A Little Known Waterfront Gem with Only a 1/4 mile to Go
This scenic trail winds its way high above Long Creek for about 3/4 of a mile through enormous maples and oaks and currently ends at a point at the water's edge with lovely views of a nearby cove. The opposite shore, under the pine trees, is an important traditional Abanaki meeting site called The Smoking Tree. This spot was used in the 17th century as a place to negotiate important treaties between early English settlers and local Native Americans.
Optimal hiking can be had at high tide and when the foliage of the forest muffles traffic noise making it feel like you are in a refuge from the hustle and bustle. With the support of members and business sponsors, the SPLT has 2013-2014 plans to extend the trail for another 1/4 mile around this cove to the City owned pump station off Westbrook Street with its kayak launch and parking spaces.
The trail is unique in that its first couple hundred feet from the trailhead at Youth Alternatives offers hikers impressive, even dizzying, views down to the creek and its tidal marshlands, watch your step! It is for this reason that the trail is not recommended for winter use. The trail proceeds west gradually dropping in elevation from the high upper banks to the water's edge. Several points along the route provide great birding opportunities.
To try out the Long Creek Trail, drive to Westbrook Street and follow it east from its junction with Western Avenue. Turn right onto Brick Hill Road. Bear left onto Lydia Lane, proceed to its end, and park in the Youth Alternatives’ Ingraham back lot. Look for the trail sign and take the steps down the slope to the trail.
This is a real hidden "green space" gem. We hope that community and private sector support in 2013 will help the SPLT complete the trail so that it becomes more convenient and more widely used in the near future.
The Origin of the Trail:
The first section of the trail was built in the late fall of 2008. The Long Creek Trail was made possible through the generous support of the City of South Portland, the trail building efforts of the Maine Conservation Corps and the West End Trails Committee, a sub-committee of the South Portland Land Trust dedicated to making the west end of the city friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists.