Archive for the ‘Outdoor Activities’ Category

The Cribstone Bridge

The Cribstone Bridge

The Bailey Island Cribstone Bridge is a one of a kind in the world. Built in 1927 and held together with gravity alone, this engineering marvel is something to behold. I took my little boat to the bridge to give you a better look at what this bridge looks like and to see why it’s so amazing that it has withstood the elements for so many years. The current and tides not to mention the storms of the the Maine Coast have beaten on the bridge relentlessly for all these year. She stood up well and provided a safe access to Bailey Island.  The Cribstone Bridge is being repaired now. They have built a temporary bridge that runs along side of the National Landmark. The hope is to have the bridge back in use in 2010.

Temperary bridge behind the CribstoneTemperary bridge behind the Cribstone

Some 10,000 tons of granite were used in the project.

The design for the 1,150 foot bridge presented some unique problems because of the tides in the area. It was decided to build a crib bridge using granite slabs from nearby quarries, similar in design to a bridge that had been observed in Scotland and no longer exists. The granite slabs were sufficiently heavy enough to withstand the pounding of wind and waves and the open cribbing or cellular construction permitted the tide to ebb and flow freely with out increasing the normal tidal current to any great degree.

Inside wall of the spanInside wall of the span

The span between connecting the two towers has been removed for repairs.

On July 19th,1984 the Bailey Island bridge was dedicated as a historic civil engineering landmark, The bridge is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The next 100 YearsThe next 100 Years

We look forward to the rebirth of our Cribstone Bridge.

The best photos of the Cribstone Bridge can be taken on the point of Cook’s Lobster House.

The Cribstone Bridge was reopened to the public in November 2010. There were many speeches, ribbon cutting ceremony and an antique car parade crossing the bridge to open the way for public use once again.

New Cribstone Bridge Old CrossingOld Meets New

Harpswell Maine Historical Sites

Harpswell Maine is rich in history and historical sites. Follow the links below to learn more about these Mid Coast Maine treasures.

Harpswell MeetinghouseHarpswell Meeting House

 

 

 

The Harpswell Meeting House: The Harpswell Meetinghouse is a historic colonial meeting house on Maine State Route 123 in Harpswell, Maine. Built in 1757-59 to provide space for both religious services and town meetings, it is a little-altered and well-preserved example of a once-common form, and is the oldest such surviving building in the state of Maine. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968

Bailey Island Cribstone Bridge

 

 

The Bailey Island Bridge: The Bailey Island Cribstone Bridge is a one of a kind in the world. Built in 1927 and held together with gravity alone, this engineering marvel is something to behold.

Eagle IslandEagle Island Maine

 

 

 

Eagle Island the site of the retirement home of the polar explorer Admiral Robert Peary (1856-1920). The island and home have been preserved as a Maine state historic site.

Half Way RockHalfway Rock Light House

 

 

 

HalfWay Rock Light House  is a lighthouse located on a barren ledge in Casco Bay, Maine. The lighthouse tower, which has a height of 76 feet (23 m), and the attached ex-boathouse are all that remain, as the other buildings have been taken away in storms.

Tarr Hackett HouseTarr Hackett House

 

 

 

 

The Tarr Hackett House was built around 1780, is one of the earliest surviving houses of the region.

 

Elijah Kellogg Church Elijah Kellog Church

The Elijah Kellogg Church is a historic Congregationalist church at 917 Harpswell Neck Road (Maine State Route 123) in Harpswell, Maine. Built in 1843, it is a well-preserved example of Greek and Gothic Revival architecture, and is further notable for its longtime association with Rev. Elijah Kellogg, a well-known 19th-century writer of children’s books. The church building was listed on theNational Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Harpswell Maine Walking Trails And Beaches

Harpswell has some of the best hiking trails and beaches in Maine’s mid coast. Hidden treasures of sand and shells in sheltered coves dot the coastline. Clear cool waters of Casco Bay splash the beaches with their open vistas of the Maine coast. Hiking trails and paths of all types for hiking enthusiast line the shore and descend into the dark greens of the forest. Here is a list of what Harpswell has to offer the hiking and beach loving traveler.

Lands End Bailey Island Maine

Maine hiking on Bailey Island in the town of Harpswell

Lands End is a fantastic place to see Maine and its many faces. You may be looking for the rugged Maine coast with cliffs and granite rocks jetting to the edge of the sea. You may be looking for a beautiful sand beach to stroll along and enjoy the sounds of the sea. Walking paths with vistas that will take your breath away. You can watch the lobster men pulling their traps or view the brightly colored spinnakers of sailing vessels as they glide past the tip of the Island.

Maine beach on Bailey Island in the town of Harpswell

Maine hiking trail on the shoreline

A bronze statue of the fisherman of the sea makes for a great picture opportunity for you.

Before or after your time on the point of Lands End, don’t forget to visit the gift shop. One of the largest on the coast of Maine. The Lands End Gift Shop has great Maine gifts as well as local artisan crafts and pictures.

