November 10, 2018 – Fort Foster Park – Maine

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Fort Foster Park in Kittery, Maine. Fort Foster Park includes: beaches, trails, and the historic Fort Foster which was active from 1901-1946. The Park is located on Gerrish Island. It has scenic views of Portsmouth Harbor.

We had a gorgeously scenic Adventure to Fort Foster Park. We were happy the rainy morning had cleared, and it had become a sunny, windy, and blue-sky filled day. The gate was closed for driving so we parked and began our walk into the Park. We soon arrived at the Fort, and began exploring. We were able to climb to the top of the Fort and view the Harbor. We then wandered down the shore, finding a long and picturesque bridge. I decided not to journey out on the bridge as I could not believe the strength of the wind. However we took some photographs and headed along the shore.

We quickly found an amazing trail down the shore. The waves were loud, and crashing into the rocks, while the view was perfectly coastal. One reason I had choose this park was to see the best view of the Whaleback Lighthouse from shore, and although far in the distance the sky, and waves painted a lovely site. While enjoying the view of the Lighthouse we continued along this trail. We headed over to the rocky shore on several occasions, although I often was cautious due to the strength of the waves against the rocks. We found the observation and fire control along the way, snapping a couple photographs before returning to the coastal trail. The trail ended at a rocky beach, where we turned around to enjoy this spectacular walk once again.

When we were almost back to the Fort the sky suddenly darkened and we were caught in a hail storm, with an immense increase in wind force. Such a bizarre and fun moment in our Adventure. I do not think I have ever been in such a wind storm! We continued walking, and the “storm” soon ceased. We were then pleased to find the upper part of the Fort and explored the various doors, stairs, and features throughout.

Highlights of today’s Adventure were: energetic roles in the grass, the crashing waves, an unexpected hail storm, the breathtaking views, and play-time on the beach. Shadow and Wilma seemed especially enthusiastic, savoring all moments and smells at Fort Foster Park. Although the Fall season can create some dull landscape on the shore, the coastal views, perfect sky, and wonderful Adventure made for the perfect afternoon. I would definitely recommend you visit this magnificent Park, and I do expect we will be back (Rating: 4).

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November 4, 2018 – Halibut Point State Park – Massachusetts

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, Massachusetts. We have been there on numerous other occasions. Halibut Point State Park parallels Halibut Point Reservation. Halibut Point is a granite quarry that was quarried as early as 1840. The Park is also located on the ocean. It includes: trails, scenic views, and areas for picnicking. There is also a visitor center and lighthouse on the grounds that both appear to be under construction.

We had a fantastic Adventure to Halibut Point State Park on a beautiful sunny Fall day. It was a bit breezy being on the coast, but not overly chilly. We started down the Fall colored trail which quickly led to the quarry. We decided to head over to the lighthouse, soon noting it was under construction. The view across the quarry from this spot was spectacular, some Fall trees aligning the background. From there we began our circle around the quarry, and branched off to the rocky shore.

The rocky shore is definitely a fun spot at the Halibut Point State Park. It allows you to separate from the many visitors and jump from rock to rock, exploring tidal pools as you choose. The tide appeared to be in, so there were not quite as many rock as I recall. We walked around a bit, Wilma appearing over-enthused, likely due to the many rocks. I had to watch to not loose my balance as she often jumped unexpectedly in every direction, continually trying to engage Shadow in some play-time. Shadow appeared content relaxing on the rocks, eager to get my attention as we took in the roaring music of the waves. We even took some photographs for our holiday card, a fun project in the making.

After enjoying some time at the shore we continued circling the trail around the quarry, often heading over to the edge to snap some photographs. It was a beautiful day at a unique location. I am guessing it may have been one of Wilma’s favorites as she protested by laying near the car when we were trying to leave. Never a dull moment in our household!

I included some photographs from some of our past trips to the Park. I am sure we will be back to explore Halibut Point State Park (Rating: 4).

Today, November 4, 2018

October 2017

February 2016

September 2012

Throwback Adventure – Castle in the Clouds – August 2015

I will have sections of my blog that I will title “Throwback Adventure”, and will plan on posting them every Thursday. These are journeys we have taken before I started the blog, but are well worth sharing.

In August 2015 Shadow, Buster, and I Adventured to The Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. Castle in the Clouds is a mountaintop estate that overlooks the Lakes Region. The estate’s mansion, often referred to as Lucknow, was previously owned by Thomas and Olive Plant. The mansion was foreclosed on, and had several different owners after the Plants passed away. Castle in the Clouds is now operated by the Castle Preservation Society. In addition to mansion tours, Castle in the Clouds includes: a restaurant, gardens, an art gallery, a trout filed Pond, and numerous hiking trails. Castle in the Clouds is open seasonally.

