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Archive for the ‘Trails’ Category

First, can MP just say, wow! It’s been well over a month since she’s posted here. She forgets how busy the start of the school year can be for her family. That’s why whenever Columbus Day weekend rolls around, it’s a gift to sleep in, catch up on a few to-dos around the house, and explore our home state.

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While there are many places in Maine that we love, the Moosehead Lake region is near and dear to us. We discovered its quiet beauty in 2015, when our family was fortunate to score a last minute, waterfront campsite at Lily Bay State Park. Since then, we’ve returned every summer, either with friends or on our own, to explore more of the area.

One of our favorite local finds in the region is Little Kineo Mountain. Just two miles round trip, this is the perfect hike for all ages. While you have to be willing to drive at least an hour and traverse some dusty dirt roads to get to the trailhead, the experience is well worth the effort. There is no shortage of mountain and water views during the trip, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a moose or two on your way. Just be sure to bring a map or written directions along with you, as cell phone coverage is spotty.

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Finally! The sun is shining and spring things are happening. As our kids say, “Can we get a hoy ya?” With all of this spring-y goodness popping up, our crew decided to visit the 235-acre Cathance River Preserve in Topsham. The preserve is home to three main trails and four unique connector trails, making it easy to tailor a hike that works for your family.

We started our hike at the .90 mile Highland Trail. Our adventure began with a pristine view of a vernal pool. There’s a small dock here, where the kids enjoyed posing for pictures and generally being silly.

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As soon as the weather turns warmer, our family seeks out walks that are new to us. The Trout Pond Trail to Cascade Falls, which is part of Saco Bay Trails, is only 1/4 mile long and dog-friendly. And since spring is the season when waterfalls run fastest, we thought it would be a great time to visit.

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Wells Reserve at Laudholm is home to a beautiful historic farmhouse and 7-miles of trails where families can explore forest, a salt marsh and estuary, and Laudholm Beach. The wide open spaces in between are perfect for sledding, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. If that weren’t enough to entice you, the staff at the Reserve has a few great days of activities planned for February vacation  — from nature-inspired camps and crafts to a day dedicated to spending time outdoors.

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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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