Past Discovery Treks

Portland Trails Discovery Treks are guided walks, runs, and off-road bike rides twice a month through the summer, and at least once a month through the fall, winter, and spring.

These walks/runs/rides are suggested $5 donation for members, $7 for non-members (your $7 can go toward your new or renewed membership!).

Friday, June 22, 2012.  5:30-7:30 p.m.  “Off the Beaten Path of Munjoy Hill; and a Bit of History of the Eastern Promenade and Plans for Fort Allen Park” Join Jaime Parker, Trails Manager of Portland Trails, for the first part of the trek starting at Fort Sumner Park. Jaime will show you the trails that don’t always make it on the map but take you past vistas and fauna unseen anywhere else. At 7pm the group will meet up with the Friends of the Eastern Promenade to learn about restoration plans for Fort Allen Park. Meet at Fort Sumner Park on North Street.

Friday, July 13, 2012. 5:05 A.M.! -  7:30 a.m.  “Sunrise on the Bay Wildlife and Historical Tour”  Join former Casco Bay Lines captain, mariner, and Casco Bay/Portland Harbor historian Jim Millinger, and Environmental Educator Leo Maheu, on a peaceful dawn departure through the awakening islands. Observe sea birds, seals, and an occasional deer along the shoreline. Watch the lobstermen and the local fishing fleet as they get underway from their docks and moorings, and learn some facts about the Bay you’ve maybe never heard before. We will have light breakfast provisions and coffee and tea. Bring your own mug if convenient, drinking water, “glasses,” and layers for temperature changes. *$13 Portland Trails members / $18 non-members. (You can pay by check, credit card, or check that morning.) Meet outside the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal by the main entrance (facing Flatbread Pizza) at 4:50 A.M. Boat leaves promptly at 5:05 A.M.!

POSTPONED until Monday, July 30 due to predictions of thunder storms. 5:30-7:00 p.m.  “History of Portland East Bayside and Bayside – Tour along the Bayside Trail”  Enjoy a fascinating evening walk with former State Representative Herb Adams and learn about historically significant events that have happened at places in and around East Bayside/Bayside.  Herb’s walk will take you along the Bayside Trail and through hundreds of years of history. Will include highlights of the Bayside Trail and updates for Franklin Street reclamation progress. This event is RSVP only as space is limited.  Please RSVP for information on where to meet.

Friday, August 10, 2012. 7:30-8:30 A.M. “Portland Trails’ 10K: Trail to Ale Preview”  Portland Trails Board Members Mark Arienti and Mark Goettel and Executive Director Kara Wooldrik will be offering a preview the Portland Trails “Trail to Ale” 10K. The 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) race course has a new starting point on the Eastern Promenade road this year to allow runners to spread out into their paces early on. The run then transitions to off-road trails and allows beautiful views of Casco Bay as runners enjoy the Eastern Prom and Back Cove Trails. This will give runners an idea of what to expect with the slightly new course the day of the Trail to Ale 10K race, which will be held on September 16th this year.  Folks training for the run are encouraged to come. Bring running shoes. Runners of all abilities are invited to meet at the monument at the bottom of Congress Street on the Eastern Prom and run the 10K course. You don’t have to be signed up for the Trail to Ale 10K to join us. WALKERS ALSO WELCOME!

Friday, August 24, 2012.  5:30-7:00 p.m.  “Portland’s Edible, Medicinal, and Otherwise – An Herbal Tour” Join local herbalist Kevin Pennell, LMT, AHG, CHt, as he guides us along the Fore River Sanctuary in a lively and informative search for common plants that are also herbs that might be applied for medicinal and edible uses. Many can be used in teas, tinctures, decoctions, and other methods of formulation. Starting point TBA, depending on summer rains/sun/growth cycles.

Friday, September 14, 2012.  5:30-7:30 p.m.  “Old Port Harbor Walk”  Join Portland Senior Planner Bill Needleman on a history and planning tour of the port of Portland. From Harborview Park to Ocean Gateway, learn about the development of Commercial Street, the working piers, and the evolving marine economies. Meet at Harborview Park on York Street, above the South Portland Bridge. Limited to 20 people.

Final  Season Discovery Trek for Portland Trails MEMBERS: The Sunset/Moon-rise Walk – MAKE-UP DATE: Friday, October 26, 2012. 4:00-6:00 p.m.  Do you enjoy hiking the Portland Trails under a bright blue sky? Ever wonder what they’re like at night? Come experience your trails in a whole new light – the light of the full moon that is! Portland Trails members and their families are invited to join Environmental Educator Leo Maheu on a sunset/full-moon evening hike on the last Discovery Trek of the season. Come and hike with us and watch the bright full moon rise just about the time the sun will be setting, where we will see its reflection in the water. Look for interesting shadows cast by the structures around you, listen for nocturnal animals exploring in the darkness, and other fun activities for all ages. Hikers should bring a flashlight, water, and some layers in case it cools down throughout the evening. Howling at the moon is optional, but encouraged! While this walk is just for members, becoming or renewing your membership is easy. You can even do so that night. RSVP for directions!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012.  7:30-8:45 a.m.  “Explore the Gem that is the Fore River Sanctuary.” Join Charlie Baldwin, Trails Foreman of Portland Trails, for a hardy exploration of the Fore River Sanctuary. Charlie will tell us the history of the trail and highlights of the successful invasive species massive removal project accomplished this summer. Meet at the MaineOrtho parking lot off Frost Street, near the corner with outer Congress St.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Noon-1 p.m. “ Get to Know the East Bridge Street Section of the Presumpscot River Trail.”  Join Trails Foreman Charlie Baldwin for a hike along the beautiful Presumpscot River on a trail you might not have seen before. Meandering through woods and fields, this is a little-known treasure of land in Portland. Meet at the Waste Management parking lot at 2000 Forest Avenue.

