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United Way of Southern Maine and Presumpscot Regional Land Trust are proud to present StoryWalk® at Hawkes Preserve. 

Brick & Beam Society, a Giving Circle of United Way of Southern Maine (UWSM), has partnered with the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust to install a StoryWalk® along the Hawkes Preserve Trail connecting to Great Fall Elementary School in Gorham. The project promotes family engagement, physical activity, and early literacy which is a priority strategy for Brick & Beam. 

Visitors of StoryWalk® at Hawkes Preserve are invited to walk the historic towpath along the Presumpscot River where the StoryWalk® pages are posted, continuing on the Great Falls Loop. The total loop is about 1 mile. The trail is generally flat and easy and can typically be hiked by children aged 4+, and by younger children if they can be carried for short stretches over bridges.

On behalf of the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, UWSM’s Brick & Beam Society, and the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, we hope you enjoy your walk and the story.

Activities on the Trail

When visiting the StoryWalk® along the Hawkes Preserve Trail, these are activities you can try! 

I spy: While hiking, identify any birds, insects, plants, or trees along the way. If you do not have identification guides, take pictures and look them up after returning home. Resource Suggestion: I-naturalist 

Why walk when you can hop, jump, or fly: Get a little crazy on the trail by pretending to be different characters from the book and “walk” as they do. Can you hop like a bunny, jump like a frog, scamper like a squirrel, wiggle like an ant, or flap your arms and fly like a bird? 

Calling all color detectives: Find one item along the trail that matches each color of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Take turns pointing to the colors you discover.

Stumped: Do you see any tree stumps nearby? Can you count the number of rings like the characters in the story? 

River Time: There’s a river along the trail. Do you see it? Do you hear the water babbling or splashing? Do you know its name? The river along this trail is the Presumpscot River!  The name “Presumpscot” is believed to have been shared by a local Native American Abenaki village and translates as “river of many rough places.”

All About Your Journey: 

  • What was your favorite part of the hike? 
  • What animal or animals did you see on your hike?
  • What about insects? Did you see any ants or bees on the hike?
  • How can we show care toward wildlife or other humans?
  • Are there any similarities between showing care for humans and care for wildlife?

Have a StoryWalk® book suggestion? Send us your recommendations.


  • The book selected and supplemental information created are age appropriate to our target population pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade kids.
  • The content of the book is appropriate for outdoor engagement and learning.
  • The book and coordinating activities provide an easy, fun way for parents/guardians to engage their children during the nature walk.
  • The book theme and content align and enhance the mission of Presumpscot Regional Land Trust and United Way of Southern Maine.

Purpose Statement: Presumpscot Regional Land Trust and UWSM’s Brick & Beam Society have partnered to create a StoryWalk® that provides children and their families with an outdoor engagement activity promoting literacy. We aim to educate on the rich, diverse history of our community groups and land through intentional selection of authors and books as well as complimentary information provided along the trail. When possible, we will invest in local authors, illustrators, and publishers.

What is StoryWalk®?  The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.  StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson. StoryWalk® is an innovative and interactive way for readers of all ages to enjoy a story and the outdoors at the same time. Pages from a children’s picture book are mounted on posts along an outdoor path in a park, garden, or other outdoor setting. As participants walk along the path, they will be directed to the next pages in the story. StoryWalks® engage young readers and is a great way to practice active reading skills with special activities highlighted along the story.


Presumpscot Regional Land Trust  – We envision a future where: networks of conserved land, clean water, wildlife habitat, working farms, and public access to nature are recognized as vital assets to the economy and quality of place; people of all ages are connected to the outdoors and the next generation is inspired to be environmental stewards.

United Way of Southern Maine’s – United Way of Southern Maine’s (UWSM) mission is to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. UWSM unites individuals and organizations around our community’s shared vision to improve education, financial stability, and health for every person in Southern Maine. With community partners, UWSM builds on strategies that are known to achieve the best results, and rigorously evaluates progress toward those goals. UWSM actively seeks to engage donors, advocates, and volunteers to create measurable, long-lasting community change. Learn more at uwsme.org.