Bangor Daily News Outdoors contributor Sarah Sindo (right) and her friend Erin make it a point to get together once or twice a year for outdoor adventures. This year, they hiked trails in and around Bridgton. Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Sindo

We have summited Katahdin, traveled to Costa Rica and completed a winter hut-to-hut trip. My best friend and I don’t get together nearly as much as we wish, so when we do, we tend to make our adventure into something grandiose and ambitious.

Recently, we met up for our annual get-together, and it looked quite different from our past trips.

Our schedules felt jam-packed, and taking a look at our individual calendars, it was easy to tell ourselves there was no way we can drop everything and go have fun. There’s too much to do! Yet, I think that’s just what we were meant to do — drop everything, take a break, and go have fun.

So, Erin and I set off on a micro adventure.

Our destination was Bridgton, a thriving, quaint town in Maine’s Lakes Region. An acquaintance of mine rents a tiny house just outside of town, so we decided to stay there for the night.

Tiny houses have always caught my eye, so it was entertaining driving up to Maine Lakes Tiny House and feeling totally smitten from the get-go. The 225-square-foot escape was exactly what we wanted: conveniently located to town and the couple of hikes we wanted to check out, and it was even set in its own quiet, wooded setting.

We dropped off our bags, turned on the heat pump so we’d feel cozy upon our return, and set off to find the first bullet point on our checklist: Pondicherry Park.

The Town of Bridgton and Loon Echo Land Trust work together to manage the 66 acres of woodland, fields, streams and wetlands that sit smack dab in the middle of downtown Bridgton.

The Bob Dunning Memorial Bridge serves as the main entryway into Pondicherry Park located in downtown Bridgton. Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Sindo

Erin and I strolled across the Bob Dunning Memorial Bridge, enchanted by the craftsmanship and details. The bowed wooden sides made me feel like I was floating in a boat rather than walking over a brook, and the miniature lantern string lights provided the perfect ambience.

The wide gravel path that made up the series of flat trails felt like a luxury over narrow, stone-strewn trails that we were used to, and we could easily walk side by side. Just less than a mile into the hike is a universally accessible trail on the eastern side of that park. What a great feature, we thought.

At the south end of the park, near a local science center, sits a mini ropes course. Erin, a physical education teacher, was enchanted by it, and I even found myself testing my balance on various beams.

Feeling like we got our exercise for the day, we were more than ready for dinner at the local gem of a restaurant, Elevation Sushi and Taco. Yes, you read that right, and you must visit if you ever find yourself in Bridgton.

The following morning we found ourselves driving just a short distance from town and pulling into the trailhead parking lot for Bald Pate Mountain Preserve.

We ascended via the Bob Chase Trail and quickly found ourselves on the 1,150-foot summit.

The 1,150-foot summit of Bald Pate Mountain in Bridgton is quickly reached, making it a perfect evening or short-on-time hike. Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Sindo

The morning started on the chilly side, but once we got to the top of Bald Pate, the sun warmed us in such a nourishing way. I marveled at the sparkle that shone from the waters of Peabody Pond and numerous birdsong that took over the airwaves.

I could feel signs of spring and summer creep into my bones and that lightweight feeling lifted the extra weight that I felt like I was carrying from winter. It felt so good.

Erin and I couldn’t completely eliminate all of our old ways, so we decided to add some mileage to our hike.

We descended the steep Pate Trail, which required very careful attention to our footing, and then we linked up with the South Face Loop Trail. Looking back, I think it was a mix of not looking at the topography lines on the map and our carefree demeanor of the trip, but we realized we were soon hiking back up toward the summit of the mountain.

Nothing like really getting your bang for your buck in the exercise department.

We made our way back down the Bob Chase Trail, passing a beautiful beech thicket, and felt fully satisfied arriving back at the truck.

We kept things pint-sized on this trip, and we loved it. It was different for us and it was a positive reminder that not all adventures need to be big and grand. Even micro adventures have the possibility of leaving you with a feeling like you got out and conquered something you thought you couldn’t.

Sarah Sindo was locally grown in Millinocket. Her love and appreciation for the outdoors took off after college when she hiked numerous mountains with her brother, Nick, including her first ascent of Katahdin....