We recently purchased the Portland Trails Map and have decided to hit up all the trials this Summer. The first being the Presumpscot River Preserve. I was intrigued by the “rough water”, history and conservation that is going on here. Smelt Hill Dam is an area of the trail that is currently undergoing some habitat restoration.
Presumpscot River Preserve 2.5 m round trip +-
Hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, dogs on leash, bird watching, kayaking, snow shoeing, x-country ski, no fee, no restrooms, no trash
Visited June 2008
Open dawn to dusk
To Get There:
From RT. 100/Washington Ave turn on to Allen Ave Extension. Follow to turn on to Summit St. on left. Follow Summit to Curtis Rd on right and then take right on to Overset. Overset is a dead end and there is limited parking (possibly for 3-4 cars).
Resource: The trail is part of the Portland Trails system, more info can be found at www.trails.org
There is varied even grading with inclines and declines as well as some bridges and boardwalks over wet areas. Most of the trail is packed earth with exposed roots. Some of the trail markers have been destroyed, but the path is easy to follow. There are many side trails as well as a loop trail for options of exploring the area. The main path leads to a T-intersection that leads upstream or downstream along the river. Downstream there is an area of rough water with a sign explaining the Smelt Hill Dam and how the area is being revitalized. There is a portage area for boaters to take out and re-enter the river around the rough water.
Notes: This is a highly residential area you will drive through to the trailhead. The downstream path does end and border private property, however, there is the possible loop to connect to Oak Nuts Park which will bring you back to Summit St and you could easily walk back to where you park via the sidewalk.
We saw a few bikers and swimmers as well as fishing birds while we explored the area.