One of the great perks of a seat on the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust board is the opportunity go out on monitoring walks in the fall.
These are the annual visits the land trust pays to each of the properties on which it holds a conservation easement. The purpose is to be sure that the terms of the easement are being followed and to look out for any changes or problems that may be developing on the property.
Our group of four set out at around 10 in the morning, half an hour into the walk we were shedding our jackets and enjoying the sparkling, uncharacteristically warm fall morning. The mission was to monitor the Town of Topsham’s Rogers property on which the Land Trust holds an easement. This parcel is a key link in the Cathance River Trail, connecting Head of Tide Park to the Cathance River Nature Preserve. If you haven’t been out on this trail, drop what you’re doing immediately and get outside! It is beautiful, with stretches through uplands towering over the meandering Cathance and sections that hug the river’s banks, and peaceful. With the exception of a group of 15 or so Highland Green residents out for a morning hike, we had the trail to ourselves.
We noted a blowdown or two that need removing but otherwise encountered no problems on the trail. We marked a place where a bench would be welcome – any Eagle Scout candidates out there looking for a project??! – and promised the Highland Green residents that we would look into their recommendation that blazing along the trail be improved. After a moment’s rest on the Clay Brook Bridge, which spans the stream separating the Cathance River Trail from the Cathance Preserve trail system, we headed back, enjoying the sound of birds in the trees and the glint of sunlight off the surface of the river below.