Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Calumet Park


Calumet Park is a 27-acre park located on Northern Avenue in Augusta. Near the road, the park offers a playground, tennis and basketball courts, a ball field and, in winter, an ice skating rink. A wooded area extends downhill behind the field. Although the Augusta City Park literature describes the park as having trails, it's really more of a glorified bushwack through the woods. An older man who lives near the park told me that when his children were young, they used to be able to follow the trails all the way to an ice cream stand on Mt. Vernon Avenue.

Getting There
From Downtown Augusta, take Northern Avenue (Route 104) north about 0.6 miles. Calumet Park is on the left at the top of the hill.

The Trail
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: Unknown (about ½ mile?)
Time: 30 minutes

The trail begins in the far north corner of the ball field, heads straight into the woods and angles downhill behind houses. The trail passes under power lines and angles left, heading down steeply into a gully under a canopy of very tall pines and mixed hardwood species. The trail dead ends a few hundred feet down the hill. Retracing the trail back up hill, just past the powerlines the trail forks to the right and parallels the field. Here the trail becomes very overgrown with vegetation as it passes through a boulder field and an area full of old junk and a very old rusty car. The trail angles downhill to the right and dead-ends again. Backtracking uphill again, the trail heads straight out toward the south corner of the park and comes out in the short alley/driveway south of the park.

Kid-Friendly Factor
This is a nice short hike for little ones, if you don't mind the adventure of dead-ends and a little bit of steep ups and downs. My kids especially enjoyed seeing the rusty old car. The playground and field offer extra enticement to reluctant walkers.

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