Maine Family Adventure: Mount Agamenticus

I recently headed to Mount Agamenticus by myself to hike. Something I have been itching to do since we got our first snow back in mid November.

Instead of cleaning the house (which desperately needed it), or doing the laundry or completing the three blogs that I’ve started months ago, I instead packed up my camera and snowshoes and headed to Mount Agamenticus after sending both my boys off to school.

The Mount Agamenticus region covers nearly 30,000 acres in the southern Maine towns of Eliot (my home town), Ogunquit, South Berwick, Wells and York. It is now a park reservation, with trails for hiking, biking and seasonal activities like snowshoeing... and even sledding. Mt. Agamenticus is a very unique mountain for its location. It is located just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean in York Maine, having an elevation of 691 feet.

From the top of Mount Agamenticus you have a stunning 360 degree panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and the White Mountains in the distance. It has the highest elevation of any hill within its distance to the ocean from Portland, Maine to Brownsville, Texas.

Mount Agamenticus is a local treasure in my opinion. It’s like having our own (much smaller version) of Acadia right in our back yard.

And it’s stunning in the winter.

It was an overcast and dreary day, not exactly the winter wonderland I had been daydreaming of for my hike. But I knew that we were expecting rain and warmer weather, so before the snow melted away, I geared up for my hike.

When I I drove up to park at the base of the trail, there were no cars in sight- which I found odd since bad weather never stops Mainers.

It was just me, my camera and the snowy trail.

There are many trails to choose from, all various distances with lots of nature to see. Since it had just snowed a couple days prior, I didn’t know if I’d have to make a path of my own in my snowshoes. Surprisingly, the snowy trail was marked and groomed and full of imprints from hiking sticks, snowshoes and animal tracks.

It was so peaceful being alone in the woods. Only the sound of me crunching through the icy snow. I took everything in, breathing in the cold and refreshing air.

As I made it about half way up, the silence around me started to mess with my head.

The total silence started to feel eerie (I’m not used to silence, I live with two wild boys). And soon the panic started to set in…what if I came across a MOOSE!

Not likely at all. I mean I grew-up in the area and for almost 20 years the only time I came across a moose in the wild was when I saw one swimming across the Piscataqua River behind our house in middle school.

But I’m a mom and a worrier.

As I stood there, scanning the area nervously, I saw two large deer staring back at me. I waved and said hello, but they just stood there frozen. I felt like they were trying to tell me something! I quickly pulled out my cell and embarrassingly Googled, “what to do if you come across a moose.” The odds were not in my favor, according to my Google search. This was not a proud moment from someone who majored in Wildlife Management! I looked up from my phone and there they still were, warning me to turn around and head back. I walked toward them, trying to befriend them, hoping they’d join me for the remainder of my trek. Expectantly, they ran away…and I was alone again! That was my cue to go back and head to the top via my vehicle.

In the woods, I was hot and ready to peel off my layers, but when I got to the top of Mount Agamenticus, it was cold and windy. The sky was gray and there was a brief snow flurry.

The mountain was developed in 1965, and opened for the 1966-1967 ski season. In 1968, a chairlift, T-bar, and rope tow, with skiing on 3 trails were added. There was night skiing, a ski shop, summit lodge, and snowmaking. Sadly it closed in 1974.

I love all the old rusty remnants of the once chairlift and tow.

After exploring various lookout points at the summit and walking a few short trails, I decided to head home to warm up. I’ll definitely be back, but maybe next time I’ll bring my pup.

I have been to Mount Aggie (as I called it as a kid), three times in the last 5 months. Twice in November and then again in January, each time with snow. If you are local and haven’t been yet, you need to plan a trip. The drive up for the views are worth it, no matter the season. And if you’re visiting the area and love the outdoors and nature, this is the perfect spot…even in the winter.

The fist time we went, it was a beautiful and sunny day in November. It was our first snowfall in Maine.

This is my failed attempt of photographing my boys together!

After trying to convince them to hike through the woods, we decided to go sledding instead.

The area was filled with visitors like us, lots of families and college hiking groups.

First time on a snow sled for my two year old!

We returned again, the week of Thanksgiving, while the grandmas were in town. It had snowed throughout the night, so Mount Agamenticus was covered in deep, fluffy snow.

Isn’t there something so magical about trees draped in fresh snow.

My youngest was in daycare for a few hours, so my oldest son had us all to himself.

My mom decided to try some sledding as well, it was so fun to watch!

It was a morning full of special memories that I’ll always cherish.

I can’t wait to return.

Maine Family Adventure: Another rainy fall day...

Yesterday was yet another dreary fall morning. It's been such a cold and rainy fall season.

Very rainy…like every other day kind of rainy.

And windy.

Windy, like the roof of our house feels like it's going to be ripped off, kind of windy. It's the kind of wind that makes these chillier, cloudy, wet days feel even colder...and not so much like the beautiful, fall-in-love with Maine, kind of fall I was dreaming of.

