In July and August, my family and I try to arrange one day a week to play outside the campground. It’s become a tradition we call Family Day, and has been a fabulous way to connect with our kids as well as recharge.
It also allows us to experience/experiment with day trips, seeing which ones our kids like vs. what we adults like. Then we pass on the information to you, our campers.
Last year our favorite trip was Monhegan Island. It had everything! Hiking, wildlife watching, quaint stores, views galore!
We chose to ride the Hardy Boat Cruises Monhegan Ferry out of New Harbor, a pretty little coastal town. It took approximately 1 hour to drive there from the campground. Parking was $2 for the day. The boat ride was $30 per adult and $18 for children under 12, and well worth it. This was not our boat, but we rode one similar
We sat on the top deck and enjoyed the view. The captain kept us entertained with historical information about the harbor and the coastline. Pretty soon, he slowed down to show us a basking shark. A little while later we saw puffins!
Once on Monhegan, you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. There were very few vehicles. Dirt roads wound past quaint shops and homes.
We were there for the hiking though, and we set off to find it. We were not disappointed with the views:
There are short, fairly easy hiking trails and then there are the longer and more difficult ones. We chose the longer trails that wound along the islands shoreline. Ben, who had just turned 10, had no problem. He totally enjoyed the opportunity to climb to his hearts content. We packed a picnic lunch to eat on the trail, but there were plenty of places to sit and eat on Monhegan itself. A tip: if you plan to hike, bring a plenty of water with you or buy it on the island before you set out. We saw too many families who hadn’t taken any water at all, and were tired and thirsty halfway through their hike. We ended up sharing some of our water with an older couple.
Toward the end of the trail we discovered a huge display of fairy houses! Visitors to the island are encouraged to build them. There had to be at least fifty
Back in town, we found some ice cream (we always manage to find ice cream!) and wandered the streets to find photo opportunities like these:
I had more fun taking pictures of gardens, homes, signs, views, piles of lobster traps, the lighthouse . .. Monhegan is a photographer’s dream.
Before we set out on this trip, one of my friends said, “You can’t walk two feet without finding an artist”. She wasn’t kidding! Painters are everywhere on Monhegan. Even on the trails.
As we sat on the top deck of the Ferry heading home, I thought for sure my day was complete. But then we saw this guy
A seal! We actually saw five or six more before our trip was done.
Back in New Harbor, we watched some lobstermen unload their boats. Then we had a fabulous seafood dinner right on the pier at Shaw’s Fish and Lobster Wharf.