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Adventure Trip Through Coastal Maine in Early September 2012

Adventure Trip Through Coastal Maine in Early September 2012

Feb 24th, 2012, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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Adventure Trip Through Coastal Maine in Early September 2012

My husband and his best friend are both avid adventure-men. We will be taking a couples trip at the beginning of September for nine days. We are planning to fly into Portland, travel pretty quickly through some of the small, coastal towns on the first day, and head straight for Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor area.
For the next five days, we would like to do as much adventuring as possible, but we would prefer less-touristy, and more self-guided adventures. We do not mind traveling to another area, if decently close, if necessary for less-touristy adventuring. We would love to do a three-day sea kayaking adventure, stopping at different islands, and camping. Does anyone have any advice as far as self-guided trips goes?
Also, is there anywhere you can learn to fish for lobster?
After spending some time adventuring, I would like to head back to Portland and spend some more time exploring the coastal towns on our way there. We would like to stay in a B&B for our last two nights. I have seen both The Bradley Inn & Five Gables Inn mentioned online. Any advice as far as B&Bs? Or any advice as far as one town to chose to explore heading back to Portland? If we could choose one, would Boothbay be a good choice?
Also, any highlights - camping spots, overlooks, restaurants, lobster spots, etc. - would be much appreciated! We just want to experience the best of Maine!
Molly_Ryan is offline  
Feb 25th, 2012, 01:56 AM
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Searsport Shores is a small, basic campground. They have a unique area for tenters that overlooks the ocean. No road to the sites but they provide a cart to haul your stuff in.

Chewonky in Wiscasset is close to Rt 1 but on the shore of a tidal river. One of the nicest campgrounds built on a family farm. It's popular with locals.

Get a DeLorme Atlas and Gazzetteer for the state of Maine. This shows every road, including seasonal. Most bookstores seem to carry it, even some gas stations and supermarkets. You should have no trouble finding one when you get here. It's oversize but contains info such as location of waterfalls, covered bridges and best fishing spots.

Two great overlooks not in Acadia are Mt Battie overlooking Camden Harbor and the short, easy hike to Owls Head Light near Rockland. The best lobster shacks are usually weekends only after Labor Day. These places aren't heated and you usually eat outdoors. Our favorite is Waterman's near Rockland.

I wouldn't choose Boothbay. It's lovely with some fun shops and restaurants but it's definitely a tourist town and people are still doing weekend trips in Sept. Brunswick is a college town with easy access to the Harpswell area which is more like rural Maine. Dolphin Bay Marina is a good spot for lunch. In this area we found a wildlife preserve. It was on a tourist map and the waitress said there wasn't anything there. Exactly. It was a little hard to find and the road in was rutted but there were just a couple of families enjoying the water, a few fisherman ... and it was high summer. We carry bag chairs and picnic supplies so we can enjoy places like this.

But maybe the Damariscotta area would be another good explore. Nice little town. Pemaquid Lighthouse. A couple of good lobster places.

I also like the small towns on the Blue Hill peninsula just south of Mt Desert Island.

You can find lobster boats that offer trips to pull up a trap etc. We haven't been on one in a long time but google search should help.

Portland is a great foodie town. We enjoyed a food tour which ended at the brewery and then walked to Duckfat for a late lunch.

Also check out Maine's list of farmers markets. The one in Brunswick is great. You could also check out local wineries and farms that make cheese. (Cellar Door Winery in Lincolnville near Camden)

If you're lucky you'll find a benefit supper on Saturday night where the locals go to eat and visit. We enjoyed a lobster benefit supper for a volunteer fire dept. You sat at long tables under a tent although they are usually held in church or grange halls. At that time of year, might be ham and beans. The best ones have pie for dessert. That's the clue. If an organization puts on a supper but doesn't have a lot of good volunteer cooks, they offer something easy like apple crisp. Some lobster suppers sell tickets in advance. Some do buffet style, some do family style with seatings.
dfrostnh is offline  
Feb 25th, 2012, 03:11 AM
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Have you ever done Outward Bound? They had and may still have a center on Hurricane Island.

If you are hikers, a trip inland to Baxter State Park and a climb up Mt Katadhin should be satisfying.

Much wilderness canoeing inland. Rock climbing in the North Conway area of NH, an easy drive from Portland.
Ackislander is offline  
Feb 25th, 2012, 04:23 AM
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Yes, do Mt. Katadin hike.

You don't usually "catch" lobsters, although some snorklers/scuba folks do get them or spear them. Check the laws in Maine for this as there is a fee for having pots and the lobstermen do not really like it when people poach their livelihood. If you have a way to cook them, you can buy them and find a secluded place to cook them on the shore which is fun.
emalloy is offline  
Feb 25th, 2012, 05:53 AM
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IIRC, you have to have a license to lobster and a size gauge in your possession at all times. If you are caught with undersized lobsters, the penalties are severe. And that is only the government (State and Federal both have regulations).

If you lobster in what someone considers to be their territory, you may find your car, campsite or equipment damaged. This is a livelihood for many people, and they take it seriously.

