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Archive for the ‘Trails’ Category

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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Now that school is back in full swing, MP finds herself daydreaming about summer adventures with family. One of her favorite memories is a morning hike to Moxie Falls in the West Forks. At a vertical drop of over 90 feet, the waterfall is one of the highest in New England.

The hike to Moxie Falls is short – just .6 of a mile one way, making it an easy walk with kids or dogs in tow. This well-groomed trail is flat and features some fun little climbing spots along the way, such as boulders and felled trees.

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One of the benefits of the kids getting older is the ability to take longer hikes. With this thought in mind, MP decided the New England Outdoor Center (NEOC), an adventure resort located on Millinocket Lake, would be an ideal home base while we explored the Katahdin region.

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While researching different trails, MP was surprised to find a variety of hikes in Baxter State Park that are kid-friendly, each ranging 3-4 miles round trip. She had a few trails on her wish list, but friends from Millinocket suggested we check out the Debsconeag Ice Caves. Part of the Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness area, the caves are located located just south of Baxter and Mount Katahdin. The caves are made up of heavy boulders that were pushed together by glaciers during the last ice age, and brave hikers can explore inside. Our family couldn’t wait to experience these uncommon ice caves for ourselves.

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