The Roscoe and Elva Lowell Preserve in Windham, Maine is a 308 acre preserve managed by the Town of Windham, close to Little Duck Pond and the Falmouth town line. The trails in the northeast corner of the Preserve connect to the North Falmouth Community Forest. Trailhead parking is at the East Windham Fire Station, 45 Falmouth Road, Windham, and trail map is available here.
The trails constitute about eight miles of loops, which can be very difficult to navigate. On the July day we explored, we took about a 3.5 mile loop, using the Libby Hill Trail and the Roscoe Loop. There are self-correcting trail maps placed intermittently throughout the preserve, as well as wooden numbered signs that would be helpful if the numbers had any relation to the map.
For those who use mobile applications to navigate, you will find that the Preserve sits in a cellular service “dead zone.” The sheer number of trail intersections and concentric loops maximize the space for recreation, but frustrate wayfinding (imagine a small plate of spaghetti where each noodle is a path, and you will get the concept). Additionally, hunting is allowed in Lowell Preserve, so be sure to wear blaze orange if you are visiting Windham in-season (and suit up your on-leash pet, as well).
These are not complaints, but warnings to be prepared, so that users can enjoy Lowell Preserve for what it is. You can see the appeal for trail runners, ATV riders, cross-country skiers and mountain bikers, as there are few preserves this size open for all these activities in southern Maine.
Shortly after the trailhead, there is a storybook trail for kids, and an area in which to build fairy houses, with a posted sign from the “head fairy code enforcement officer.” Open areas have blueberries and raspberries, and the signs of frequent deer traffic abound. Once the visitor is prepared, Lowell Preserve is a quiet, shaded forest sanctuary. There are no real views or overlooks, but the paths lead through a beautiful “green tunnel” with trees, ferns, wildflowers, birds, and babbling brooks.