In mid-March, I hiked a loop using the Loop, Perimeter, and Waterfall Trails in Rines Forest in Cumberland, as a part of a longer loop including Hadlock Forest (Falmouth), which is connected through the Rines Trail. Rines Forest is a 268-acre woodland owned by the Town of Cumberland, and preserved through a conservation easement with the Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust (CCLT). The Forest has a network of about 3 miles of trails open for hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, hunting, picnicking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling as designated (some trails are winter-only).
Parking is available on Range Road, on the south side of the Forest, about 1.2 miles from the intersection with Winn Road. Next to the parking area is a Frog Pond & Salamander Swamp. CCLT’s website includes a printable scavenger hunt for kids. Having begun across Range Road, I continued to follow the green CCLT markings for the trail, until reaching the white blazes of the Loop Trail. The spring thaw still incomplete, I wore micro spikes for the duration of the hike, and in the ice and snow, saw the frozen tracks of a large deer, or possibly a moose.
The trail traverses a high esker above a stream, and I took a right onto the red-blazed Perimeter Trail, then an immediate right onto the blue-blazed Waterfall Trail. This descends to a series of waterfalls, and for a longer spur, the Waterfall Trail extends across Saw Mill Brook all the way to Blanchard Road. Instead, I continued on the Perimeter Trail around the edges of Rines Forest.
Right before the turn off for the Raccoon Trail, two red squirrels violated trail etiquette by copulating in the middle of the road, causing a brief detour. The interior of the Forest has the Fox, Raccoon, and Fisher Trails, which I left for another visit. After completing the Perimeter Trail, I crossed back over Range Road toward the Rines Trail and Hadlock Forest.