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Coast of Casco Bay for the 4th - 7/4/16
http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9312
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Author:  Granite Guy [ Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Coast of Casco Bay for the 4th - 7/4/16

I scouted this one out this past spring, and on the 4th of July it finally paid off. Looking for a good family hike along the coast of Maine to combine with the concert and fireworks at LL Bean that evening, we drove to Harpswell to hike the Cliff Trail. The temps were in the high eighties in town but Harpswell sits at the north end of the bay right where the wind was blowing, so a pleasant 78 degree sea breeze kept things bearable. We started but didn't get far before we reached the first Fairy House zone, where you are invited to build your own fairy house to add to the collection, so long as you obey the fairy house ordinances. We did, and my kids had a lot of fun looking at all of them as well as building one before we moved on.

The Cliff Trail. Home to many fairy houses
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Some of the many fairy homes along the way
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Our addition to the village :)
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After that it was a fairly easy hike of about a mile to the top of the cliffs, hugging the edge of a steep embankment for part of the way with views out over the water through the trees. A nice stroll through coastal spruce woods took us up to the top of the cliff, where we stopped for a while to have a snack, take in the views of Long Reach and check out some wildlife, which included a fly-by from a bald eagle (fitting for the 4th I thought) and a squirrel out to clean up any food you might drop. For an easy hike close to Freeport/LL Bean this one has a nice Acadia like quality to it, with a ledgy view out over the reach from the 150 foot high perch. It's also a trail even my littlest (who turned 3 Friday) could, and wanted to, hike on her own, so no carrying of kids for Daddy on this one!! Woo hoo!! :D

Nice coastal spruce to walk through
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Trail hugging the edge about 50 feet above the water
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The "scramble" to the top :wink:
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Checking out the VFTT
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VFTT
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"Chippy!!"
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Brave little guy. Must be used to people like the grey jays up north
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Chippy grabbing a dropped chip
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Bald Eagle circling overhead, but I didn't bring my long lens
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After the long break on top we made the mile long trip down to the car. Not much for excitement on this leg other than the forest and another fairy house building zone, where we did construct another shelter, only this time I made a fairy tent so they could camp out. 8) Then it was back to the car and off to the festivities, which were great, as well free. Just the hike we were after, and at 2 1/4 miles the longest my 3 year old has managed on her own. Before you know it we'll be celebrating the 4th on Mt. Liberty or with the founding fathers in the Presidential Range. But I'm in no rush to see my kids grow up just to get there. The Cliff Trail in Harpswell is just fine with me for now. Hope you all had a good time celebrating this great countries birthday however you did it!

Fairy house zone #2
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With more houses
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We decided fairies might like to camp out in a tent instead :D
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Other than that just more nice woods to wander down through for the second mile
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LL Bean's festivities were a pretty popular spot
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They had live music all weekend to kick off their "Summer in the Park" series
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Followed by a really good fireworks display
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Hope you all had a Happy 4th of July!!
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Author:  Kathy [ Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Coast of Casco Bay for the 4th - 7/4/16

Awwwwww.....aren't you lucky to have such a beautiful family Derek. 8)

Author:  Granite Guy [ Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Coast of Casco Bay for the 4th - 7/4/16

Thanks Kathy, but I'm luckier they will put up with me dragging them hiking occasionally. We do more beaches and lakes these days because my older one is at the "Awww, do we have to go hiking stage?!" :( But you'll be seeing a lot of them soon. This was also a distance trial run for my upcoming 3rd annual 8 Days in Acadia series. 8)

Author:  pgwido [ Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Coast of Casco Bay for the 4th - 7/4/16

Looked like a great day! Another one to check out.

Terry

Author:  New Hampshire [ Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Coast of Casco Bay for the 4th - 7/4/16

Granite Guy wrote:

Bald Eagle circling overhead, but I didn't bring my long lens
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Chippy better keep an eye on the sky...... :twisted: :lol:

Brian

Author:  JustJoe [ Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Coast of Casco Bay for the 4th - 7/4/16

Pretty cool day for, kids. 8) Wouldn't catch me in the middle of that with that drive home on the 4th though. :P :wink:

And what? Your oldest isn't soon to be starting her 48 quest? You need to get her mind right. :D :wink:

Author:  Granite Guy [ Fri Jul 08, 2016 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Coast of Casco Bay for the 4th - 7/4/16

JustJoe wrote:
Pretty cool day for, kids. 8) Wouldn't catch me in the middle of that with that drive home on the 4th though. :P :wink:

And what? Your oldest isn't soon to be starting her 48 quest? You need to get her mind right. :D :wink:


Hopefully I I can straighten her out by the time the others are old enough to hike them all as a family. 8)

As for traffic. None, and I mean zero cars backed up, both as we headed up through the toll around 11am and as we came back through at 11pm. Only wait we had was in the parking lot for 15 minutes waiting for our turn to leave. Could have been the usual Maine turnpike holiday weekend hell in between, but I guess if you can wait until later to return you might just be all set.

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