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Outdoor Adventure Blog


Houghton Graves Park: An adventure story of multiple kidnappings

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West For a sweet morsel of a park with delicious tidbits of human and natural history, I recommend Houghton Graves Park on Orr’s Island. You can walk under boughs of ancient apple trees to […]

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Long Reach Preserve: Rocks and family ties

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West If you want an invigorating hike through a forest to a pristine water view of another forest preserve, get thee to the Long Reach Preserve. You’ll clamber up and over two ridges, quickly […]

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Middle Bay Islands: History, Beauty and a Lesson in Working Together

This is one in a series of articles about the author’s research into Harpswell Heritage Land Trust preserves and trails this year. By Nancy West What is this treasure? There’s a pie riding on it. For the most intriguing idea, I’ll bake you a pie. You should know that a cherry pie that I baked […]

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Playing a Role in Historic Preservation

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West The beauty of Harpswell encompasses far more than its natural scenery, its views of ocean and sounds, woodlands, and farmlands (all top-notch). Its historic architecture is also eye-catching and distinguished. Harpswell Heritage Land […]

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Potts Point Preserve: A gem

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West The closest you’ll find to a high-rise at Potts Point Preserve is a cairn, and it will founder in the next storm. The closest you’ll find to high density housing there are pockets […]

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Little Yarmouth Island: Full of surprises

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West Go to Little Yarmouth Island Preserve. You can paddle there easily after putting in at the Bethel Point boat ramp near Cundy’s Harbor. Crossing to Yarmouth Island is quick, and once you duck […]

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Otter Brook Preserve: A Noisy Spring

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West Probably to my own betterment, Otter Brook Preserve has taken me into a world I’ve been skeptical about–the world of bird songs. I’ve scoffed at the possibility of identifying a bird by its […]

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McIntosh Lot Preserve: Ancient history on display

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West What comes to mind when you think of the Giant’s Stairs? A “stern and rockbound coast”? That’s a catchphrase used by P.G. Wodehouse about Bertie Wooster: “[He] once got engaged to… Honoria, a […]

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Stover’s Point Preserve: A picnic spot and much more

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West Stover’s Point Preserve makes me long for a picnic on the beach (even in February, when we first visited). Picnic weather is a matter of time and patience. Many of us recall family […]

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Hackett and Minot Trails: Trees and a legacy

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West A walk in the woods, to borrow Bill Bryson’s title, describes the Hackett and Minot trails. Except that for me, my first visit was a snowshoe in the woods. Blue sky, fresh snow, […]

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Skolfield Shores Preserve: A 148 million year legacy

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West Harpswell volunteers who saved Skolfield Shores Preserve from development in 2002 saved a 148 million year legacy. One of Maine’s largest populations of Atlantic horseshoe crabs feed and reproduce on the tidal mudflats […]

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Curtis Farm Preserve: A braided history

One of a series of articles exploring the natural and human history of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s protected land. By Nancy West When we began walking Flossie, our newly adopted dog, on Harpswell Heritage Land Trust’s (HHLT) Curtis Farm Preserve, I wondered who the Curtises were and what they grew. By diving into public records […]

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A History of Skolfield Shores Preserve

Look around you at Skolfield Shores Preserve and consider all the history that has occurred at this site over the centuries. For 10,000 years this place has been a stopping place for Native Americans along their travel route from the forest, down the rivers and along the shore to Cape Cod. To travel from inland […]

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Long Reach Preserve in Autumn

By Ed Robinson While each of the trails in Harpswell has something to offer, I always look forward to time spent at Long Reach Preserve. Not only does the Preserve offer the longest hike in town (nearly 2 miles in total), but you can enjoy a wide diversity of terrain and genuine solitude on this […]

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Yarmouth Island Geology Tour

By Alicia Pulsifer Heyburn On a clear morning on the last day of September, I paddled my kayak to Bethel Point to meet Bates College students in Dyk Eusden’s field geology class.  They had recently climbed Mt. Washington to learn about the ancient Appalachian Mountains, traveled to Ripogenus Gorge and will visit Vinalhaven, Acadia and […]

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Visiting Ghosts on Birch Island

Articles and photographs by Jym St. Pierre On Saturday, August 20, 2016, we dipped the kayaks into the blue water of Mere Point Bay and paddled the short distance to Birch Island. The goal was to visit a property that Harpswell Heritage Land Trust is working to preserve. Casco Bay is a drowned landscape. After […]

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The New Trail in Town at the Devil’s Back

By Ed Robinson Attention All Hikers!  It’s time to lace up your boots and get over to the Devil’s Back Trail parking lot on the north end of Orr’s Island.  You’ll find a lovely new trail just waiting for you to explore and to enjoy some classic Harpswell scenery. A team of 12 volunteers spent […]

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Pott’s Point Preserve: Flashback to Fantasy Land

By Jamie Pacheco My parents both grew up on the coast: one a Mainer, the other a fortunate Massachusetts transplant.  I grew up in inland Maine, since my parents’ work took them away from the sea.  My parents missed the ocean and they spoke of it often throughout my childhood.  To me, coastal living became […]

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Long Reach Preserve and a Short Fall

By Jamie Pacheco Last weekend we held a surprise 50th birthday party for my aunt at my family’s oceanfront abode. This meant that 20ish people descended for four hours with enough food to feed a small herd of ravenous teenage boys. Though we aren’t a ravenous herd of teenage boys, we still usually manage to […]

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Scourge of the Seaweed on the Devil’s Back

by Jamie Pacheco Spring has arrived here in Southern Maine and most of the snow has melted. In honor of this, Essex and I have started revisiting the slippery and steep, formerly snow-covered trails in Harpswell. On Tuesday afternoon we headed out to give Devil’s Back Trail the once over. This began as a nerve-wracking […]

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