Plains Pond Trail

Kennebunk, Maine

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A sandy plain located over a large aquifer bubbling into a small pond bordered by woods and grasses. Stop to examine the shrubs of the Heath family (Ericaceae), which include lowbush and highbush blueberry, bearberry, and huckleberry. In the woodier areas, sheep laurel and the larger heath shrubs proliferate. Heaths are survivors equipped to endure drought-like conditions and periodic burnings for blueberry growth on these windswept plains. Their roots enjoy a symbiotic relationship with fungus (mycorrhizae) that allows them to extract nitrogen and other nutrients from the soil. The slender, leathery leaves of the heaths protect the plant from harsh wind and sun yet funnel morning dewdrops to their roots. In spring, bearberry and other flowering heaths collect rain in white and pink bell-shaped blossoms. During hot summers when the sand plain blazes like a desert, their reddish stems, branches, and leaves admit the red spectrum of sunlight, filtering out more destructive rays. Special Features: freshwater pond and rare birds, tussock grasses, and heath blooms and berries.
Nature Walks along the Seacoast: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, & Maine

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Nature Walks along the Seacoast: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, & Maine

by Julia Older & Steve Sherman (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

A sandy plain located over a large aquifer bubbling into a small pond bordered by woods and grasses. Stop to examine the shrubs of the Heath family (Ericaceae), which include lowbush and highbush blueberry, bearberry, and huckleberry. In the woodier areas, sheep laurel and the larger heath shrubs proliferate. Heaths are survivors equipped to endure drought-like conditions and periodic burnings for blueberry growth on these windswept plains. Their roots enjoy a symbiotic relationship with fungus (mycorrhizae) that allows them to extract nitrogen and other nutrients from the soil.

The slender, leathery leaves of the heaths protect the plant from harsh wind and sun yet funnel morning dewdrops to their roots. In spring, bearberry and other flowering heaths collect rain in white and pink bell-shaped blossoms. During hot summers when the sand plain blazes like a desert, their reddish stems, branches, and leaves admit the red spectrum of sunlight, filtering out more destructive rays. Special Features: freshwater pond and rare birds, tussock grasses, and heath blooms and berries.

©  Julia Older & Steve Sherman/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Kennebunk
Distance: 0.6
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 30 minutes
Season: Best spring through fall
Driving Directions: Directions to Plains Pond Trail

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Apr 2018