Friday, July 5, 2013

Wiggly Bridge and Steedman Woods, York Harbor, Maine

  

The heat wave of Independence Day will continue through the weekend. At least that's what the weather predictions are. Since we were up on Long Sands Beach this week we knew that getting a hike in early in the morning would be best. Our poor dog loves to walk, but despises heat and will often flop down in the middle of hikes refusing to move. We went over to Steedman Woods and the Wiggly Bridge near York Harbor for an early morning stroll.

It had been a few years since I had walked the trails and I'm not sure I had ever gone there without my parents. We took off in the car and after a few missed turns pulled into some of the parallel parking spaces across the street from the trail head. Some of the spots are for permit holders only but the rest are for anyone.

Map of Steedman Woods Nature Reserve
Big Dude decided to use the baby backpack. I grabbed my camera and got the dog out of the car. Poor beast was already panting as it was in the high 80's by 9 AM. We went across the dam to the bridge. The tide was clearly in and water was rushing under the bridge. We noticed that there was restorative work being done along the shoreline. 
The dam to the bridge
Plantings of Eel Grass
It appears that due to heavy use the shoreline is receding. People used to swim and kayak right off the shores but now there are many signs asking for people to avoid walking on the mudflats.

We entered the woods and took the left path along the York River. It was cool in the shade. The trails were wide and well maintained. There were several runners and hikers looping around. We came to a spot where some one had built several shelters in a grove. There were three completed shelters and one that had just been started. The Big Dude and Little Dude did explore them.
        

Out in the river, I noticed that cairns had been laid out on the mudflats. It seemed like an odd thing to me. I'm used to cairns only being used for hiking but perhaps they were used for other reasons.
Cairns on York River
We followed the loop and took the side trail which lead to a private road. The dirt road followed back to another entrance for the reserve. 
      

We followed the other path of the loop and it traveled up a small hill over looking the pond. The entire trail smelled floral and sweet. There were wild roses throughout scenting the air. We even found a white lilac bush still in blossom.
   

The trail was not a long one and our hike was over quickly. We waited for a family to cross the Wiggly Bridge so we could snap some photos. The bridge was made in the 1930's and recently. It is a neat little suspension bridge that bounces when you cross.  
      

We finished our hike just in time as the poor dog was getting hot. We made it back to the car and as usual he didn't even want water. He just laid out in the cool dirt. 
Hot Doggie
If it wasn't so hot we would have continued on to a second set of trails. Next to the parking lot is another trail called Fisherman's Walk which leads down to York Harbor. With a hot dog, tired baby, and sleepy parents we decided to head back to rest.  



Where: Wiggly Bridge and Steedman Woods, Rt. 103, near Rt. 1A York Harbor, Maine

Directions: Take Rt. 1 south to third light, Rt. 1A (York St.) Left onto York St. Continue through the center of town to Rt. 103. Turn right onto Rt. 103. Parking for Wiggly Bridge is on the left; the Wiggly Bridge is on the right. Walk across the dam and over the bridge to Steedman Woods.
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