June 14 – 20, 2019Vol. 21, No. 2

The Oxbow: A Photo Essay

Photos and Text by Gregor Smith

Created more than four decades ago, the Oxbow Nature Trail is one of Waterville's oldest trails. The easy, three-quarter-of-a-mile loop sits on an undeveloped, 19-acre parcel at a U-shaped bend, or oxbow, on the Messalonskee Stream. The land is owned mainly by the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, with the lowlands belonging to the Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers, whose campus is across the stream on Silver Street. The trailhead is just north of the church's parking lot on Cool Street.

These photos were taken on June 1, National Trails Day, after a clean-up in which volunteers from Kennebec Messalonskee Trails picked up litter and removed invasive plants. National Trails Day is celebrated each year throughout the United States on the first Saturday in June.

The trailhead. (The Kennebec Messalonskee Trails banner and balloons do not usually adorn the concrete barrier.)

A wooded section of the trail, a few hundred feet in. The stream in on the left, visible by reflections through the trees.

Bittersweet, a tangled, woody vine, grows up next to and around a pine tree. An invasive plant, KMTrails volunteers were cutting and spraying these vines.

It's hard to believe that this quiet, still stretch of stream lies in the heart of Waterville.

A rockier, faster moving stretch of the stream.