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Hiking Trails near Portland Maine?

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We are heading to Portland Maine for the Labor Day weekend. Do any Fodorites have suggestions for moderate, 3-6 mile hikes around the Portland area? I wouldn't want to drive more than 30-40 minutes from Portland, but am willing to do this. We like any type of hike-hoping to hear about some favorites. Many thanks.

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    Here is a great website for trails in Greater Portland. www.trails.org. There's a map with corresponding numbers to trails in the area & lots of photos. A couple of our favorites are The Fore River Sanctuary (bug spray might be needed here)& Mackworth Island (parking is limited, so either arrive by 9:00ish or park on the street & walk over the bridge). Check out the sweet 'fairy houses' that children are encouraged to make out of sticks, moss, etc. You can also take the ferry to several islands (or mail boat, as it's cheaper)- Long Island is my favorite - walk straight across maybe a mile to the most beautiful beach. Bradbury Mountain, near Freeport, has an easy direct hike and a longer roundabout hike to the top. There are picnic tables at the base of the mountain. And, if you go to Freeport, & are ice cream lovers, skip Ben & Jerry's, travel down Rt. 1 about a mile or two to a frozen custard place on the right (sorry, can't remember the name). Discovered it this summer and will take it over B&J's & Cold Stone anyday! So creamy!
    No. 25 on the trails map is Spring Point which is near my home. There are no photos, but it is the perfect place to walk, with views of the islands & fishing boats. Southern Maine Community College has a beautiful campus here along with a nice little beach that continues on to Willard Beach (not a swimming beach). There are lots of places to park on campus & beyond the campus to the beginning of the trail. You can also drive to the other side of Breakwater Condos (can't miss this out of the place 8 story building) to Bug Light, a lovely park overlooking Portland Harbor where kite flying is popular. By the way, if you're looking for a great, authenic greasy spoon right on the dock for breakfast, try the Port Hole! You may be able to park right on the narrow street near the door. Other times, we've had to park at the ferry terminal parking garage. You will have second thoughts as soon as you see the outside but I promise you, you'll leave happy. I'm partial to the raspberry pancakes!
    Hope this helps. Go Sox!

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    First-our Sox. My DH surprised me with tix to Friday night's game, (hence, not arriving Holiday Inn Bayside til Sat) but I'm so distressed I honestly don't want to watch them right now.
    Trails: I've seen that very good web site, but your recs now make it easier for me to choose which walks to choose. The Fore River Sanctuary was on my list, and thanks for the bug spray tip. My ice cream preference is definitely the frozen custard variety-so another hit! How long is the ride to Freeport and Bradbury Mtn from Portland? Many thanks.

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    macworth island is a delightful little hike. we do it annually as a family and veer off to enjoy each little beach the trail passes. when the snow falls, it's an excellent xcountry ski trail as well.

    you will have no trouble with parking on labor day weekend, so arrive any time.

    marthav -- my sister lives at willard beach, right on willard haven park. we swim there often we when gather as a family at her house, and love diving into the water off rocks on the southern end of the beach! where do you live? there are the most marvelous teeny tiny butterscotch colored shells on that beach that we all collect. if you're game, you'll be the first fodorite i meet! although i'm in newburyport, ma, my mother and sister are still in cape elizabeth and south portland.

    soxgirl, i would also recommend some great hikes in cape elizabeth if you feel you don't have time to explore the islands in casco bay, which are wonderful, as marthav said. there's fort williams, which i grew up across from, and two lights state park, or more secluded, find the trail into the woods across from kettle cove on shore road in cape eliz....there will be no signs, but kettle cove has the house where bette davis and gary merrill lived while they were married.

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    It's 17 miles up 295 to Freeport and about 4 miles further to Bradbury Mtn in Pownal.
    Lucky you getting tickets for Friday, Soxgirl! I'm envious. Let's hope they get healthy quick!!
    I agree with you, Corwin about Cape Elizabeth - it's a great area for walking & exploring, whether at Fort Williams or Two Lights State Park. The Lobster Shack is nearby & overpriced but what the heck, you're sitting at a picnic table on top of the rocks overlooking the sea, eating lobstah! It's worth it. We've always loved Kettle Cove, stopping at the ice cream stand (of course) at the top of the street, then walking the beach from KC to Crescent Beach State Park. You can drive from So. ME Community College to Fort Williams State Park (where Portland Headlight is) in about 7 minutes, then along Rt. 77 to Two Lights and Kettle Cove, about another 10 minutes.
    Corwin, I grew up about 2 miles from Wonderful Willard! Spent my childhood (and my kids too)on that beach. But unlike you, I didn't swim there (we went to either Higgins or Scarborough Beaches to swim). Actually, I spent most of my time just lazing on the beach. So, you must've gone to Cape Elizabeth High School, right? We (DH, kids, & me) all went to So. Portland schools.
    Game's started and Ortiz is sick! Darn! What next?!

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    marthav -- yes, i am a cape hs grad! i had a best friend at so. portland hs. my ex is from topsham.

    my sister on willard beach is driving her only child off to college tomorrow. i drove up and back to cape eliz from newburyport tonight, just to give him a big hug. did a quick shop at the hannaford bros. on marginal way, loving the smell of the salt water in the parking lot, before heading back home.

    i went to all those beaches too! we might either know each other distantly or have people in common....my mother, a funny texas lady, owns the frame shop on broadway. ever been there?

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