Scenic Back Cove trail in Portland is one of the area’s most used shared paths. The 3.5 mile loop around the cove passes Payson Park and connects to the Eastern Prom Trail which leads to the Old Port area. Accessible from many streets in the area, the path is often used by people and families walking, running, biking, training groups who are preparing for races such as the Beach to Beacon and there are weekly 5k races held here all Summer.
Open dawn to dusk, no fee, seasonal portable toilets located in the Preble Street parking lot and Payson Park, four seasonal water fountains (two have dog bowls as well), benches, trash cans approx. every mile and informational signs.
Hiking, biking, soccer fields, bird watching, cross country skiing and snow shoeing, handicap accessible, strollers, dogs on leash.
For more information http://www.trails.org/
To Get There:
There are many, many access routes to Back Cove, however, parking is available in the lot off Preble Street Extension (across from the Hannaford store on Forest Ave) and on the north side of Baxter Boulevard at Payson Park.
We visit Back Cove, or Back Bay as is is also known, many times a year. It is one of the most scenic paths in the area, is well maintained and well marked. There have been many improvements to the path this year. They have laid new crushed stone, repaved the short expanse between the parking lot and Baxter Blvd., moved the Start line to edge of the parking lot and put all new signs up. There has also been a group who has begun a yardscaping project on the highway side of the trail just past the soccer fields. The path is even and level with only a slight rise when the path reaches Tukey’s Bridge and crosses the bay with I-295.
Notes: The path is wide and there is plenty of room to walk comfortably in both directions. There is a more narrow part when the path crosses Tukey’s Bridge and follows along I-295. The recent work on the path is a much needed and appreciated improvement. The water run-off grooves have been filled in and the path ruts have been eradicated for now. Just a great walk in general with great views of the bay and skyline.