We had a short, but scenic Adventure at Castle in the Clouds after a long day of hiking. As you have “heard” before if you follow my blog, my detailed memory of my Throwback Adventures is generally not as sharp as our current Adventures. However I remember enjoying the spectacular beauty of the area as the evening was almost upon us. The views of the Lake regions was stunning, and the mountain framed pond perfectly picturesque. We even found some dog statues along the way, just right for our dog-driven Adventure. I was pleased to get Buster and Shadow some ice cream to finish up a lovely Summer evening.

One memory I will never forget was when leaving this area a bear ran right in front of the car. I could not believe my eyes, and was quite relieved to be in the safety of my the car. Castle in the Clouds was a beautiful way to wrap up another lovely day of Adventures (Rating: 4).

October 28, 2018 – Gillette Castle State Park – Connecticut

Today we Adventured to Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut. This was our second trip to the Gillette Castle. Gillette Castle was once the estate of William Gillette, a famous Actor in the early 1900’s. It was later bought by the state of Connecticut. The Park includes a visitor center, museum, hiking trails, and picnic area. There are even live theater events and walking tours available to visitors.

We had an intriguing Adventure to Gillette Castle State Park. Our first visit was in August 2018, on a warm day, while today was a overcast, almost chilly Fall day. Gillette Castle State Park is a magical experience, transforming visitors back into medieval time, or sensing an escape on a journey abroad. We greatly enjoyed our visit to the Castle, circling the grand structure many times so as not to miss an inch. Shadow enjoyed some rolls in the grass, while Wilma jumped up high to climb along the rock-like fence, posing for photos. Not only is the Castle itself just breathtaking, it is located on the beautiful Connecticut River vast with Fall foliage. Just gorgeous from every direction! Today the Castle was mobbed with visitors, dulling the experience a bit, but really that cannot take away from the brilliant beauty of the Castle.

After visiting the Castle we wandered the trails on the side of the Park, and headed down to the water. Shadow and I were a bit tired from our earlier Adventure so we decided not to engage in any strenuous or lengthy hiking. The trails were not labeled, so we just sauntered around for a bit. We were thrilled to locate three adorable walking bridges along the way, adding some charm to the trails. From the trails we walked around some spots along the main road, finding a gorgeous stone bridge, a leaf filled pond, and several other small features along the way. We of course had to have one last visit to the Castle before finishing up our day. Although I wish we could have had this spot all to ourselves (haha), we still cannot say enough about the spectacular Gillette Castle State Park. I expect we will be back again in the future (Rating: 5).

October 2018

August 2017

October 28, 2018 – Wadsworth State Park – Connecticut

Today Shadow, Wilma, and I Adventured to Wadsworth State Park in the towns of Middlefield and Middletown, Connecticut. The park is a 285 acre park filed with trails, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, and two waterfalls. It is located on the Coginchaug River. Clarence Wadsworth, a well known Colonel, linguist, and scholar developed the land in order to preserve it for all citizens, therefore earning the name.

We had a delightful Fall Adventure to Wadsworth State Park. Although the day was dark from previous rain, and the temperature crisp, it was just perfect for a hike. We were excited to explore a Park in Connecticut, a place we have not frequented as much as the remaining New England states. Upon exiting the car we could immediately hear the roaring of the “Big” Falls. Although I had printed a map, we quickly found a large map which we viewed before heading straight to the “Big” Falls. The “Big” Falls was thunderous, and quite spectacular. It is hard to know what to expect when you plan a visit to a waterfall as sometimes they can be practically non-existent, especially in off season. The “Big” Falls, however did not disappoint, as it was heavy flowing, and music to our ears. The ground was covered with gorgeous Fall leaves adding the perfect touch to the lovely scene.

After viewing the “Big” Falls we searched for the trailhead. It took us awhile to finally find this location as we had to walk down the main street before eventually coming to the sign. A brief moment of frustration, but we soon were off on our way. We hiked all over this magnificent Park, the leaves yellow, red, and brightly patterned. There were numerous trails and turns, requiring constant peaks at the map. So lucky I had printed the map so we did not miss any highlights, and could not worry about getting lost. So with this map we headed to the “Little” Falls, which was less then a mile down the orange trail, and off onto the blue trail. Another marvelous waterfall this one had less flow, and more rocks, yet gorgeous in its own way. We spent a bit exploring the “Little” Falls, while the pups enjoyed some fresh flowing water.

From there we followed different colored trails attempting to find the various highlights on the map. There were shallow streams, a pond from afar, and even a “Giant Laurel” tree. I was humored by even locating a “Purple” trail, which might have been a first on our many Adventures. We spent about three hours hiking, seeing other friendly visitors here and there along the way. Definitely an enjoyable afternoon at the Wadsworth State Park (Rating: 4)