Wednesday, May 31, 2006

hobbit land

on monday, sadie and i took a short drive to hallowell for a walk in the vaughan woods. if you've lived in this area long enough (and i have all my life), it's most commonly known as "hobbit land".

"the vaughan woods are laced with a network of more than 2 miles of publicly accessible foot trails, built and maintained by generations of vaughan descendants and their families since benjamin and sarah vaughan first moved to their hallowell homestead in 1797. the woods are the vestige of the original kennebec proprietorship granted by the king of england to benjamin hallowell, grandfather of benjamin vaughan. by all accounts, the vaughan woods are outstanding for their unique combination of historical and natural significance. the woods are treasured by many residents and visitors of hallowell and surrounding communities, who walk the trails and pause for reflection along the waterfalls and artistic footbridges of Vaughan Brook. (from an old issue of the kennebec land trust news - good description though).

entering these woods is like stepping into a tolkien book, the lush forest, the moss covered rocks, the handmade stone bridges. it is one of the most relaxing places. despite being nestled between maine avenue and the highway, all you hear within these woods are bird song and running water, maybe the occational passerby and their dog. hobbit land is peaceful and serene; one of the best places to sit and eat your lunch, if you work nearby.

sadie was completely in her element here. i took a bunch of pictures, but some may be a bit fuzzy as i had a 50 lb dog pulling me in every direction, quite anxious to smell everything! she played in the water, she ran as far as the leash would allow, she tromped through mud. it only took us about 30 minutes to walk the loop on the hallowell side; the trails continue on the other side of the stone carriage bridge to the high school, but we just wanted a short walk. by the time she was done, her tongue was lolling and she was a little overstimulated by the amount smells in the woods. she spent the better part of the afternoon napping.

hobbit land is a most amazing place and if anyone visits central maine, i highly recommend seeking this place out. ask anyone in hallowell where to find it, they'll be able to point you in the right direction.

check out more hobbit land pictures on my flickr page, as i've detailed the walk through the trail a bit more in the descriptions of each picture.


simple me said...

Wow! It looks such a great place to visit and you are right it looks like we step into one of tolkien's books...
and so refreshing, specially because outside it's over 35CÂș (well near 100F).
I'm glad you enjoyed this visit and you have such a cute dog.
take care.
paula :)

christine coletta said...

i love this place and have also been coming for years, but i still haven't scratched the surface. i've tried finding maps...i'd love to have an idea of some of the secret spots would be awesome.