BTLT in the News: “Challenging whitewater isn’t Cathance River’s only attraction”

Bangor Daily News – “Challenging whitewater isn’t Cathance River’s only attraction”

by Ron Chase, Outdoors Contributor

Featured photo: A hiker approaches one of five waterfalls on the Cathance River Trail in Topsham. Credit: Courtesy of Ron Chase

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Well-known in paddling circles for its Class III through V creeking, the Cathance River in Topsham is one of the more popular and challenging whitewater rivers in Maine. The Cathance River Trails provide a stimulating hiking alternative.

The Cathance River Trails are located in the Cathance River Nature Preserve and Head of Tide Park. Developed and managed by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust in concert with the town of Topsham and Highland Green Retirement Community, more than nine miles of trails weave along the river and through the surrounding area.

A collection of small ponds and streams in rural Bowdoin and Topsham are the source of the Cathance River, which then winds circuitously to Merrymeeting Bay in Bowdoinham.

Both the trails and whitewater are secreted away in a wilderness area between Interstate 295 and Cathance Road in Topsham. The trails offer a unique opportunity for hikers to visit the habitat of many varieties of birds and wildlife while exploring several scenic waterfalls.

Back-to-back December rainstorms provided a rare chance to hike the trails while high water was cascading over the falls.

My wife, Nancy, our long-time friend, Bob Rowe, and I decided to take advantage of the unusual occurrence.

The three of us met in a parking lot at Head of Tide Park on Cathance Road on a cool, breezy, partly sunny day. Our objective was to complete a traverse from the western end of the trail complex to the park.

We left a shuttle vehicle and drove Topsham roads to a trailhead next to a small parking area in Highland Green….

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