The White Mountains area of New Hampshire is a special place indeed. The entire range is like a playground; it’s host to so many things to do. If you’re a hiker, there’s certainly no shortage or trails, rivers, and waterfalls. If you like shopping, small towns such as North Conway and Littleton await your visit. If you enjoy simply driving around to take in the scenery, boy will you be in for a surprise. Back in 2018, Laura and I made our first real trek to northern New Hampshire for a special and memorable experience. Since then, we’ve gone back once and plan to do so every year from now on. For us, autumn visits are the best, but I wouldn’t mind making one or two during the winter to enjoy the Christmas season. Please browse through this post to read some of my commentary on our trips as well as view the many photos I’ve taken along the way.
Some years ago, after moving to Maine, Laura and I haphazardly purchased four grape vines from a local seller. We really didn’t have any sort of plan after we made the purchase, so we planted them along a fence in some sandy soil. For years, nothing happened with these vines. They didn’t seem to grow at all. It wasn’t until two of them sprang to life that we were blessed with more home grown grapes than we knew what to do with. Since then, we’ve been making our own homemade grape juice and have been eating them straight from the hand of nature. And just this year, a friend made jam with these very grapes. In this post, I discuss whether or not grapes indeed grow in Maine and I also share a recipe for making grape juice. I may even add a recipe for making jam at a later date.
Carrabassett Valley is a wonderful town located in Franklin County, Maine. It’s about 77 square miles in size and is home to approximately 710 people. Of course, the number of residents shrinks and grows substantially through the seasons as folks from all over either leave for the winter to escape the cold or arrive for the summer to escape the heat. Sugarloaf Mountain is located within the Carrabassett Valley area, so there is some transient residency during the colder months for winter activities. In the following post, you’ll find all sorts of topics, from winter hiking to summer walking. From photographing nature to riding ATVs. Please click through to view the many (many) photos I’ve taken and to read my entertaining and informative commentary. Enjoy.
Lemon Stream isn’t long at all, but it sure has some pretty sections along its path. It’s even got a few waterfalls that are easily accessible by ATV, snowmobile, or car. At only 15.2 miles long, Lemon Stream is one of the shorter waterways in Franklin County, Maine. It flows into the Sandy River and by extension, the Kennebec River, therefore making it part of the Kennebec River watershed. Believe it or not, the primary source of water for this stream is a spring that’s about 1,500 feet above sea level. That spring lies between Little Mountain and Caswell Mountain in northwestern Industry. In this post, I’ll be primarily discussing the falls that are located a mere two miles downstream from the spring (the falls are at the northern end of Rand Road). We’ve ridden my ATV to the falls and have driven there in our car at well. It’s a great place to hike as well as explore the area.
The Bangor City Forest is pretty huge. It covers more than 680 acres and offers over nine miles of trails for walking, biking, and horseback riding. While you can’t ride horseback on all nine miles, there’s plenty of room to do so. When Laura and I visited this trail system, we were primarily interested in the bog section. Within the system is a boardwalk that’s just about three-quarters of a mile long. It traverses the bog. The bog itself covers just about 616 acres (not all of the bog is in the forest) and is over 10,000 years old. If you’ve never seen a bog close up, I recommend doing so. It’s quite the experience. Click through to view some photos I’ve taken of our visits to this area.
Deer Farm Camps is a very nice campground located just outside the village of Kingfield, Maine. If you drive north from Kingfield for about 1.25 miles, you’d make a left onto Tufts Pond Road. From there, you’d continue west and then north for about 2.3 miles until you see the campground on the right. The nice thing about this area isn’t only the campground; it’s also Tufts Pond itself which is directly across the street. Please take a look through this post to see photos of the pond and the surrounding areas. After you do so, you may just want to visit for yourself.
Freeport, Maine is a tourist town that offers lots to do. First and foremost, the flagship L.L. Bean store is located right at its center. From it, there are many small shops and restaurants that’ll keep you busy for hours. These range from gift shops to candy stores to boutiques that sell incense and other hippy paraphernalia. Also, if you’ve never seen a McDonalds that’s housed in a historic colonial home, you’ll need to stop by. Just a short drive north on Route 1 is another town called Brunswick. Larger than Freeport, Brunswick offers a much more busy “Maine Street” as well as many more shops and restaurants. In our visit to both of these towns, we explored many of the finer points both had to offer. From Cameron’s Lobster House to Bull Moose to Mexicali Blues. What a great time we had.
Getting to Pico Ridge requires a short hike up a small mountain located in Industry, Maine. The hike is only around a third of a mile long and the incline is relatively gentle. When you arrive at the ridge (a cliff), you’ll enjoy a wonderful view over Clearwater Lake all the way to the Record Hill Wind Farm in Roxbury. On a clear day, you may even see the White Mountains in New Hampshire. More close by mountains include Mt. Blue, Mt. Abraham, Saddleback Mountain, and Tumbledown Mountain. During our hike to this ridge, we took in the views and captured some beautiful images.
Before we moved to Maine, I didn’t even know Bangor existed. Perhaps I heard of it in passing here or there, but I admit I never gave it much thought. After we moved here and visited the area though, we learned there’s actually quite a bit going on in the area. I must say, Bangor is a pretty fun place. And if you’re a lover of listening to and making music, you’ll have more fun than the average person. During one of our trips to Bangor, Laura and I stopped to explore a few different locales; Bull Moose, Northern Kingdom Music, and the downtown center. Each was excellent. Click through the see some marvelous photos I took along the way. I’ll keep this post updated with the latest goings-on if we ever return to Bangor, so this post really will be a one stop shop, for the lack of a better phrase.
On the right day, there’s a buzz in the air of Farmington, Maine. With a population of a bit over 7,500 people, there’s got to be. Personally, I prefer the winter months to explore the streets and stores, but that’s just because I enjoy seeing the snow piled up on the corners and sidewalks. It makes me think I’m on a movie set. The town itself can be picturesque in places. A small college called the University of Maine at Farmington is located right at its heart. It’s a nice (smaller) school with a handful of interesting students. They mostly behave and keep to themselves, which is nice. They add a lot to the area, much like the students of any college would. Click through to check out the many photos I’ve taken of the town and surrounding areas. I offer some opinions and commentary as well.