Lifestyle & Amenities
30 Governors Way
Topsham, Maine 04086
At Your Fingertips
What are the makings of a vibrant, active community? Part of the recipe is a full calendar of life enrichment programs for you to choose from—created by listening to and learning from you. From exercise and wellness to adventures in the larger community, we provide great sources of joy, excitement and relaxation—each and every day. We’re always sure to make time for laughter, connection and friendship, and include those ideals in everything we do.
We encourage everyone—not just our residents but also our team—to lead healthier, more active lifestyles, helping build a culture that celebrates every moment in our journey together.
Life Enrichment Calendar
We offer a calendar as full as you want it to be. Feel free to choose from any number of activities, or just relax in the comfort of home and in the company of friends.
Join Us Anytime!
Celebrating Emotional Wellness!
October is Emotional Wellness Month. At our community, we understand that physical, mental, and emotional health are connected and all equally important. We know that emotional wellness is not only how we process feelings and manage stress, but how our emotions impact our overall well-being. Every day we find outlets for creativity, fun, and connection. Our life enrichment programming combined with our whole-body wellness approach and unique services and amenities catered to each individual, provides the best opportunities for us to grow, learn, be active, be involved, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle where all are aging AND living gracefully together!
Food brings us together. Whether sharing an intimate meal with a best friend or celebrating a special occasion with all your loved ones, we are certain that living here will satisfy your appetite for connection with others and for the most delicious food.
October 15 - 29
Week of October 17th
Health & Wellness
Living well can mean lots of things. It’s seizing opportunities to connect with others, explore interests, grow spiritually and nurture a healthy lifestyle. It’s being part of a community where you feel valued and welcome. At The Highlands, we provide all the ingredients our residents need to live up to their full potential. From fitness lessons to therapeutic programs and everyday activities that define our vibrant community, everything we do is guided by a sense of purpose.
Friends of The Highlands Trails
1. Come walk with me
The mission of The Friends of The Highlands Trails is to advance a model of thoughtful use and create recreational and educational trails that are cared for by the people who use them.
There are many reasons to walk the trails here at The Highlands. Perhaps you just want some exercise and get your heart pumping as you wind your way down into the ravine and back up again. For many, a trail is an entry into a different world, a chance to slow down, to observe, to gain the benefits of time out-of-doors.
If this is why you are walking here, then this interpretative path is designed for you.
The numbered posts along the path are keyed to descriptions that may be accessed by using the QR codes on each post.* They draw your attention to specific things of interest as well as ecological processes that tie us into the network of life.
Linger along the trail. Look into the woods on each side of the path as you go along; note what is underfoot; listen for the sounds of other living things; inhale the aromas — of woodland flowers, trees, decaying matter; feel the textures of bark or leaves. In other words, explore with all your senses to become familiar with all the life here.
As you wander along the trail, consider how the life found here is part of a complex system - and that you are a part of it.
These trails are maintained by The Friends of The Highlands Trails; the numbered posts were made by Dave Vancura; text was prepared by Jackie Cressy; individual plant signs were provided and placed by Allen Cressy.
Thank you to the many residents of The Highlands and the wider community who collaborated to create the trail and descriptions.
*Hard copies of these descriptions are available in the Library.
2. Alien Invasion
This spot has a prime example of an “exotic invasive”—Japanese Barberry. This deciduous shrub with its attractive arching branches, pale yellow flowers, and decorative red fruit was introduced to the US in the 1860s and has run rampant over the New England landscape. Note the simple spines that adorn the stems. This plant can be seen in many places on The Highlands trails and may have originated from foundation plantings done before this plant was placed on the Maine banned list.
3. Plants from the Time of Dinosaurs: The Ferns
4. X-Rated Trees
Conifers, like our familiar pines, produce seeds that are not protected within a fruit They belong to a large class of plants called the Gymnosperms: gymno from the Greek word for naked, and sperm for seed. Therefore, naked seeds! (The original “gymnasium” was only for men and they exercised in the nude.)
Softwood is a term used to describe all needle-bearing trees. They are typically evergreen, retaining their leaves through two or more growing seasons. This strategy means that the trees do not have to put energy into new leaves each year. They are also well-suited to our soils which are acidic and not very deep. Their root systems are very close to the surface, something to remember when planting these trees in a landscape. The seeds are usually formed in unisexual cones, known as strobili.
There are four common conifers of our northern woods to be found along this trail. Here at this post is the most common one in the ravine, Eastern Hemlock.
As you have been walking along the trail, especially where it goes along the stream, you have likely noticed a lot of low, dense green growth carpeting the ground. Often overlooked because they don’t have flowers and are low to the ground, these tiny plants are worth getting to know.
Mosses are ancient plants, dating from 450 million years ago, and have survived and thrived through many drastic changes in climate. They occur on every continent and are the second most diverse group of plants, outnumbered only by the flowering plants.
If you look very closely, you will see that the mat of mosses at your feet is actually composed of many, many individual plants that need each other for support. Each individual plant has a stem and leaves, but no root. Instead it has rhizoids, hairlike structures that anchor the plant to its substrate, be that rock, bark or soil.
6. Small and Beautiful
Here by the bridge crossing a run-off stream coming down from the terrace above, there are three small native plants that you are likely to see on trails throughout our area—if you are looking closely. They frequently cover the ground beneath our deciduous trees and bloom in the spring before the leafy canopy limits the amount of sunlight that reaches the forest floor.
The first is a vine with opposite leaves and bright red berries. Partridgeberry is a perennial which blooms in late spring with small fragrant paired white flowers that are joined in a funnelshaped tube.