Walking tour of historic Clifford Park on September 4, 2021
Dana Peck, President of the Biddeford Historical Society and a small but enthusiastic group of hikers (seen below) prepare to walk the historic Clifford Park on Pool Street in Biddeford on Saturday, September 4th. The trail can be accessed from Pool Street (ME-208/9) in Biddeford across from the intersection with Parent Avenue. Follow Pool Street approximately one quarter mile from Hill Street towards the ocean, look for Clifford Park on the right.
Clifford Park’s 140 acres of woods, streams, and recreational facilities offer Biddeford residents and visitors 22 miles of hiking trails and waterfall vistas. The park was dedicated in 1896 by the Clifford family, and its heyday was in the 1890s and 1920s, when the park was a popular spot for mill workers and their families to gather, and its outdoor stage saw concerts every weekend.
The park contains old quarry roads that mined granite for building the Lincoln Memorial and the Brooklyn Bridge. Schooners anchored on the Saco River along Decary Road and waited for the massive stones that they would transport to destinations across the country.
A family favorite for generations, the park also was a place to listen to music and bands from the late 1800s through the 1950s. In fact, the granite stairs leading up to the old Clifford Park bandstand are still there, overlooking the Black Trail.
Early settlers like the Jordan Family are buried in a family cemetery on the park grounds and since its inception, the park has long been the site of family picnics in Biddeford.