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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

coastal

Our family last visited Acadia National Park in 2009 when the kids were just two- and three-years old. At the time, we explored the Schoodic Peninsula — a lesser known entrance to the park, where a 6-mile loop treated us to spectacular views of lighthouses and forested islands. The visit was a quiet way to introduce our young family to the park, and while we loved our first adventure together, we left wanting to experience more iconic spots in Acadia.

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You have to love a getaway that’s less than 30 minutes from your home, but makes you feel as if you’re hundreds of miles away. In our case, Maine Forest Yurts, which is located in Durham, is such a place. The 100-acre retreat, which opened in 2013, is owned and operated by Bob Crowley, winner of the reality series “Survivor: Gabon,” his wife, Peggy and their adult children. The secluded property includes three yurts, wide trails to explore, a fairy house village and a shallow pond that’s great for skating.

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For the kids’ first trip to the Katahdin region, MP planned an overnight stay at New England Outdoor Center (NEOC) in Millinocket. The family-friendly, lakeside resort offers a variety of fun adventures, including moose tours, rafting, canoeing and hiking. For accommodations, guests can choose from rustic cabins to modern lodges.

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Our home for the night – the Eagle lodge.

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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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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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To celebrate the end of a successful school year, families from CP#2’s third grade class met in Kingfield to experience Maine Huts & Trails  — a series of backcountry trails and eco-lodges for adventurers of all levels to enjoy. Our brave plan? To hike 3+ miles through the woods to The Poplar Hut, where forty of us would convene for the night.

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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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