Fort Williams and the Portland Headlight

Last summer, Tami, David and the kids escaped for the day to one of their very favorite places, the Portland Headlight in Fort Williams Park.  There’s so much room to run around there with wide open fields made just to play catch or fly a kite.  Tami says the views of the ocean really help her to relax.

There’s a hiking path winding along the rocky coastline. There are several geocaches including the first in the state of Maine. They had a lot of fun doing a multi-stage cache that took them all around the park looking for clues.

right to the Portland Headlight – the most photographed lighthouse in Maine

You can take tours of the Lighthouse for a fee . . .  climb on the abandoned fort on the other side of the park or stick your feet in the ocean.

And you know what?  After they hung out there, they went to the Old Port and took a ferry ride around Portland Harbor and THEEEEEEN, they went to dinner after that!

Do you think they asked me??  Nooooooo.

Oh well.  I suppose my antlers would have taken up the whole back seat anyway!

Is It Spring Yet? All the Campers Want To Know!

Hey Campers!!
How’s everyone doing? Are you waiting for Spring to really start?  I know it’s supposed to be officially here, but I hadn’t seen it yet.

So my buddy Cookie and I headed out into the campground today to find it.  We were kind of disappointed that the snow was still close to knee deep in spots, but there were a lot of bare spots too!  Especially at the lake point.

I had to keep a very, very close eye on Cookie too because she goes bonkers for open water, and there was plenty of that to be found!

While we walked the snowshoe trail, we saw places where it looked like the deer might have lain down.  And look at this . . .

I’d say those busy beavers have been hard at work, wouldn’t you?

Cookie and I said hi to the eagle who’s sitting high on her throne nest.

We’re really looking forward to seeing eagle babies!

We saw the wood duck pair today too!  Down by the beaver hut.

I’ve always wanted to see their babies, especially in that moment where they drop from their tree nest, to the ground and head for the water.  I bet that’s really cool to watch.

Cookie and I agreed, we’d seen lots of signs of Spring, and we were about to head for home when we heard honking.  No, not car honking . . .

Goose honking!  There was a whole flock in that little patch of open water.

I’m very surprised Cookie didn’t take off after them – she’s not very trained on “stay”.  Not like I am anyway . . .

I took one last photo on my way back from the lake . . .

The owner of this camper can’t wait for Spring either! I bet she could tell you, right down to the minute, how many days we have left before camp opens . . .

It won’t be long now!

Mt. Apatite

Hey!  Maxx here!!

A couple summers ago, Tami, Dave and Ben discovered another awesome hiking trail.  It’s only 15 minutes away, you can look for gemstones and it has many geocaches. You think they would have found it sooner . . .

I am talking about Mt Apatite in Auburn Maine, just off of Route 11.

Mt. Apatite was an important part of Maine’s mining history.  They mined commercial feldspar, and found (among other precious minerals and crystals) green and pink tourmaline. So if you like rock hounding, this is a great spot!

Tami said she saw lots of quartz and mica on the trails, and she brought me a couple pieces.

Dave said he and Ben got to play with their new hiking GPS a little bit . . . this photo makes me think of the commercial for UP



“With my handy dandy GPS, we’ll NEVER get lost!

Not only didn’t they get lost, but they found two geo-caches with it!

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Ben was pretty excited to have found these humongous polywogs sunning just below the surface of the water, too.

He said it was the best hike ever!

But he says that about aaaaaaallll the hikes.

Grafton Notch State Park

Maxx Here

Whether you want to go sight-seeing, beat the heat, get away from the crowds or go hiking, there is a lot to do at Grafton Notch State Park. There is a small fee of a couple dollars a head that you pay on the honor system.

Sightseeing

There are several fabulous natural attractions if you are just in the Mood for sight-seeing. Start off with Screw Auger Falls a series of cascades that includes a 30 foot plunge. One of the most visited falls in Maine.

Screw auger falls at Grafton Notch State Park in Maine
Screw Auger Falls, Maine

Mother Walker Falls, a gorge in the summertime, is more than 40 feet deep and 980 feet long.

Moose Cave. In this 200-foot-long gorge, lying within a 45-foot-deep canyon in the bedrock, water skirts boulders and disappears temporarily into a cave beneath a huge granite slab. (I don’t go in there, the last moose who did, never came out)

Moose Cave at Grafton Notch State Park in Maine
Moose Cave

Hiking

The Appalachian trail crosses thru Grafton Notch, so of course you can hike to Baxter Mountain or all the way to Georgia. If you are a little less adventurous there are several shorter hikes that are quite a challenge. We have tried Table Rock (2.5 miles with 900′ elevation gain) and the Eyebrow Loop (2.1 with a 1300′ ft elevation gain). There are also trails to the top of Old Speck Mountain and Baldpate Mountain a couple of the highest mountains in Maine.

The Eyebrow Loop Trail at Grafton Notch Maine
The view from the top of the eyebrow loop trail
The Eyebrow Falls Grafton Notch Maine
The Eyebrow Falls

Geocaching

There are several geocaches in and around Grafton Notch including one that brought us to a spot we had never found in several trips called ‘The Jail’ it is a sort of box canyon off one of the many gorges throughout the park.

The Jail at Grafton Notch Maine
The Jail

Grafton Notch is about an hour north right on Rt. 26, you can’t miss it. It is a nice leisurely and scenic drive with almost no traffic that is perhaps worth the trip itself.

Old Speck Trail Sign

If you happen to visit the geocache on top of Old Speck, write my name in the log book for me, thanks.

Snowshoeing thru the Campground

Hello everyone!  Max here!

Tami wanted to clean the house.  She wanted to write.  She wanted to do the laundry.

Cookie and I had other plans though.  I hovered over Tami’s shoulder and peppered her with questions.  “Whatcha doin’?   Can I help?  What’s that?  I want to watch.”

Cookie joined me by sighing at every window and dropping her ball at Tami’s feet.

Fifteen minutes later we were all outside, Tami tightening the straps of her snowshoes while Cookie danced around us.

It was no easy trek today!  We all sunk into the wet heavy snow, which was still a good 1 – 2 feet in most places.  We just took it real slow and stopped often . . . .

The beavers have been working hard!   There were lots of signs they’d been out and about on the lake’s edge behind the 80’s campsites.

Cookie and I found a few small patches of bare ground as we got closer to the sunny side of the point.  But it was the open water on the lake’s edge that had her most excited.

And then, we saw what we’d been hoping for!  Nesting eagles!

With any kind of luck, we’ll be watching baby eagles come May!

Rattlesnake Mountain

Maxx Here

One summer  Tami, Dave and Ben hiked to the top of  Rattlesnake Mountain off of Rt. 85.

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Tami said it it was a nice hike with an early upward climb and fabulous views!   They took a picnic lunch and looked out over Sebago Lake, Panther Pond and Jordan’s Bay.

rattlesnake-mt-blog-020

Then they kept following the trail across the top of the mountain to another lookout point with a view of the White Mountains.

Unfortunately, the geocache on this mountain was missing, but Dave and Ben left a note in a bottle in it’s place so the next treasure hunters would have something to find.

Tami and Dave love to try out new hiking trails and area attractions.  After 19 years of exploring with the kids, they have a wicked long list of local things to do from hiking, to beaches to shopping to wildlife farms to museums!  Everyone who checks into the campground is given a list.  If your looking for recommendations, just ask Tami!  Or you can click on a tag at the right of the screen to bring up past blog posts.

Did ya notice that Alex and I didn’t get to go hiking this year?

We had to stay behind and work.

I think we’re gonna have to do something about that next year!