Hey fellow hikers! My next stop in the county was Woodland Community Trails, located behind the Woodland Community School. I have to say I went into this one with some bias. In my mind, I thought that a small community would not be able to afford to construct a really well done trail system. I was completely wrong!
When I arrived at the school, it worked out that there was a soccer game going on, which made it OK for me to park further out in the grass toward the entrance of the trails. If I parked in the actual parking area, it would have been quite a lot further to push across the grass, which is more difficult.
I stopped at the entrance to check out the sign. I studied the sign to decide which trail I wanted to do. They have a great color coded system defining which trails are easiest to hardest. As always, I try to pick the easiest, as that is likely to be what most people can do. Based on the map, I picked the Woodchuck Alley Trail. The sign also give the total distance and the elevation gain. The Woodchuck Alley Trail is 1.27 miles long with an elevation gain of 14.9 meters or about 49 feet.
The MTF description actually designates these trails for cross country skiing, but also points out that they are great for biking or hiking in the warmer months.
The ski trail is for both classical and freestyle skiing. It has one set track. Trails are for beginner and intermediate skiers. Most of the trails are in a wooded area. From the trailhead you enter the "Woodchuck Alley" section and pass through nicely wooded areas as the trail gradually climbs approximately 15 meters into the more difficult, aptly named "Screaming Woodchuck." This section is for more advanced skiers and has an overall climb of approximately 40 meters. Skiers often see various game animals from grouse and rabbit to white-tailed deer and moose. These trails offer an excellent opportunity for both novice and advanced skiers and hikers. During warmer months, the trails are nicely maintained and, as during the winter months, provide excellent opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors on foot or bike.
Upon entering the trail is when my surprise, and realization of my bias, started to form. These trails are quite smooth and well maintained. As they are cross-country ski trails, most of the major obstacles have been removed. The trails are also extremely wide, I would say at least 8 feet wide.
The trail does, however, still have a natural surface, which means it can be uneven and not completely smooth in some areas. There is grass and some very small roots to deal with, as well as one muddy and rutted area.
I did find some significant cross slope on a couple of the corners, it was definitely more than a 2% grade. It is hard to capture in a picture, but I did try.
There is some signage along with "You Are Here" maps along the trail, but they are a bit overgrown by vegetation and hard to read from a wheelchair.
This trail really feels remote, and even with the soccer game going on, I couldn’t hear the cheering from the game most of the time. I did see signs of bears and that made me question whether being out there by myself was smart. Luckily, I did not encounter any wildlife, but it does give reason to think about safety. Maybe that is a post I should do at some point.
For now, I would definitely recommend this trail if you are into a little adventure. It isn’t very difficult, but it does have some elevation gain and some steep cross slope to contend with. Being a mostly grass surface, it is quite smooth and firm with the occasional root. It is very wide, which allows room to go around any obstacle you will encounter. Keep all that in mind if you decide to check it out.
If you have a different type of mobility issue or a different disability and you visit this trail or others, please comment on this post and give us your feedback. The more knowledge we gather and share, the more people we can get outside using the trails of Maine!
Success! A new password has been emailed to you.