The first time I walked in the Ocean Avenue Recreation Area, I got there by accident, sort of. I was walking home on Ray Street and saw an intriguing little path into the woods. So I had to follow it. Signs said it went to Ocean Avenue, but I got turned around at first and came out of the woods one street over from where I went in. After that things got straightened out.
The path winds through a quiet and lovely forest, then suddenly comes out onto a grassy area with a big bump in the middle. That, I found out, is the old city landfill. I hate to think of what kinds of things are inside there forming the core of the hill! Actually, it would be interesting to see. The path (more like an unpaved road at this point) heads back into the woods and shortly comes out in a parking lot. Leave the parking lot and you’re on Ocean Avenue, near where it meets Presumpscot Street.
I’ve been back three times, starting from the Ocean Ave. side. The second time, I got kind of lost, tramped and tramped and tramped through the woods, and ended up in a new-looking neighborhood off Ledgewood Drive in Falmouth.
It’s fascinating to me that all that woods, all those wildflowers, wetlands plant life, and birds — all that natural beauty — exists between the boundaries of Ocean Avenue, Ledgewood Drive, and Ray Street (and surrounding neighborhoods). If you’re inclined to, you can totally avoid Washington Avenue from Ocean Ave. to Ray Street. Then after that you can walk through another wooded area, Pine Grove Park, and thus get to Allen Avenue! I know that doesn’t excite most people.
If you have a dog, there’s a leash-free dog park (fenced-in) at the recreation area.
The lavender flowers in the photos are our old buddy purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). It’s so beautiful and so evil. It’s a wildly invasive plant that tends to grow in dense stands in wet areas (you see it everywhere in roadside ditches), crowds out native plants, and diminishes habitat for certain wildlife. So I hate to even use it in a photo where it can be seen as potentially decorative. But it’s there; can’t pretend it isn’t.