harpswell Hiking Challenge. 100 T-shirts sponsored by Roxanne York Real Estate, Your Island Connection, Island Candy Company, Casco Bay Tuna Club and Giant Stairs Seafood Grille will be given to anyone completing the challenge.

Come celebrate with the nice folks of Harpswell by taking our challenge and hiking eight waterfront trails in one or two days.

More info and participation forms are found at www.harpswell.maine.gov, or contact Gina Perow, director, Town of Harpswell Recreation, at recreation@town.harpswell.me.us or call 833-5771 ext. 108.

For a good look at what else is happening in Maine this weekend for National Trails Day, click through to the American Hiking Society.

Magical fairy house on the Cliff Trail, Harpswell. Carey Kish photo.

Magical fairy house on the Cliff Trail, Harpswell. Carey Kish photo.

Source: Town of Harpswell.

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