Month: January 2015

Wolfe’s Neck Farm: Quite the Spring Chicken

Play this song while reading this post:

After quite the adventure in Acadia National Park, let’s head back to Freeport for a quick replenishment of our L.L. Bean gear. Driving 10 minutes southeast of Freeport takes us to a surreal location by the sea. It’s kind of like going to a seaside resort in England for the weekend. Welcome to Wolfe’s Neck Farm. It’s actually out of the main Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, but it is worth checking out. Both the park and the farm offer campsites and the farm boasts 3 cottages with views of the bay and ocean. The park features many walking trails, but my personal favorite is the Casco Bay Trail, which leads right down to the ocean. Spend some time walking on the rocks and collecting Maine’s mussels. Back at the farm, discover the steps Wolfe’s Neck takes to promote Maine’s agriculture. Some of the activities at the farm include hay wagon rides, bicycle rentals, canoe and kayak rentals, and much more. It’s a great weekend destination for families. The farm also features Belted Galloway cows, nicknamed “oreo cows” because of their white and black pattern is similar to that of an oreo cookie. Don’t take my word for it – visit Wolfe’s Neck Farm yourself and prepare to show a greater appreciation for the Earth and Maine’s locally-grown food!

(Also, for you runners out there, Maine Track Club‘s annual Farm to Farm Ultra Run starts at Wolfe’s Neck Farm. It’s a 25K, 50K or 50 Mile race supporting locally-grown food in Maine. It’s pretty aweseome.)

Acadia National Park: Where Dreams Come True

I created Off the Maine Road with a vision to instill a journey in my readers. This is a journey through the Pine Tree State. This is a journey where dreams come true, and here’s where the magic happens.

We’ve travelled very far since we started this journey in Kittery. We’ve left I-95 in Bangor, and are now traversing Route 1A into Ellsworth. Finally, we have taken State Highway 3 into Mount Desert Island. It is the 6th largest island in the contiguous United States, and 52nd largest in the entire United States. Mount Desert Island has an area of 108 square miles, most of which is occupied by Acadia National Park.

It can be said that Acadia National Park is Maine’s crown jewel…and it certainly does not disappoint the 2.5 million tourists who visit the park each year. The park is also host to a running camp based out of Bar Harbor in July. In this post, I’ll focus on Bass Harbor-a small fishing village in the southwest corner of the park. It also has a lighthouse, which was automated in 1974 but is still home to a Coast Guard and his family. Camping is a prominent activity in Acadia, so Bass Harbor Campground is the place to go. Just pack your L.L. Bean camping gear (more on that later) and head out to the harbor!

Cadillac Mountain is located in the center of Mount Dessert Island, and is the highest point on the island. It has gained the title as the place to see the “nation’s first sunrise.” Well I’m here to prove to you that it’s not true. According to a detailed analysis in the 1972 issue of Yankee Magazine by Blanton C. Wiggin, Cadillac Mountain only sees the first sunrise from October 7 to March 6, when the sun rises south of due east. Most of the time the sun rises first in Mars Hill to the Northeast. In addition,  the first sunrise in the U.S. is seen at West Quoddy Head in Lubec, (the easternmost town in the United States) for a few weeks around the equinoxes.

On the day when I went up the mountain to see the “first” sunrise, clouds and fogged infiltrated the area, which made for a desert-type look. The next day I ascended the mountain, only to find the same weather conditions. It is said on a clear day, one can see Mount Kathadin, Maine’s highest peak, but I did not have such luck. Maybe next time.

DSCN7423

A disappointing sunrise atop Cadillac Mountain.

 

I’ll probably talk about this more in a future post, but Bar Harbor is a must-visit place. In addition to having one of 4 Cool as a Moose locations in Maine, Bar Harbor (or Baa Haa-baa as some call it) also features Ben & Bill’s, with their extensive chocolate selection and signature Lobster Ice Cream.

Cool as a Moose in Bar Harbor.

Cool as a Moose in Bar Harbor.

Acadia National Park is one of the many reason why Maine has a special place in my heart. (And it’s apparently also why GMC named an SUV after it). However, the places I described in this post are just the tip of the iceberg. Go to Visit Maine’s Acadia page and check out all of the other cool things you can do Downeast!

Check out the slideshow of pictures I took from Acadia below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Are You Adventure Bound?

We’ve moved way North in our Maine adventure, all the way to the North Woods. We’ve moved from the coast to the mighty Kennebec River. But I promise you…the long car ride was well worth it.

