The organizers of the annual Harpswell Hiking Challenge have announced the trail selections for this year’s event, which will take place June 4 and 5.
To complete the full challenge, participants must walk or run eight trails: the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s Long Reach, Otter Brook, Little Ponds and Curtis Farm preserves; and the town of Harpswell’s Cliff Trail, Devil’s Back Trail east and west, and George J. Mitchell Field.
New this year is a modified challenge, excellent for families with small children or individuals with limited mobility. The modified challenge includes the 0.4-mile inclusive section of Cliff Trail; the paved roads at Mitchell Field; the field area of the Curtis Farm trail, accessible from the parking lot on Harpswell Neck Road; and HHLT’s Johnson Field Preserve.
HHLT and the town of Harpswell host the event, which takes place in conjunction with the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day.
Harpswell’s peninsula and islands boast more than 200 miles of coastline with beautiful views of Casco Bay and even Mount Washington. Most of the trails touch the coastline. Challenge participants can hike all the trails in one day or over the weekend.
In addition to the Hiking Challenge, Harpswell Recreation will be celebrating the rehabilitation of Cliff Trail. In 2021, the section of the trail along Strawberry Creek was reshaped with a smooth, flat surface that is suitable for people with limited mobility and users of mobility devices.
Harpswell is now home to one of the newest and most beautiful inclusive trails in the Midcoast. The grand opening and ribbon-cutting will take place at 10:30 a.m. on June 4.
Also new in 2022 is a second loop trail at Little Ponds Preserve. The new trail, completed as Harrison Whittaker’s Eagle Scout project, showcases a variety of views and habitats, including a section along Mill Pond.
A Hiking Challenge table at the town office will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, with snacks, water and information available. Restrooms are also available at the town office.
Challenge finishers will receive prizes while supplies last. Prizes include T-shirts, tumblers and tote bags.
The Harpswell Hiking Challenge is free. No registration is necessary. All participants assume risk and responsibility in the event of injury. For more information, contact Harpswell Recreation at 207-833-5771 or email@example.com.