Okay, so I definitely like to go to places that wouldn't appeal to most people. The barbed wire museum in Kansas is my personal favorite, but that didn't keep us from finding a runner up on this road trip. We saw a little sign pointing to the "Telephone museum" between Bar Harbor and Ellsworth. Now, Maine needs to work on their attraction and road signs--they have these signs indicating the direction of these things and there's no turn in site. Miles later, you see what could possibly be the turn you need. After missing the turnoff the 1st time around, we turned around and proceeded down this narrow back road. Why anyone would put a museum back here is beyond me, but what I found out from the website is that the "building" was donated. I made the comment that it had to be someone's house and surely enough, as we pulled into the "parking lot" of the museum, it was behind something else. Bobby saw an antique car he wanted to get a picture of, so he got out and the owner of the house came out to talk to him. We then found out the museum wasn't open. This museum, by the way, is no more than a shed. The hours this museum is open are quite limited. 3 months out of the year, 3 days a week for 3 hours each of those days, I believe. Maybe 4 days a week. Either way, they seem to have a good selection of phone related stuff--like wires and switchboards and whatever anyone could possibly want to know about the telephone from the eyes of Maine.
So, most people may not know such a treasure is located so close to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park AND that you're likely to pass right by. If it's the weekend and you find yourself in North Ellsworth, Maine between the hours of 1-4pm during the months of July, August and September, check this place out. I know we will the next time we get up this way--we'll make sure we're there at the appropriate time, hehe:)
It's located off 1A on Winkumpaugh Rd.
I was very disappointed to see that the Lumberjack show was closed for the season down in Bar Harbor. Not that I'm all into this kind of thing, it just seemed like a funny thing to check out. However, I do know it reopens on June 15th 2005 and I have my calendar marked. (I think it's the 15th, don't make plans according to my bad memory) Anyway, we left Bar Harbor to head up to Caribou and shortly after we got north of Bangor, the always populated I-95 informed us there would be no more service signs. We knew we were heading into desolation, but no matter...this is what we were looking for. Shortly after getting off the interstate to head even farther north, we saw a sign for the "LUMBERMEN'S MUSEUM" I can see people passing by the telephone museum on their way out of Bar Harbor but how many people can possibly pass the Lumbermen's Museum? Apparently not many because like the telephone museum, this wasn't open, either. This didn't keep us from being impressed that the museum is made up of NINE separate buildings in an open field. Not much else close by.
This museum documents what I really don't like about Maine. The importance of logging to the state. I would have liked to have seen the displays so maybe I would have some perspective as to why people still log in a clearcutting fashion in this state. The website does have some information, though. They are open on Friday-Sunday...the days and hours change at some point, the information is on the website.
Patten, Maine--accessible from I-95 North to Maine rt. 11 North.
Near Baxter State Park
This is definately off the beaten path, as a matter of fact it is at the end of the path, you can't go any further than walk out into the deep blue sea.
The Bluffs on Cliff Island are the far side of the Island on the small part of the "H", the shape of the island when you see it from the air. The narrow path up from Kennedy Beach goes by a private home that gives the public permission to go and visit the magnificent rocky cliffs. Beware, it is full of poison ivy.
A great place to watch the surf, the boats, and the fisherman lobstering....but mostly most will agree a great place to through in your fishing line and try to catch a Striped Bass. Once you hook one, wow, what a fight. So much fun.
Although there is not much reason to get off the highway and drive into Augusta, history buffs might be interested in tiny, old Ft. Western, built in 1754 on the banks of the Kennebec River. It is the oldest extant wooden fort in the United States, and it was originally built by the British government to protect it's northernmost Massachusetts possessions (yes, this was Massachusetts at the time) from the French in Quebec. By the time the American revolution rolled around, Ft. Western was already retired from its military duties and operating as a store. Still, it hosted Benedict Arnold for a while as he prepared to assault Quebec in 1775. This was before the general became famous as a traitor to the patriot cause.
The fort is only a few minutes off I-95, right across the river from the old Augusta downtown.
We were heading down the coast from Bar Harbor to Portland and the main beer stop was to be Camden but Dublin looked like a scenic place too. I have to add that last minute I learned of a great sounding little brewpub in town so we stopped in and found a great friendly place with some excellent beers. The more run of the mill beers like the Lobster Ale were not very good but the bartender was great at giving free samples so no money wasted. Their big beers were just gorgeous. McGovern's Oatmeal Stout was lovely and won a silver medal at the 98 World Beer Championships. But the real gems were a super charged duo: one a Reserve Stout of 13-15% alcohol that was sublime in its dryness considering its power and the Old Hammer Barleywine (14%), a very hoppy take on the style. Though Doreen was driving from that point on, I did not drink much as I expect Seadog to still be in Camden. It was not and was mad I didn't enjoy these brews more. Well worth seeking out. It is literally on the road to Portland from Bar Harbor so keep your eyes open for it.