Evergreen Cemetery Trails Guided Walk/SnowshoeWednesday, January 16, noon-1:30 p.m. - STILL ON! We’ll meet instead now at the end of Brentwood Street, by the community gardens trailhead. Roads to the duck pond might not be plowed yet. Feel free to bring your snowshoes but Charlie says it might be better walking w/ regular ol’ boots today.

Explore the new and old trails around and behind Evergreen Cemetery with Trails Foreman Charlie Baldwin. Snowshoes will be great for this trek – RSVP to reserve Portland Trails rentals (free for members, $5 for children, $10 for adults). Meet at the Portland Trails kiosk by the ponds in Evergreen Cemetery (drive-in entrance off Stevens Avenue; or walk in from Brenwood Ave). $7 for nonmembers; suggested donation $5 for members.

Friday, January 25 – 7:30 a.m. – POSTPONED DUE TO REALLY COLD TEMPS!

Snow Shoe and Cross Country Ski Riverside Municipal Golf Course from Blackstrap Road

Saturday, February 16 – 9:00-11 a.m.

To kick off school vacation week and celebrate Great Maine Outdoor Weekend. RSVP for this and to reserve Portland Trails snowshoe rentals (free for members; non-members: $5 for children, $10 for adults).

February Guided Run with Portland Trails Director
Friday, February 22 – 7:30 a.m.
Let’s go for a run in one of Portland’s most scenic and wild places –The Presumpscot River Preserve! 4-5 miles. Open to people of all ages who have run this distance but trail running experience is not required. This trail run is on wooded trails and not suitable for baby strollers or pets. Please pre-register.

Stroudwater River Trail to Deer Bed
Friday, March 15, noon-1:30 p.m.
Join us for an Ides of March walk along the Stroudwater River. See the new bridges that WON’T get washed downstream in the spring thaw. Learn about ecomaine’s recycling and waster management program when we walk behind the plant. Please register for any Trek by going to this link or calling (207) 775-2411.

April Guided Run with Portland Trails Director
Friday, April 12 – Guided Trail Run with Portland Trails Director, Kara Wooldrik. Presumpscot River Preserve Trails, 4-5 miles. Open to people of all ages who have run this distance. Trail running experience is not required. This trail run is on wooded trails and not suitable for baby strollers or pets. 7:30 a.m. Please register for any Trek by going to this link or calling (207) 775-2411.

Eastern Promenade Trail System
Wednesday, April 17 – Join the Portland Trails staff for a tour of the Eastern Promenade Trail system.  Enjoy the sunset from the North Street Park. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Please register for any Trek by going to this link or calling (207) 775-2411.
Stroudwater River Trail / Ecomaine
Friday, May 3 – Make-up walk of the Stroudwater River Trail, and brief tour of Ecomaine Waste Management Company. Noon-1:30. Please register for any Trek by going to this link or calling (207) 775-2411.


May Guided Run with Portland Trails Director
Friday, May  17 – Guided Trail Run with Portland Trails Director, Kara Wooldrik. Baxter Woods and Evergreen Cemetery Trails, 4.25 miles. Trail running experience is not required. This trail run is on wooded trails and not suitable for baby strollers or pets. 7:30 a.m. Please register for any Trek by going to this link or calling (207) 775-2411.


Presumpscot River Preserve Wildflower Walk
Saturday, May 18 – Wildflower discovery in the Presumpscot River Preserve, with Portland Trails Board Member and Trails Committee Chair, Mark Arienti. 9:00-10:30 a.m. Please register for any Trek by going to this link or calling (207) 775-2411.


10-Mile Forest City Trail
Saturday, June 1 – Forest City Trail guided walk with Portland Trails co-founder Tom Jewell (8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.), or guided run with Executive Director Kara Wooldrik (7:30 a.m.). $10 members/$20 nonmembers. Walk includes lunch for those who reserve one before noon on Thursday 5/30($8). 10 miles. Walkers will start at the Stroudwater River and end at the Presumpscot River; runners will start at the Presumpscot and end at the Stroudwater. 

“Eastern Prom Trail Guided Tour by Historian Herb Adams”
Friday, July 12, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Back by very popular demand, this guided walk along the Eastern Prom Trail by renowned Portland historian Herb Adams will inform and amaze you. From the days European explorers and settlers first met native Americans on the “Machigonne” neck (Portland Peninsula), through the development of settlements and industry along the Portland waterfront, through the three major fires that all but wiped out the City of Portland, you will learn more about Portland’s history on this gorgeous walk than you can imagine.

