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Have a Picnic in Maine!
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Ten Great Places to Picnic
in Maine

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Ten Great Places to Picnic in Maine
By Sherry Ballou Hanson

When winter finally gives up the ghost in
Maine, celebration is in order. What better way to begin summer than with a
theme picnic? Below are suggestions for the romantic, the history buff, the
duck lover and many more. Before the first cold snap of fall, why not try
them all?

1. The Ledges off Popham Beach offer
the perfect place for a romantic picnic
for two, but make sure you check the
tidal chart first. Plan time to walk along
the curving sand bars, maybe search
for tiny sand dollars that collect as the
tide goes out. Hint: look for the glint
of mica; there you will also find the
sand dollars. Then walk out across
the bar to the ledges and enjoy your
picnic above crashing waves. You'll want to stay forever.

2. Wolf Neck Woods in Freeport is the only major breeding area in the
United States south of Alaska for the common eider duck, which makes this
site a duck lovers paradise. The Casco Bay Trail offers the contrasts of ocean-
side walking and woodland shade, with picnic tables and grills along the
way. Spend a couple of hours and listen to eider calls across the salt marshes.
Come early and sit in the sun on the rocks before grilling that steak for dinner.

3. Fort Popham is the best place to take kids on a picnic. There is the old
granite block fort on the Kennebec River to explore, located at the end of
Route 209 south of Bath. Then walk along the beach and watch whirl pools
form where river meets sea. Seals often frolic here, and the fishing can be
good as the tide comes in. At the end of all this fun comes the picnic, in sight
of this historic place were construction began in 1862 during the Civil War.

4. The Giant Steps beckon ledge lovers who like to sit on the rocks and
watch the sea. On Bailey Island, take the first left after passing Mackerel Cove
and park in front of the little church. Walk the path out onto the ledges. The
Giant Steps are marked with a plaque. Shelter can be found among the rocks
on a windy day, and this is a quiet getaway for people who like to watch
gulls dive for fish and listen to the sea.

5. Thomas Point Beach, open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day, is a
bay watcher's dream, where the tidal flow reveals sand bars that change with
every tide. Swimming and a playground make this site good for families.
There is camping for self-contained vehicles and picnic sites in shaded areas
as well as full sun. Thomas Point Beach is  located off Route 24 from Cook's
Corner in

6. Brunswick. Spend several hours, long enough to watch the changing
features of the bay as the tide ebbs and flows.

7. Waterfront Park, in Bath,  is convenient for boat watchers. Benches in
shade or sun are available, or spread a blanket. In sight of the Carlton Bridge,
Bath Iron Works, and boats coming and going along the Kennebec, this is an
interesting and convenient place for a picnic getaway when you don't have
the whole day free. There is a public restroom adjacent to this park. Try this
one when you need to take some time out from a busy schedule.

8. Reid State Park is surf lovers paradise. Whether you park at Todd's Point
or Griffith Head, walk the beach and sit on the ledges to watch the tide come
in. There are picnic sites in both areas, grills available, changing rooms for
bathers, and, of course, the lagoon for families with little children. The ledges
are studded with mica and quartz, almost blinding in the sun. This place is
magic, just the destination for a day when you need a spiritual boost.

9. Ram Island Light, built in 1883, is off Ocean Point on the eastern side of
the mouth of
Boothbay Harbor and can be reached by boat. Maine Maritime
Museum runs excursions to this site during the summer months. This
experience is a must for lighthouse lovers, who can sit in the grass or on the
rocks with their picnic. Fragments of beach glass can be found in rock
crevices, and there are still rams in residence to keep the grass clipped! Pick a
sunny day for this excursion and enjoy a sparkling boat ride.

10. Mast Landing Sanctuary  in Freeport is one of the best areas in the
Midcoast to watch birds and animals. Combine your hike with a picnic, but
be aware that fires are not allowed here.  Wear hiking shoes and pick up a
trail map. If you are seeking a bit of solitude and some quiet time for
contemplating wildlife this is an experience you don't want to miss. There are
six hiking trails in the sanctuary, encompassing a total of three miles.

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About the Author:

Sherry Ballou Hanson has published
hundreds of articles in magazines,
newspapers, newsletters, and on line
publications Sherry was a Health
Correspondent for drkoop.com in
2001. She also wrote the Mid-Coast
chapter or Fodor’s Travel Publications,
Inc.'s 2005 Gold Guide, Maine Coast.
Sherry lives in Brunswick, Maine, and in her spare time, enjoys walking,
hiking, inline skating, biking, kayaking, skiing, archery, writing, reading and
star gazing.
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Where Morse River meets the sea on Popham Beach is a good spot to have a picnic
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