The moose tracks lead us to Caratunk, a small town with a population of just 69 people. Well why did I bring you here? Enter Adventure Bound. Its mission is to create “Maine’s finest youth and family adventures.” There are many activities you can do on their premises, but the main reason to trek up to this secluded town is for the whitewater rafting. It’s both perilous and quite exhilarating at the same time. Adventure Bound has top-notch facilities, from its cabins to a delicious breakfast every morning. On the day that we went rafting, we were given a quick safety briefing, and loaded vehicular transportation to take us up the river by the Harris Station Dam. The Kennebec River is dam-controlled, and this particular dam supplies power to locations as far as Boston! We were told that we would be rafting 12 miles down the river today, with a break in the middle for lunch. The morning rafting was indeed more eventful, as the largest rapids were located in that section. (For more information about Kennebec whitewater rafting and classification of rapids, visit this link). One of the most memorable rapids was called Magic Falls, as its descent ratio of approximately 5:1 (every 5 meters forward, you would go 1 meter downward) makes it quite daunting. After a few more scenes where our lives flashed before our eyes, we stopped at a place along the river bank with only a staircase in plain sight. We then walked up the countless amount of stairs only to be met by two pickup trucks carrying buckets of food. Man, these guys run a smooth operation (in sharp contrast to the roughness of the rapids)! We carried these buckets of raw steaks, salmon, chicken and veggie burgers (don’t forget rice!) all the way back down the stairs and back into the rafts. Shortly thereafter, we “docked” the rafts at a secluded spot along the river, with nothing but a metal fire pit and a log for a bench. The guides immediately got to work and whipped up quite a fantastic lunch. I’m not kidding when I say this, but it was one of the best lunches I’ve ever had. Your choice of freshly grilled steak, chicken, salmon or a veggie burger served with fried rice and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. It was absolutely incredible.

The afternoon consisted of floating in inflatable kayaks, and just simply drifting down the (slightly freezing) but peaceful river. Finally, we pulled the boats out of the water and headed back to Adventure Bound for an evening under the stars. All in all, it’s was quite a well-coordinated operation by every single member of the extremely friendly Adventure Bound team, delivering the signature Maine hospitality (more on this to come in a future post).

Ok, I’m running quite high on my word count. If you’re in the mood for a fun, adventurous way to spend your weekend/summer/beginning of school activity, Adventure Bound may be the place for you!

I’m Adventure Bound. Are you?

(Note: You may notice that in the above gallery, there are absolutely no pictures of the actual rafting experience. This was because at the time, Off the Maine Road did not possess such sophisticated waterproof photography equipment. However, Adventure Bound had us covered. Guys in inflatable kayaks showed up at random locations along the river, taking pictures of us. It honestly felt like the paparazzi. Literally 20 minutes after we arrived back at the lodge, they had a slideshow full of pictures and videos from the day’s trip. They’re crazy efficient.)

New Beginnings at Kittery

Hello again! Happy New Year!

Off the Maine Road has been on vacation for the past two weeks, but we’re ready to bring you more exciting posts!

In the spirit of the New Year, I thought I would devote this post to talk about Kittery. When one crosses the border from Portsmouth, New Hampshire into Maine, the first place that they see of I-95 is Kittery. It’s a new beginning in one’s pilgrimage to Vacationland. Indeed, Kittery is the first blast of Maine goodness one gets when entering from the South. It’s a small town that if you’re in the mood for a detour (or a bathroom break!), it’s worth the visit. Beaches, cobblestone streets and a lighthouse are what makes this town “The Gateway to Maine”. Two of the best spots there are the Kittery Trading Post (in order to get stocked up on all your outdoor equipment) and Robert’s Maine Grill, if you need to get that first bite of lobstah in preparation for many more.

Although not in Kittery but just outside, Flo’s Hot Dogs are a must(ard)-eat (see what I did there?). It definitely has a real cult following, and is only open during lunch hours. Its house-made relish is available in various locations across the state.

(Tip of the hat to Barbara N.)

95804886_561b57cab2_o

The “Welcome to Maine” sign on I-95 around Kittery. Photo taken from Flickr and used with permission.

Well, that’s it for now. I hope to get back into the swing of things and start digging deeper into the Pine Tree State’s must-visit places. Please remember that any suggestions are welcome, so please fill out the form on the “Contact” page!

© 2019 Off the Maine Road

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