Monday, October 14, 2019

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

My son and I visited Spring Point Lighthouse this morning while in South Portland.  It is a short 0.6 mile round trip from the parking lot to the tip of the lighthouse jetty (here is a map).  The park, located on the grounds of Southern Maine Community College, has great views of Casco Bay and its islands and also provides access to the batteries and other fortifications of Fort Preble. 

The jetty out to Spring Point Lighthouse.
View of Fort Gorges in Casco Bay
Fort Preble

The lighthouse, which was closed today, is open for tours during the annual lighthouse day event.

When my kids were little, the jetty used to terrify me with the prospect of them falling between the large rocks.  Fortunately that never happened.  Today's trip was much less terrifying.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hedgehog and Bradbury Mountains (Freeport and Pownal)

My son and I visited Hedgehog and Bradbury Mountains today, and camped overnight at Bradbury Mountain State Park. 

Hedgehog Mountain is managed by the Town of Freeport.   There are around five miles of trails in the park including a short trail to the summit.   This is more of a hill than a mountain (the town brochure puts the word mountain in quotes and almost apologetically states that it's the highest point in Freeport).  

View from the summit of Hedgehog

When we lived in the Portland area, we frequently hiked at Bradbury Mountain State Park, and were happy to return to the park today.  There are several trails throughout the park including several open to mountain bikes.  The mountain itself has an open summit with great views of the surrounding countryside.  

View from Bradbury Mountain

The park is open to camping year round.  The park has showers and a small kitchen area with a microwave oven and sink for washing dishes.   

Kitchen area at Bradbury's campground
Here is a map of both of our hikes.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Mount Waldo (Frankfort) revisited

A week ago when I first visited Mt. Waldo, it's summit was covered in fog.  We returned today and were treated to excellent views of the surrounding countryside. Here is a map of our hike.

Evidently there is another way up the mountain since this truck was at the summit working on the cell tower.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Camden Hills State Park (ski shelter trail/slope trail/Mt Megunticook

My son and I hiked at Camden Hills State Park today, taking advantage of the beautiful fall weather.  We started out on the ski shelter trail, which is essentially a dirt road with some elevation gain.  We hiked two miles to the ski shelter where we stopped and enjoyed our lunch.  We then headed up the slope trail to the forested summit of Mt Megunticook.  On the way down we stopped at the Ocean Lookout and enjoyed incredible views of the surrounding area including Camden, Ragged Mountain and Penobscot Bay.    

Here is a map of our hike.   

View from Ocean Lookout
Ocean Lookout

Oddly, it wasn't this crowded when we were up here in March.
Trail across the summit of Mt. Megunticook
The wooded summit of Mt. Megunticook
The ski shelter is available for rent.

Ski shelter trail.

Fall colors.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Mount Waldo (Frankfort)

This morning I hiked up Mount Waldo in Frankfort.  The trail starts at the end of Mount Waldo road (roadside parking is available and encouraged with signage) and starts up a wide and very steep gated service road.  After a short period of time, the trail levels off with a more moderate ascent and slightly more rocky terrain.

The trail leads to a quarry, which while beautiful was marred by graffiti.

I wasn't really clear where to go once I reached the quarry so initially set off to the left.  This wound up being much more challenging than I had anticipated so I doubled back and went to the right of the quarry, where I found a well worn trail leading around the perimeter.  At the far end of the quarry, this trail intercepted an orange blazed trail.  I continued left up this trail to the summit.    

Other than the area around the quarry and a few spots on the orange trail, it was relatively easy to navigate the area. 

On the way to the summit there is a nice ledge affording views of the surrounding area.  The summit itself is bald with two cell towers and would likely have great views (it was fogged in this morning).

Overall this was a great hike and I'm happy to have found it as it's close to home. 

Here is a map of the 4.4 mile hike.

View from a ledge shortly before the summit.
The summit was fogged in, but mountains could be seen occasionally peaking through.

View from the trail on the way down, once the fog burned off.
View of the surrounding area from the quarry area.

View of the quarry.
Unfortunately, the quarry was covered in graffiti.
I did find this one bit of graffiti to contain sage advice.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Hiking, Canoeing and Relaxing at Hidden Valley Nature Center

My friends and I spent the day at Hidden Valley Nature Center.  We rented the Pond Cabin, hiked the 1.4 miles in from the parking lot and enjoyed a terrific potluck lunch, followed by an afternoon of canoeing and paddle boarding.  

It was a great day to be out on the lake.

As we sat admiring this blue heron, a martin came from the grass and attempted to attack it.

Paddle boarding, mixed with swimming.

Lunch in the Pond Cabin.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Nature Nearby - Kenduskeag Stream (Bangor)

I just finished a book called Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys (highly recommended yet uncompensated link here). The premise of the book is that you don't need to have extensive planning, travel far or spend a lot of money to be able to connect with nature, you just need to go do it (most of Alastair's adventures involve an overnight in a bivvy sack).  In Maine we are fortunate to have beautiful natural surroundings within reach throughout the state. 

This morning, my wife and I visited Kenduskeag Stream Park, starting on Franklin Street and hiking to the platform just past I-95 to view the falls (here is a map**).  The park looked amazing with its leaves starting to change and the bright sunlight.

** On the return trip, we made a slight detour to obtain provisions at Gosselin's bakery.