Riding at Smith Preserve
After driving past Smith Preserve for a month or so, I decided to give it a shot. There’s a clear sign indicating that mountain biking is allowed there. It’s a network of double-track trails likely to draw cross-country skiers in the winter months, along with some single-track that I have yet to fully explore because I don’t want to be lost in the dark back there. Mostly, I’ve managed to eke out small 30-minute rides before fearing that darkness will set in and leave me hanging. It’s clear that there’s more to explore, and I have yet to find a soul in the woods.
It’s not at all challenging from a technical perspective, though the flat terrain does make for a good cardio ride. It’s a soupy mess in places, owing to the general marshy nature of the entire Kennebunkport area. Autumn leaves littering the trail do make the ride a bit challenging since boulders, downed logs, and more hide in the puddles. There are definitely trail hazards in there. Even with a good night light, the dusk rides get a bit scary in places.
It’s hunting season as well. Pick-ups are parked all around the area, a clear sign that one could get shot. My guess is that the preserve is off limits, but I’m not sure. I broke out my fluorescent orange waterproof cycling jacket for the occasion. The bonus is that it keeps me warm enough to ride as the temperature dips. No frosty rides – yet.
I started to struggle to get myself around Mt. Agamenticus before darkness set in once we turned back the clocks. Not wanting to be caught out in the cold and the dark on the mountain, and tiring of the 35-minute drive just to hit a trail, I had to strike out and find another riding spot if I wanted to stay on the bike. Smith Preserve fits the bill just fine right now.