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Archive for the ‘Parks’ Category

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Happy New Year! We missed you. With the holidays behind us, our thoughts are turning to winter and our wish list of things to do throughout the season. Skating, cross-country skiing, brunching with friends and local road trips have become favorite activities for our family, but we’re always looking to do more. Here’s our wish list for 2017: (more…)

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MP recently met with Courtney Cronin, a Portland-based mother of two who is the founder of Maine Forest Playgroup, a parent-powered program that encourages families to enjoy the outdoors together. Designed for children ages one to five, the group meets on Friday mornings at nature preserves, parks, and beaches in and around Portland.

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Courtney started the group in December 2015. As a mother to an infant and an active toddler, she wanted a playgroup that would engage them both. A lifelong love of the outdoors, coupled with years of community outreach experience, gave her the tools she needed to start. Courtney organized the initial playgroup meetings on her own, offering an outdoor activity and a fun, new location for families to meet each week. Before long, word about Maine Forest Playgroup spread and parents began volunteering to facilitate group outings. Courtney says at least a dozen kids and parents show up on Friday mornings, no matter what the weather. (more…)

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When our family takes a summer road trip, we’re not the “let’s hurry to our destination” types. Rather we like to check out the places that catch our interest along the way. While driving to Blue Hill, we decided to stop at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory in Prospect. Located on the grounds of Fort Knox historic site, the 420 foot high observatory is the only one of its kind in the United States and the tallest in the world. In fact, it’s even taller than the Statue of Liberty!

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Last summer, after a weekend camping trip to Campobello Island in New Brunswick, we visited friends at their home in Lubec. We started our day with coffee and catching up while the kids played, and then took a short drive to Quoddy Head State Park. The park, which is located on the easternmost peninsula in the U.S., is home to the candy-striped West Quoddy Lighthouse.

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School is out in less than a month, and our summer is going to be busier than ever. MP has a special project she is working on, the kids are going to day camps, and we have family visiting from California for a few weeks. Still, there is always room for a few new adventures! Here’s what is on our list:

Maine Huts & Trails

We’ve heard so many good things about Maine Huts & Trails, a nonprofit organization in Kingfield that provides lodging and outdoor activities for all ages and levels of expertise. When a local Mom suggested CP #2’s third grade class take a year-end trip to Maine Huts & Trails, we were all in! Our plan is to take a short hike in with the kids to our hut, explore the grounds and enjoy a big, family-style meal together. We can’t think of a better way to kick off summer!

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Photo courtesy John Orcutt Photogrpahy

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It always amazes MP how much there is to discover in her own backyard. Some of her running friends introduced her to the newly expanded nature trails in the Cumberland Town Forest. The dense, 100 acres of land, which was donated to Cumberland in 1891, is an ideal place for a quiet walk with kids. The trailhead is easy to find — simply park at the town offices and the entrance is next to the police station.

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Summer officially ended on Tuesday, and while MP is slowly accepting the cooler weather ahead, she thought she’d share the last of our camping adventures with you. After trips to Quebec and Moosehead Lake, the final leg of our 1,750 mile tour brought us to Campobello Island, New Brunswick. The weather was bright and beautiful in Lubec, but as soon as we reached the Canadian border, a dense fog covered the Roosevelt International Bridge. MP asked the guard at border patrol if this fog was a regular occurrence. The guard looked at her watch and said, “Yup, always around 4:00. Welcome to Canada!” Thanks to the fog, we also noticed the temperature dropped 10 degrees. Despite the change in weather, we all looked forward to seeing our friends at the campsite.

Herring Cove Provincial Park is only a few minutes from the border, and the campground is situated near a mile long beach with views of the Bay of Fundy. There is a small playground area for the kids and if you prefer an easier camping experience, there are rustic cottages for rent.

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