Urban Explorations: Making a Point to visit Massabesic Audubon Center

A thick fog shimmers in the camera flash giving Battery Point an eerie look. Janelle takes pictures of the ice

A thick fog shimmers in the camera flash giving Battery Point an eerie look. Janelle takes pictures of the ice

As evening settles and an already deep and eerie fog appears to thicken and congeal around us, the girl is most interested in the ice.

There at the glorious tip of Battery Point at the Massabesic Audubon Center, we have the icy lake to ourselves. Almost on a whim, we decided to take a late-in-the-day hike; homework finished, house chores completed, mostly everybody else watching football.

A wide, well graded and straightforward trail led us down to this place. The high temps and odd fog have turned some parts of the trail into a snowy soup. No snowshoes were needed, but the slushy mix makes the hike longer than it normally would have been. The center is located on an old farm on a peninsula of land that narrows down into the main body of the lake. Now, as Janelle explore the point, I open a thermos of tea and sit back and breathe deeply.

Battery Point used to be a grand picnic spot, with a pavilion that looked like a lighthouse and comfort areas. Now, only the brick pillars near the water remain. The rest of the point is open grass. For an amazing vintage shot of Battery Point, click here: Vintage Battery Point

The lake is not quite frozen enough to walk on. It looks like a patterned quilt in bumpy shades of blue. I can see the pull the lake has on the child as she scrambles down near the shore, getting as close to the patchwork ice as she can to take pictures or just find peculiar ice formations.

“When can we walk on the water?” she asks over her shoulder.

“Another couple weeks anyway,” I say. But if weather patterns continue like this, who knows, maybe never. “Tell you what, we’ll bring two cars next time and hike out here, then walk across the lake to a car and drive back.”

This works for her. “Watch this,” she says. She’s pried a helmet-shaped chunk of ice off a rock and tosses it into the lake. The chunk shatters, but cracks the water ice into thin beautiful ribbons that spread out over the lake surface like a deep blue spider web.

“Whoa, cool,” she says. Then pauses. “Guess it is too thin to walk on now.”

And so the afternoon goes. We have headlamps so we’re not concerned about the dark, and as we make our way home, Janelle occupies herself with creating “snow-cones” by wrapping icy snow in fallen leaves.

“Why do you like ice so much” I ask her.

“I just like water. ” She shrugs. “All kinds of water.”


Audubon Center trails are well signed.

Audubon Center trails are well signed.

If you go: The Massabesic Audubon Center is located in Auburn, just off Route 28. The center itself is free, though it was closed during the time we were there. Trails are accessible even after center hours, however. Park in the lot across the street, walk straight up to the main doors and turn left toward the open field for trails. There is a kiosk nearby with trail maps. For more information or hours, the center’s link is here: Massabesic Audubon Center.

Our hike: The Yellow Trail to Battery point and back. Trailhead is near the kiosk.

Our miles: About 3.4

Pictures link: Massabesic Aububon Center, Battery Point

Want to see a really cool pic of what Battery Point used to look like: Vintage shot

Categories: Urban Explorations | Tags: | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Urban Explorations: Making a Point to visit Massabesic Audubon Center

  1. very awesome pic

  2. Nancy

    Sounds like a wonderful end to a weekend and/or lead in to a week … mind cleansing, refreshing hike.
    Your warm temps are about to end … sending you our much cooler temps. Sure was nice stepping outside barefoot on Saturday – wouldn’t dream of it today. (ok, yes I would … I’m crazy that way! lol) Will be fun to hear of her experiences, walking on frozen water.

  3. Yeah! Do you mean actual winter is heading here! We’ve heard rumors of such a thing, but have yet to experience it. Maybe if you do end up visiting, the lake will be frozen enough for us all to venture out 🙂

  4. Scott R.

    Audubon’s are great places to hike. We passed through the Kimball Wildlife Sanctuary during our hike this weekend. We spotted a Nuthatch, Chickadees & a few nests. Scott jr. also spotted a nice track in the mud. Don’t know if you spot birds or not but it’s really interesting what you see when you look.

  5. Steve Laurin

    Massabesic Lake is an awesome place but you need to STOP telling everyone about MY lake. I have a clear digital image of your knees, and I will send Guido after you if you don’t keep quiet (it’s a joke….maybe).

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