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The Value of Direct Experience

Freedom

When did some of us stop listening to our body’s inherent and innate wisdom? When did we start feeling like strangers to nature? It usually starts early on in life when someone told us that we weren’t capable of something, that we would get in trouble if we didn’t listen to what we were told, that we would get hurt doing something, what to like, what to dislike, what to believe, that we should be scared, that life is scary and people shouldn’t be trusted.

And then what happened? Over time, perh…

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Breathe on and Be Free

heart in hand

This article was contributed by our Guide and member of our Board of Directors, Jewels Gordon.

I am Jewels. 39 years old with a backpack filled with my own issues, a heart full of love, some experiences that I wish I had not experienced and the grace and wisdom to find meaning and value in all of it. My childhood in one sense was typical and amazing - playing in the woods, laughing with friends, camping for days on end, homemade pizza every Friday night, and the freedom to explore and live …

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 65

coos+canyon

Local Natural Wonders Day 65 - Coos Canyon in Byron, Maine

Coos Canyon is located just off of Route 17 scenic highway in Byron. This beautiful canyon has been carved out by the Swift River and is easily accessed - park in the gravel parking lot to the right side of the road (heading north) and walk down to the river below. A short way down river there is a waterfall, and you can climb down below the falls and go for a swim in the calmer pools past the falls. Climb along the rocks or walk the tr…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 64

Powell-Point

Local Natural Wonders Day 64 - Powell Point Trail in Freeport, Maine

This 0.8 mile family-friendly, wooded trail has a couple of short, steep hills but ends with a spectacular view of Cousins River and Royal River before leading to Casco Bay. A side trail passes a salt marsh, which is also worth exploring. The beginning of the trail has a large amount of tree roots, which can be a fun obstacle for children to climb over. Wet or muddy areas are covered with planks.

TRAIL MAP

Directions from FC…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 63

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 63 - Arethusa Falls in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire

Arethusa Falls is New Hampshires tallest and most impressive waterfall. Estimated to be 200 feet tall, this waterfall is well worth the 1.5 mile hike to reach it. The trail gains about 900 feet in elevation and is manageable for families and unexperienced hikers.
Edward Tuckerman discovered Arethusa Falls in the late 1800s. The falls get their name from the poem, “Arethusa,” written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, about a…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 62

flagstaff

Local Natural Wonders Day 62 - Flagstaff Lake in Carrabassett Valley, Maine

At 20,300 acres, Flagstaff Lake is the 4th largest lake in Maine and is man-made (so it is not a natural wonder, but it has an interesting story). Where this lake lies was once Flagstaff Village and Dead River Plantation, but in 1950 the towns were flooded, creating Flagstaff Lake - a product of the era of hydroelectric power in Maine. In 1950 the Long Falls Dam was completed, which became important for regulating water…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 61

quoddy

Local Natural Wonders Day 61 - Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec, Maine

Quoddy Head State Park is located on the easternmost point of land in the continental United States in the town of Lubec, Maine. With 541 acres and 4.5 miles of hiking trails, forests, bogs, incredible scenic views and a red-and-white striped lighthouse tower (West Quoddy Head Light), this state park is one not to miss.

From the Maine State Parks Website:

In 1808, West Quoddy Head Light became the easternmost lighthouse in …

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 60

newfound+lake

Local Natural Wonders Day 60 - Newfound Lake, Bristol, NH

Newfound Lake is known as one of the cleanest lakes in the world! It’s clear, pristine water is fed by eight springs. At 2.5 miles wide, seven miles long, and 168 feet and 183 feet deep at two different points, it is also one of the deepest lakes in New Hampshire. This lake has two lighthouses - Newfound Light House at Paradise Point Lodge on Route 3A in Bridgewater and Reed Lighthouse next to the Ledges on W. Shore Rd.

Natures preserve…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 59

day 59

Local Natural Wonders - Day 59 - Hamilton Audubon Preserve in West Bath, Maine

Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary is an 86 acre preserve on a peninsula in the New Meadows River. A 2.75-mile trail system winds through the coastal forest and side trails lead to beautiful vistas overlooking the cove’s channels, salt marsh, mud flats, and open water.

Directions:
Take the New Meadows exit off US Route 1 in West Bath. Turn left onto New Meadows Road and go straight ahead at the stop sign. Here New Meadows Ro…

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Local Natural Wonders - Day 58

hawk+mtn

Local Natural Wonders Day 58 - Hawk Mountain in Waterford, Maine

Hawk Mountain - within Hatch Preserve - offers a short (about 20 minutes) moderate hike with some incline, gravel and rocky terrain. There are three miles and a few options for trails to the summit. The views of the Lake Region from the summit are incredible, especially for a smaller mountain. This trail is perfect for beginning hikers and families any time of year. It’s an ideal spot for snowshoeing in the winter. Parking is loca…

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