Google "lobster wars" and ignore everything about the television shows. Outsiders have had thousands of dollars worth of traps cut loose from their buoys and sunk. People have been shot at. Think "cattle rustling" in Texas or "horse thief" in New Mexico to see how this is viewed.
Ackislander is offline  
Feb 25th, 2012, 06:34 AM
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Acadia Natl park is one of our favorites. Seawall campground is great with spots that can be by yourself or near others. It is less then a 5 min stroll to the ocean.
There is so much to do you won't be dissatisfied visiting.
My wife and I took a fishing charter for the day it cost around $50 a person but includes license bait and tackle they even took the fish off our lines of we wanted, but the best part of the day is the end were they pull lobster traps and give you the lobsters. They teach as much as they can in the time they have. My wife and I left with 15 lbs of polluck and 8 really good lobsters. That wed cooked on the fire of our campsite and shared with all the campers around us it was great.
The Mt. Dessert island area is a great vacation option.
Bar Harbor is very touristy. There are cruise ships that use this area as a port of call. There is alot of dinning options, whale watching, seal and puffin tours.
Defintly go to Bass harbor uou will find the rates on B&B will be cheaper less crowds and only 15 mins to Acadia and donte miss the Famous Bass harbor head light house.
Sorry we couldn't help with the kayak tours. Wed hope you have a great trip
jrnjill is offline  
Feb 25th, 2012, 07:13 AM
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Moosehead Lake is heaven-on-earth in September, you'll feel like you're kayaking on the sea. Get a cabin for a few days, hike Mt. Kineo. Acadia will still be overcrowded through labor day....but if cars and people are your adventure....
tracys2cents is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 02:33 AM
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BTW Yankee Magazine just came with a story about Maine Guides. Perhaps you can check a listing for a camping/fishing trip.

jrnjill's fishing trip sounds terrific.
dfrostnh is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 03:26 AM
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AnnMarie_C is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 05:32 AM
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Ackislander: I was so relieved to read your post and happy somebody clearly stated the consequences of poaching lobsters in Maine. It's no joke, that's for sure.

Maine lobsters are my favorite lobsters in the world. Often, you can buy them at a grocery store and they'll steam or boil them for you right there. Also, lobster pounds will steam them for you 'to go'.
Bowsprit is offline  
Feb 26th, 2012, 07:43 AM
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The Maine Island Trail Association (http://www.mita.org/) publishes a guide to over 300 miles of the coast accessible for camping and kayaking.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Mar 6th, 2012, 06:46 PM
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Thank you all very much for your advice! All is very much appreciated!
Molly_Ryan is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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Consider taking the ferry over to the Schoodic Pennisula from Bar Harbor. Its a less visited part of Acadia NP and is really pretty. My favorite thing in the world is to climb out on the rocks there and watch the waves, boats, and dolphins go by. There's a 13 mile bike loop and my kids have even done a little rock climbing there (with an experienced friend who had all the right equipment). You can rent bikes and kayaks at a place in Birch Harbor. Winter Harbor is a lovely village - not especially touristy but does have services like a good seafood restaurant, a coffee shop/deli, a funny little five and ten, and a few art galleries.

Capn Tom (luckycatch.com) in Portland offers lobstering tours. We went for the kids but ended up having a lot of fun ourselves.

Have a geat time. Its a wonderful place.
bennnie is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 07:06 AM
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I agree with bennnie about the Schoodic Peninsula. I visited there and Bar Harbor last September and enjoyed the Schoodic so much more -- mainly b/c there are no crowds.

Part of Acadia is located there and the area is very beautiful. Check out the Oceanside Meadows Inn -- a lovely oceanfront B&B consisting of an old sea captain's house and a neighboring farmhouse. Read about it in my trip report.

I also agree with the suggestion of Bass Harbor as a quieter, less touristy alternative to Bar Harbor.
panecott is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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panecott - just took a glimpse at your report. I was happy to learn that the Bunker's wharf restaurant has re-opened. We were disappointed on our last trip to see it closed (aug 2010). The location and view is great. I see you didn't enjoy your meal at the Fisherman's Inn - we've had good luck there but the atmosphere is lacking so we prefer Bunker's too.
bennnie is offline  
Mar 8th, 2012, 06:56 AM
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bennnie, Fisherman's Inn had been recommended to me by a few people I met, so I was expecting another delicious meal, but it was a disappointment. Everything was overseasoned, even the dipping sauce for the complimentary focaccia! But at least I had a nice view of the water.

I would definitely go back to Bunker's on a future trip.
panecott is offline  
Mar 8th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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did you get a chance to drive around Grindstone Neck and see those gorgeous summer "cottages"? If I had a million dollars... (actually several million)
bennnie is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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Not sure if I drove around Grindstone Neck -- altho' I did a lot of driving in the area. I will check my map of the area to see where it is.

But if they are anything like the "cottages" in Newport, then I don't think I saw them. I did walk along the water just past Corea, where there were some lovely waterfront homes, but nothing very, very grand. You could probably get one of them for a million or so.
panecott is offline  
May 6th, 2012, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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panecott do you recall or have you heard about the Island View Inn B&B, Sullivan Maine? You convinced me on the oceanside inn but then I read reviews about the vegitarian breakfasts, now I'm not too sure.
Karen_Gibbs is offline  
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