Riverton Trolley Park - Another Gem of the Portland Trails System! | Blogs
With the unseasonably warm temperatures urging me to get outside yesterday, I used my day off to explore yet another gem of the Portland Trails system with my two Labs. A few of my customers have told me that they enjoy romping with their dogs at Riverton Trolley Park in Portland and now I can totally understand why! What a nice place to relax, poke around and exercise the mutts!
This park is well-maintained by the Portland Trails folks and is part of the Sebago To Sea trail system as well. Located off Route 302 as you head toward Westbrook, parking is located at the trailhead adjacent to a ball field on your left just after you take a right off 302 onto Riverside Drive at the traffic light just past Tortilla Flat and Riverton Housing Complex. My dogs are obedient to voice commands off-leash, but I carried their leashes in case we encountered walkers who don't love dogs. The first half-mile or so of the trail is pretty flat and meanders along the edge of the Presumscot River, with a couple of nice old bridges to cross and a few granite and wooden staircases to ease your access to scenic vistas. There are a couple of good hills to climb and then the trail heads around the back side of Riverside Recycling Facility - i.e. the city dump. For a gal like me who's always looking for cool stuff to photograph, I have to admit that I tripped continually over freshly cut stumps in the newly-cleared path...but for the most part, if you look where you're going, you'll have an easy time negotiating the terrain and following the ample trail markers. Sneakers, hiking boots or Keen sandals are adequate footwear, but if it's wet or has been rainy, I'd recommend wearing your Bogs or rain boots as it'll likely be a muddy walk. A little more than a mile out, you'll be passing between Riverside Golf Course on your left and the city dump on your right. I found lots of curiosities to photograph on this section of the trail, including an old enameled sink with cool metal findings and a vintage snowmobile. So much fun!
My two adult Labs had great fun exploring the forest on either side of the trail and Casco unearthed a vertebrae bone which my vet identified as coming from a dog skeleton! There is opportunity for water-loving dogs to have a swim in the river, but be forewarned - there is a current and the banks are steep. It was quite an adventure coaching my dogs as I ran along the shore watching the current moving them along, finding a safe place to pluck them out (those leashes I was carrying came in handy!) and boosting them back up the high banks to the safety of the trail. Ah, Labs! They are nothing if not fearless adventurers!!
The Riverton Trolley Park has a rich history dating back to the 1800's, when the area boasted a 2500-person outdoor theater along the banks of the river. We will be returning there to explore again, and hope you will visit and enjoy the park with your own dogs soon! The foliage is still stunning....and the weather is just perfect!
FMI about Portland Trails and ALL of the great hiking locales around the city, visit their website: http://www.trails.org/