Behind the Scenes of Trail Development

By Lily McVetty, 2019 Summer Intern

Lots of excitement is happening at Cathance River Nature Preserve and Tardiff!

Cathance River Nature Preserve is a 230-acre property, located at the Highland Green Retirement Community in Topsham. Within the past two years, there has been a significant amount of residential development at Highland Green. A meadow that locals call the Rabbit Ear, which once hosted an intersection for several trails, is now under construction to become home to five new homes. To ensure continued trail usage, the trail network within the Rabbit Ear area is being re-routed. This week, a handful of well-versed volunteers from Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA) came out to assist with establishing a new trail. I appreciated not only their prior knowledge and experience, but also their company. As a student who anticipates on studying abroad in Amsterdam, Netherlands, I enjoyed conversing with a volunteer about the city. Ron informed me that he was recently in Amsterdam and enjoyed his time there so much that he hopes to return to the city in the near future.  It was thoughtful of Ron to share his favorite spots and recommendations with me while we worked to develop a new trail section.

Tardiff is a 121-acre property located between the Cathance and Muddy Rivers. The property is divided into two major parcels by Middlesex Road in Topsham. Although there are no official parking spots and trails yet, BTLT is in the process of planning and putting those into place. Margaret and I scouted the northwest parcel for seasonal trails. After a couple trips around the perimeter, several loops through the woods and tall grass sections, and many tick-checks later, we flagged a relatively direct route to a serene outlook on the Cathance River. Next week, we will be teaming up with the Regional Field Team to clear the anticipated trail. Additionally, Margaret and I flagged a loop trail for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during the winter. Fun things are coming!