WINSLOW — The Psycho Path is not for everyone.

Based on a steep hill, it is covered with enough roots, stumps, logs and rocks to make even an advanced mountain biker pause.

Beyond the hill, nestled among some lush ferns, lies Pumpkinhead Trail. Full of twists, turns and inclines, the 1,000-foot long path is designed for perhaps a more intermediate rider.

In between and around the two lay a series of trails — including the Jiggy Jiggy, the Gorge of Eternal Peril, the Bridge of Sighs, the Bridge of Size, and Spidey’s Wild Ride, to name a few — that provide their own set of challenges.

Welcome to The Playground.

Created by couple Glenn and Laurie Fenlason, The Playground is a hidden paradise spread over nearly 100 acres off Garland Road.


More than 100 trails — some complete with elaborate jumps and bridges — covering 20 miles are spread throughout varying terrain.

Most of it is rough stuff through untamed brush.

“People say we are obsessed,” said Laurie Fenlason, 54, “and we are. We have 40 acres here and our neighbors gave us permission to use their land, too. The project just grew and grew and grew.”

The Fenlasons, who’ve been married 35 years, are longtime cycling enthusiasts.

Glenn Fenlason, 56, who works part time at Mathieu’s Cycle and Fitness in Oakland, first hopped on a bike when he was 10 years old. He hasn’t put one down since.

Avid competitors, the Fenlasons became involved with a local mountain biking club a few years ago, but weren’t satisfied with the trails that were available.


“Most of them were used by snowmobilers and they were OK,” Glenn said. “We wanted something a little more.”

So, with help from an excavator, backhoe and chainsaws, the Fenlasons turned to their woods.

“We had all this land and so we asked ourselves, ‘how can we get through this?” Glenn said. “And then we went to work.”

It quickly became a labor of love for the couple, who built their own underground home.

“The first thing we had to do was flag it,” Glenn said. “We went out in the woods wearing bright colors and flagged what we thought would make great trails.”

Next came the hard part.


“We had to prune it,” Glenn added. “We tried not to cut any trees, but we had to cut stumps and clear the brush. We had a commercial leaf blower — I mean this thing could blow bricks — and we had some firefighter tools like a rogue hoe and a fire rake that we used. And, of course, we had our chain saws.”

The project became life-consuming.

The couple spent their free time and weekends creating new trails and perfecting old ones. The work, they say, is never done.

“I spend at least 40 hours a week out there,” Glenn said. “At least.”

Added Laurie, a Winslow High School graduate who grew up on the property: “I’m on there 15 or 20 hours. It’s just so much fun. We love it, and there’s always something to do.”

Each trail is carefully constructed.


Some, like the Psycho Path, feature dizzying loops over rugged terrain.

“It’s rocky, lumpy, twisty, turny, and it’s uphill,” Glenn said. “It’s pretty rough.”

The Playground also features about 30 bridges, including some that are arched. Most range from 10 feet to 12 feet long.

“We do have some that are 50 feet long, though,” Laurie said.

The Fenlasons host a weekly mountain bike ride on their property every Monday night. Sometimes, as many as 20 riders will show.

Dave Richard, 45, of Vassalboro, along with his wife and three kids, is a regular rider.


“He’s got so many trails out there, it’s crazy,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s a lot of work. I like going out there when they lead a ride because you can get lost out there. One time last fall, my wife (Angela) had her bike break and we had to work our way back to the house. Luckily, my bike had GPS and we needed that to get back.”

The Fenlasons are training for the 24 Hours of Great Glen, a grueling mountain bike ride on Aug. 9 in Pinkham Notch, N.H.

The Playground will prepare them well.

“It has everything,” Glenn says. “The good thing about our trails, we can pick and choose what we want to do or where we want to go. We love it out here.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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