By Hannah Leitzell, Summer Intern
On a mild yet still sunny July day, Gibson the Australian Shepard and I walked the bountiful trails at Neptune Woods. We arrived around noon and parked off of Neptune Drive and walked to the trailhead.
What’s unique about these trails is that they were designed and are maintained as beginner mountain biking trails. The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust acquired this property after the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority donated the land to BTLT as a means to promote the extremely successful Youth Mountain Bike Program offered by the Brunswick Rec Center. Though this particular program has not been offered since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, these trails have also been used by L.L. Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School since 2021 for beginner mountain biking lessons. They also offer Teen Adventure lesson dates since last year! Additionally, BTLT partners with the Six Rivers New England Mountain Biking Association who aid our stewardship team in building bridges and maintaining the trails for mountain bikers by mountain bikers. With that said, the nearly four-mile trail system is a mix of both single-track trails and wider woods roads that are perfectly manageable to walk, providing multiuse recreation opportunities.
First, we walked down the flat and straight trail that is parallel to the road. Then, we veered off and followed yellow blazes around a narrower, winding trail into the woods. Gibby and I had a fantastic time exploring all the different smells on that trail including some crisp pine scent and leafy aromas.
We continued into the trail, walking over some sturdy wooden bridges but, much to Gibby’s dismay, we did not encounter any bikers today. The trail was incredibly quiet with the exception of one other hiker/walker. What I liked most about this trail though was how shaded much of the path was. Even in the middle of summer, it didn’t feel unbearable out there.
I highly recommend this set of trails, especially for those who may be toying with the idea of a new hobby like mountain biking. Leashed dogs will also really enjoy this trail and I’m sure Gibby would testify to that. Having never walked this trail before, I loved everything it had to offer. I will be returning, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t visited these trails to try them out!