Casco Bay Sunset Cruise with the Maine Island Trail Association 
Rain make-up date: Thursday, July 18 – “Sunset Cruise of Casco Bay” with guest presenter Brian Marcaurelle, Program Director of the Maine Island Trail Association. Get a jump on your summer boating and island exploration plans. $18 Portland Trails members/$25 nonmembers. 5:45-8:00 p.m.

Star Trek with USM Southworth Planetarium
July 30

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Moon Walk with USM Southworth Planetarium.” Join us at the USM Southworth Planetarium for a moon exploration with astronomer Ed Gleason, and as we go outside with our moon maps and explore the actual surface. 8:00 p.m.; doors open at 7:30 p.m. Rain date: Wednesday, August 21.

Thursday, August 22, 2013
Canco Woods/University Park/Milliken Brook Loop with Trails Manager Jaime Parker and Bruce Hyman, Bicycle and Pedistrian Program Coordinator for the City of Portland.” Discover hidden gems right in the middle of Portland!

MTB Bike Trek with Eastern Mountain Sports
Join us on a guided off-road bike trek along the meandering and varied Evergreen Cemetery Trails, led by Eastern Mountain Sports bike tech Ben Pierce. Please “Like” the “Eastern Mountain Sports Portland Maine” Facebook page for more information and weather updates. Note: MTB Bike Treks will be postponed when there’s been significant rain in the days leading up so that the trails aren’t roughed up. Free. 5:00 p.m. at the South Portland EMS or 5:30 at the trail.

Saturday, September 7, 2013, 7:00 a.m.
“Guided Bird Walk in the Evergreen Cemetery Trails with bird enthusiast Noah Gibb.” Join us for spectacular bird viewing on the lawns, ponds, trails, and gardens in and around Evergreen Cemetery. Noah has spent the last several years studying bird migration and the birds that can be found in southern Maine throughout the year.
Evergreen Cemetery, Cumberland, US-ME
Sep 7, 2013 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.5 mile(s)
Comments: Birds seen/heard while leading a trip for Portland Trails.
43 species (+1 other taxa)

American Black Duck 8
Mallard 60
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid) 2
Double-crested Cormorant 1 In the big pond.
Broad-winged Hawk 1 Great looks at a juvenile bird perched 15 feet off the ground initially 30 feet away from the group. It took me about 30 seconds to even realize that the bird was there! It then flew just over 100 feet away and perched again still in great position for everyone to view.
Herring Gull (American) 1
Rock Pigeon 4
Mourning Dove 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Downy Woodpecker 6
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 5
Least Flycatcher 1 Calling near the junk pond.
Eastern Phoebe 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 11
American Crow 7
Black-capped Chickadee 16
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 7
Carolina Wren 1 Singing near junk pond.
American Robin 5
Gray Catbird 9
Northern Mockingbird 1
Cedar Waxwing 12
Nashville Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 3
American Redstart 9
Northern Parula 1 Singing!
Yellow Warbler 1
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 2
Black-throated Green Warbler 3
Chipping Sparrow 9
Song Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Common Grackle 1
House Finch 2
American Goldfinch 25
House Sparrow 3

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (
Monday, September 30, 2013
SOLD OUT: “Portland’s Working Harbor Guided Tour by Portland Senior Planner Bill Needleman.” 5-7:00 p.m. Join us and Portland Senior Planner Bill Needleman for a fascinating update to last year’s history and planning tour of the port of Portland. From West Commercial Street to East Commercial Street, learn about the latest and future developments, the working piers, and the evolving marine economies. Suggested $5 donation for Portland Trails members, $7 for non-members. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
“Brickyard Point Trail Stewardship with MITA.” 1-4:00 p.m. Join Portland Trails and the Maine Island Trail Association for this joint adventure down the Scitterygussett River by canoe/kayak from Tidewater Farm to Brickyard Point. We will be cutting back growth over the trails and removing invasive species. Wear sturdy work shoes and clothing. We will provide the tools and boats. You must RSVP for this event if you are interested in joining. 

Friday, October 18, 2013
“Bayside Trail 5K Preview Run.” 7:30 a.m. Join us for this preview of the Bayside Trail 5K course whether you’re registered for the race or not. This will be a fun run open to all abilities. Free for people registered for the November 3 Bayside Trail 5K; suggested $5 donation for Portland Trails members, $7 for non-members. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013
“Kids’ Discovery Trek: Making Art with Nature.” 10:00-11:30 a.m. Join Portland Trails and educators Steve and Andrea Berry for this story and art time and fun exploration of the University Park Trail. We’ll meet at the field, do a short “get to know you game,” read a book about nature collecting, gather nature items, and re-group at the field to make our collages. Geared for kids 3rd grade and younger. Stroller-accessible. Suggested $5 donation for Portland Trails members, $7 for non-members; half the adult price for kids. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 5:30p.m. – CANCELLED, DUE TO DEEP SNOW ON THE TRAILS!
Winter Lights Bike Toodle.