For a wonderful day on the Maine Coast drive on down to Lands End on beautiful Bailey Island

The Long Reach Trail In Harpswell, Maine

Hiking the deep forests of MaineMaine bogs are are home to many creatures
The Long Reach Trail in Harpswell  starts at the ball field on rt 24. A medium hard walking trail with some steep banks leading down to the water. You are first introduced to the beautiful deep woods of Harpswell and slowly descend to the fabulous bogs that are abundant with beautiful plant life. Walking up out of the bogs on well made wooden walkways you are suddenly in a the deep woods again. Lush and green with some very interesting wild growth. There are sturdy stone walls along the path marking boundaries of times gone by. You start to ascend  the hill that creates the eastern wall of the water inlet separating the Cliff trail and the Long Reach Trail. The decent is a bit steep and the leaf cover made it a bit slippery and hard to see the trail, so where good gripping footwear and go slow. Once down to the bottom of the hill you have great views of the inlet and cliffs. We were there at low tide and saw clams being dug up near the island in the middle of the inlet. The path travels along the inlet for a ways and is a great spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of the spot. Now traveling up away from the inlet you are treated to some of the most wonderful plant life and rock formations existing side by side or intertwining in harmony. Up and down a few small hills and down to another bog. White cotton like plants filled this bog and contrasted the lush green surrounding it. It was a marvelous sight. On the other side we met up with the loop again and made our way back  to the ball field. I love this trail with it’s many different features. I do need to warn you that it is a bit strenuous and the trail is in need of remarking. All in All I give this trail a B+.
Maine Rocks
Maine folk and Maine trees have a lot in common Maine Tree Growth
Forest life in Maine Forest paths
Ocean views in Maine
The Cliff Trail In Harpswell
Maine Mountain trails

The Cliff Trail in Harpswell is located just behind the town office on the Mountain Road. It is a trail of wonder that seems almost out of place on this stretch of land. You can park behind the town office and start your hike down a well kept picture perfect tidal inlet. The path goes in and out with the shore.The woods are deep and green with moss covering the fallen branches and stumps that are scattered along the way. As you go your way into the woods and leave the inlet behind a new world is revealed with large old pine trees towering overhead, allowing just a glimmer of light in. Ferns and reindeer moss cover the floor of this forgotten retreat. The trail is well marked with both white and yellow markers representing the two separate trails. My father in law, my dog ( ladybug )and I continued initially along the white marker trail. Up and down along a series of small hills and valleys till we came to a sign that stated we had truly entered a magical place. The sign said Fairy House Trail. In the deepest part of the wooded trail, if you looked carefully, were a large number of fairy houses that were constructed of various types of material. Wooden sticks, birch bark, moss, and even a fairy house with a stone roof. It was truly a magical sight to behold. I would have been satisfied with the walk if that had been the end of our trail but we had just begun to find the hidden treasures that were in store for us. We came upon the sign for the Cliff Trail loop and started our ascent to this magnificent overlook. Breathtaking views that can only be compared to some of the overlooks at Acadia National park. What a sight. The edge is very steep so you need to be careful and to keep your dog leached for their own protection. The trail followed this incredible stretch of cliffs for a good while and there were many places for resting and reflecting on the beauty of the place we live. From there we were led  back into the woods with it’s many wondrous sights that only the most preserved northeastern woods can provide to the hiker. I found it amazing that we were only minutes form the town office and the cross road we call mountain. The trail is well kept and fairly ease to walk. The two trails are about a total of 3 miles and can be done easily in a couple of hours. A must walk when in the Maine Mid Coast Area.

Maine stone bridges and water reflections on the coast

Harpswell Maine Cliff Trail view from the top

Beautiful Views in Maine

Skolfield Shore Trail in Harpswell, Maine

The Skolfield Trail is located on Rt.123. The Skolfield Shore Trail is a true treasure of the Mid Coast Maine Region. Maintained by the Harpswell Heritage Trust and loved by the local community. The trail has a little of everything. Deep woods with ferns and mushrooms to open fields with tall grass swaying with the gentle breeze to water front with breath taking views of the outer islands. The path is easy walking and has a lot of great features to it. Hand carved benches are located at beautiful overlooks. Rustic wooden bridges cross over steep banked valleys. The path is well marked and maintained. Wildlife abounds on the trail. Song birds, chipmunks and other native land animals make their home here. I would have to give this path an A for its ease to walk, combination of environments and beautiful views. I want to also thank the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust for maintaining this property so well.

Mackerel Cove, Bailey Island, Maine

Mackerel Cove is one of those places that post cards are made for. Working harbor, beach, field of grass. boats and docks. It has it all in this one tight little area. I was a little early for an appointment at the log Cabin Inn on Bailey Island. So I thought that It would be a good spot to kill some time. It was beautiful there. I walked the beach and snapped a couple of pictures. If your looking for a quick get away this is the perfect location.

The Giant Staircase Walking Path On Bailey Island, Maine

Bailey Island is rich with beautiful vistas, beaches and walking paths. One of my favorite places to go for a short walk with incredible views is the Giant Staircase. Located off Washington Ave. The Giant Staircase is so named because of the large boulders located near the end of the path that are over lapping, creating the appearance of a staircase rising out of the sea. The Giant Staircase is a beautiful, well maintained path. A must stop while visiting Bailey Island.

Mitchell Field
is a wonderful place with so much to offer. Trails, Beach, dock, field and views. Mitch fieldis a work in progress. Soon to have a band stand.

Cedar Beach is a treasure of a beach, with its beautiful sand and great tidal pools filled with sealife.Cook’s Lobster House Beach is a sea glass lover’s paradise. You will find a little of everything as you walk along this point of land.

The Devils Back Trail

The Devils Back Trail

Harpswell Maine Hiking Trail

The Devils Back Trail is located on Orr’s Island in the town of Harpswell. A fun easy trail with deep woods full of moss and fields of ferns. Beautiful ocean views from atop the ridge and sweeping vistas as you approach the waters of the sound. While at the waters edge we enjoyed a beautiful sailboat anchored in safe harbor. Well marked and groomed trails make this a comfortable stroll for people of all ages. The trail has some nice wooden bridges that take you across  the few wet spots on the trail, adding character to this special place.

Orr's Island hiking trail in the town of Harpswell
Maine Hiking trail
Maine hiking trail with beautiful views
Maine Coast hiking trail
Hiking the deep woods of Maine
hiking the shoreline of Maine