St. Lawrence Street Church was at the far end of Congress Street and made for an interesting departure from the main tourist area. Unfortunately, it was in an awful state but would be a nice place for the city to refurbish as it was an unusual building
Well, actually this place is quite popular but I had never heard of it before so must be mostly known by the gray bus crowd. We camped here and as part of our fee, we got free tickets to visit this odd little corner of the earth. Evidently it was a huge farm at one time that somehow got overtaken by sand. Hence, the desert of Maine moniker. Kinda hokey but we got a nice laugh out of it one morning. And right off the Interstate too. ;)
An area of Maine that is popular with state residents but usually gets ignored by out-of-state visitors are the northern lakes. One fall, as the leaves were changing, we spent some time hiking the mountainous terrain around Rangely Lake. With the leaves changing, the scenary was stunning.
Shaker Village as a religious sect had the biggest membership in the late 1700s. It was a surprise to me to read that the group continues to funtion at present at Shaker Village in present day New Glouster/ Poland Spring. There is a gift shop there with numerous goods produced by the group and a tour of the grounds which is 6 dollars and takes a couple of hours. We did not take the tour but will report back with an update when we get back to do that and spend time in the functioning library. The group originally forbid marriage and most contact between the sexes. I am interested to learn how they have continued to the present day.Shaker Museum
routwe 26 New Glouster Maine
707 Shaker Road
New Gloucester, ME 04260
If you didn't know about it, it would be easy to miss the Casco Bay Ferry Lines Terminal, that is on the corner of Commerical St. where Franklin St. ends at the Waterfront on the Old Port.
The ferries can be taken out to see the beautiful Casco Bay islands....a nice ride with so much to see. You can buy ferry tickets, round trip...and have the best of both worlds, the city of Portland, and your first introduction of the rocky coastline of Maine.
Don't miss this opportunity....you will be glad you did.
Short trail much of it board walk through an interesting estuary salt water marsh. There are numbered stops and views with basic general information about flora and fauna.
locarted at 321 Port Road Wells Maine . It is a short distance from route 1 and from Kennebunkport
Griffin's Cove is a nice cut out cove that is shallow in parts and makes a great place for small children to swin and play in the water.
The best part is that when the tide is completely out, the hot sun warms up the mud, so by the time the tide comes back in, the water is warmer and acutally bearable to swim and wade in.
This is a favorite place to gather, and lounge while the kids are enjoying the water. The view is not bad either.
To get to Rockport you have to get off Route 1 and take Route 1A after Rockland going Northeast.
Before you go over a bridge into the town, take a right down a steep hill and it will take you to the Rockport Harbor....it is here you want to stop and admire the boats and park-like surroundings.
The "Harbor Master" building is there also.
Cliff Island is 2 miles long and a 1/4 mile wide. It is home to about 90 residents including lobster fishermen and women. It has about 300 summer residents.....and it is a little piece of heaven. My little Jewel.
It is the last island that the Casco Bay Lines Ferries accomodate. About an hour and a half from Portland, Maine by ferry, 20-25 minutes by regular boat.
There is no public facilities here, no hotels, B&B's, etc. Just a summer colony and residents. There is a snack bar by the ferry landing.
There are a few cars for those who live here in the winter. Golf carts and bicycles are the main transportation besides walking. Cliff Island is like going back in time. Slow, quiet, removed from the hustle bustle.
In our cottage that we rent in July, there is no phone or television. So we are forced to entertain ourselves. Mostly fishing, walking, card playing and reading.
My favorite thing is just sitting on the wrap around porch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, watching sailboats and lobster boats go there merry way. The horizon is the vast blue water.....and on the other side is my other favorite place, Ireland.
Off the Beaten Path of Maine are the numerous back roads and by-ways, that host so many of the original unique Maine farmhouses.
Maine's farmhouses have the nick name of "Front house, Middle house, Back house and Barn"...................and they are all connected together in a long row. Thus, the New England ingenuity of not having to go out in the storm or snow to do your winter chores.
I believe this is a custom that is not demonstrated in any other rural farm area around the country.
Below is a good example of that construction which happens to belong to my brother who lives in Somersville, Maine in Lincoln County near Union, Windsor, and Jefferson. Quite near the coast, Rockland area.
Also, below is the website for a Maine Museum that demonstrates the early settlements and archives of early life styles. Maine is one of the first states to receive settlers and pioneers in the establishment of the new country, America.
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Our family has stayed here several times over the past 25 years, usually in the Ocean Front Lodge....more
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