My first year of blogging and my first Top 10 List | Maine Memories from 2016

Looking back on 2016, my first year of blogging, I am excited with the direction of my blog, and motivated to expand and grow  my content to focus on even more of the amazing adventures available in Maine. But, before I jump into 2017, here are ten of my favorite activities from this past year, and links to the blog posts I wrote about them.

(1) Artascope Studios | Saltwater Etching for Copper Class. I love learning new crafts, and while I don’t always have as much time as I would like in this area, I did spend a productive Sunday, this past spring, learning about copper etching. Artascope has studio space in Yarmouth where they run a variety of classes including day long workshops, and more extended six-week sessions. I’ve taken many classes at Artascope and they have all been amazing.

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Hiking Maine | Fall Trek to Clifford Park in Biddeford

Behind an iron gate lies a large park with a series of looping trails that weave you through trees and lovely green spaces. It’s hard to believe that this pretty piece of nature is in the middle of Biddeford and surrounded by more urban spaces. It’s a decent size park that makes you quickly forget the city at its edges, as you wander through trails or follow the path of a meandering stream that ends with a small waterfall.

Maybe a bridge to the urban can be found in how quickly this trail embraces technology. As soon as you arrive, there is a posted QR code on the trail signage, that allows you to access trail maps on your smart phone. My husband held up his smart phone and snapped a pick of the QR code, and immediately started planning out our route for our morning hike.

Even without trail maps, it’s fairly easy to navigate as we discovered when our cell phone battery died. No need to worry though, the color coded trails are mainly circular loops with a few detours here and there that eventually connect back. The entire park, while substantial, is surrounded by the city of Biddeford, so no fear of getting lost in the woods. You can always find a way out.

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Hiking Maine | An Especially Lovely Hike on the Presumpscot River Trail

Slow, lazy Sunday mornings that gradually lead into more active adventure later in the day are the routine in my house. So on a past Sunday morning, still in pajamas and streaming episodes of the Gilmore Girls, I was content knowing I’d get more active later in the day. But, when the living room suddenly darkened as thunder showers passed through, it made the hike we had planned for later that day more tentative, and the chances of me staying rooted to the recliner more likely.

Fortunately for my health, the storm, while intense, was brief and followed by brighter skies signaling the return of our outdoor plans. Once things cleared, we headed out to the Presumpscot River Trail, which is part of the Portland Trails network.

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Hiking Maine | Following in the path of the Ultimate Maine Waterfalls Road Trip

We received the Massachusetts Atlas and Gazetteer as a wedding gift. We were living in Framingham, Massachusetts at the time. It sat within easy reach tucked into the slot behind the passenger seat of our car. We used it to guide us everywhere as we explored the state. It got so much use the corners were curled back in a permanent roll, and the cover eventually fell off. It served us well but was unceremoniously discarded when shinier, newer toys took over as a way to guide us on our travels.

We could have really used another Atlas on our recent outing to recreate The Ultimate Maine Waterfalls Road Trip which we had read about on the OnlyInYourState website. [Starin, Michelle. “The Ultimate Maine Waterfalls Road Trip Is Right Here – And You’ll Want To Do It.” February 8, 2016: OnlyInYourState.]

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Hiking Maine | Fore River Sanctuary & Jewell Falls

Who does’t like to see a good waterfall? We’d heard rumblings of a waterfall in Portland, and as the summer heat continued to blaze, we headed to the Fore River Sanctuary in search of falling water. We prepped a little better for this hike bringing actual sunscreen and water so we were ready to enter this little oasis surrounded by city.

The entrance to this trail is located at the end of Rowe Avenue and easy to find. After a short walk from the parking area, on a path that runs parallel to railroad tracks, we hit the main part of the trail and turned left towards the falls. It was an easy walk with a few small hills, although nothing too steep.  The roots of the trees that flank the path create a random, uneven obstacle course and do require that you gaze down at regular intervals so as to not trip. It’s nothing too difficult just something to keep in mind.

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