Tag: camping

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.

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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.

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Camden Hills: Coastal Sightseeing at its Finest

You may notice that this blog has been following a linear track up Route 1. First Portland, then Freeport and Brunswick, and we have now arrived at our next destination on our whistle-stop tour of Maine’s coast: Camden. I describe many towns in Maine as quaint, and Camden is no exception. Main Street is teeming with shops and small restaurants (and an active harbor), but I would like to take a quick look at shop selling frozen treats. Throughout my travels in Maine, I have had the opportunity to sample many different ice cream shacks. On this blog, you will hear about many of them. Camden has its own clear winner on the ice cream front – River Ducks Ice Cream. It’s a simple shop in a quaint town – just the way people like it.

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River Ducks Ice Cream in Camden.

All that aside, I would like this post’s focus to be on Camden Hills State Park. Located slightly outside of the Main(e) thoroughfare (I know…too many puns), the Park (as its name suggests) is on a hill. One of the camp’s primary features is a pristine campsite, suitable for both tents and RVs. However, the signature place to be in the park is atop Mt. Battie, with a 26-foot tall stone structure. This was originally constructed in 1921, and designed by Camden summer resident, Parker Morse Hooper. A plague in front of the tower reads: “In grateful recognition of the services of the men and women of Camden in the World War, 1914-1918.” One can still climb this tower, and after reaching the top of the spiral staircase, the views are incredible. To quote the old Broadway musical:

“On a clear day, you can see forever.”

This quote is certainly true from Camden Hills, as the views are endless. Camden, Penobscot Bay, Isle au Haut, even Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park – you name it, it can be seen from Mount Battie.

This little gem on Route 1 (basically Maine’s equivalent to Route 66) is definitely worth the detour (Off the Maine Road…get it?) on your trip up to the ultimate pilgrimage site: Acadia National Park. But more on that later.

Structure atop Mount Battie, which visitors can climb.

Structure atop Mount Battie, which visitors can climb.

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Penobscot Bay from the top of Mount Battie.

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The town of Camden from on top of Mount Battie, with its working harbor.

 

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