When my sister suggested a family vacation in Maine for this summer, I thought it was an interesting idea but so far from our usual Florida beach trips I could hardly wrap my head around it. Spoiler Alert: It was glorious. We borrowed a friend’s house in the Rangeley Lakes region and while it was remote and getting there was a challenge, it was completely worth it. It was stunningly beautiful and so unspoiled. The air was fresh and filled with the scent of fir trees. We hiked and played and explored the region all while enjoying time away with our extended family. Read on to find out what we did and find our tips for planning your own visit.
I get a lot of feedback from readers and friends who think we are just a bit crazy for traveling so much with our young kids. Traveling with small children to a new place brings special challenges as well as special joys. Watching your kids explore new and beautiful places with their sense of wonder helps you to see it through their eyes. You move at a slower pace, but get real quality time together and incredible memories to take back home. It is worth it. So worth it.
Hiking is one of my favorite hobbies, and our whole family enjoys doing it together. We stayed in a house on the side of Saddleback Mountain near the ski resort and were able to hike right from our house to this lovely little spot called simply Rock Pond. It is a short, totally kid friend hike to a scenic and remote lake surrounded by fir trees. Take a fishing pole and enjoy the solitude. The trail starts at the end of Rock Pond Rd near the Saddleback Ski Lodge.
We attempted family photos at the overlook on Highway 4. The photo shoot went about like you would expect. Great smiles, kids. I promise they had fun on the trip.
On another hike, we headed down Highway 4 to Smalls Falls. The hike is steep, but still super easy and kid friendly. Bring swimsuits if it is warm enough to swim and play in the water. During July and August bring a bucket to pick wild blueberries along the way. If you don’t have luck with the blueberries there, head over to Blueberry Hill Farm to pick your own or buy a bucket of fresh ones already picked. Maine blueberries are out of this world. My Pearl Girl doesn’t like blueberries normally, but she devoured wild ones. Girl has great taste. If you choose to pick wild berries make sure you know what you are eating. Be safe out there.
The falls of Smalls Falls cascade down in to gorgeous pools perfect for splashing or wading or rock throwing. We loved it and could have stayed all day.
The town of Rangeley is super cute and has several great restaurants and shops worth a visit. There are free moose tours every Monday and Thursday night leaving from the Moose Alley bowling alley. We went on one of these guided moose tours but didn’t see any that night. The next night we took the same route down Highway 16 out of town and saw a beautiful mama moose sweet baby calf. We were so in awe we didn’t get a photo, but trust me when I say it was incredible.
Have you visited Maine? What is your favorite spot?