Months before our official move from Charleston, I found myself constantly daydreaming of all the things I missed about fall time in Maine. The crisp cool air, the stunning autumn foliage, the apple picking and hot cider, the hiking trails, and all the cute sweaters I was finally going to be able to wear! I was “a kid in a candy shop” kind of excited, just thinking of all the things we were going to experience this coming fall.

However, I also felt anxiety. Lots of anxiety. Anxious that we only had this one fall season to do and see and experience all the autumn beauty that Maine and New England had to offer.

This fall, unfortunately hasn't exactly been the fall that I remember as a kid and not really the fall that I moved my family from South Carolina back home to Maine to experience and fall in love with.

But that's why I love Maine so much and why I miss having four seasons a year. Each and every year you get four seasons. Four unique seasons filled with their own wonderful and special tastes and smells, Holidays, and changing weather.

Fall of course being my absolute favorite!

And every year you get to start all over with four new seasons!

I feel like having four seasons sort of forces you to live in the moment (or season). It forces you to take full advantage of the warm, sunny summer days or the fresh snow filled winter because before you know it, that season will come to an end and a new, very different season will begin.

A Maine winter might feel a bit longer than all the other seasons though. I’m not sure if my southern-born boys are ready for that!

So because of this and my Maine fall-anxiety, when the summer days started to get a bit cooler and the pumpkin patches started to open their barn doors the first weekend this September, we were there! We were there to experience all of fall before it was gone.

I'm so glad we did, because between the planning and daydreaming and stressing about all I wanted to do once we moved to Maine (and how short the season would feel), I forgot that Mother Nature might have a plan of her own. a Maine Fall season full of many many rainy, overcast days.

She reminded me to just live in the moment. Because this year's fall season, might not be the same fall I had dreamed or hoped for.

So when we have yet another dreary, rainy fall day, we’ll go out and enjoy it. We’ll make new wonderful memories. Memories like this morning, enjoying this incredible place we get to call home for a year. Because the snow is just around the corner...and I'm pretty pumped about that!

Maine Family Adventure: Fisherman's Walk Trail


While growing up in Maine, my mom’s side of the family (who all lived in Ohio) would caravan almost yearly to spend Thanksgiving with us. I have some of my most fondest childhood memories during those visits. Those holidays were full of so much food and laughter, site seeing and shopping, and good ole family fun.

It’s probably been close to 20 years since we were all together back in Maine. So when I shared the news that I was moving back for the next year, they started planning a family reunion in Maine.

This past week, my youngest son celebrated his second birthday and my sweet family was here to share it with us! After lots of birthday cake and balloons (per his request), we headed out on our favorite local trail.

The Fisherman’s Walk is a short scenic trail that leads from the Wiggly Bridge and Steedman Woods over to York Harbor Beach and the Cliff Walk Trail (which is our absolute favorite).  The trail leads along the York River with waterside views and it’s a perfect trail for kids, runners or dog walkers.

It was a pretty cold (cold for a someone who has lived in the south and in Jamaica the last 14 years) and windy, so we bundled up and headed out for our family walk.

All the little cousins geared up for the brisk walk to the Wiggly Bridge.  

The view of the York River while on the Fisherman’s Walk.


Unfortunately, the birthday boy was not feeling the walking, so I wasn’t able to snap any photos of the kids crossing the bridge, since he was attached to my hip. However, I was able to get a few of my Aunt leading the kids to the Wiggly Bridge in the distance.

My oldest son loves shaking the bridge. It’s truly a “wiggly” bridge!

There’s two trails once you enter Steedman Woods Nature Reserve, right off the foot bridge. Both trails are short and easy to walk, even for a just turned two year old. The paths make a circle around the woods, most of which have beautiful views of the water.

We’re always straggling behind, in search of sticks for each hand!

My mom (Meh-Maw as my youngest calls her) leading my boys through the woods.

We’re also always looking for “treasures” when we’re out exploring.

Once you reach the end of the trail, you can either continue on circling the woods back to the bridge or head further down through a neighborhood to the John Hancock Wharf and Warehouse. We decided on the latter.

The Hancock Wharf was built in the 1740’s and I’ve read that it’s the only remaining building in York from the Colonial Period.

Across from the Hancock Warehouse, is the wharf filled with buoys. It’s a fun and colorful spot to photograph, especially for kids. I can’t wait to see it once we get snow!!

The kids jumped around to warm up, then we headed back through the woods to the trail home.

As always, it’s sad to say goodbye to my mom and family. I loved having our house filled with guests and playmates for my boys. This past Monday, everyone headed back to their homes. I’m already missing the noise from the kids playing, the adult conversations, the day trips and lunches with my mom, and just catching up with family. Even though it was a short visit, I’m so thankful we were able to make new memories with our own little ones.

Maine Family Adventure: Nubble Light

We arrived safely in Maine on August 1st and I was giddy with excitement to head out and explore the area…unpacking just had to wait another day! As a kid, whenever family or friends were visiting us in the Southern Maine area, we always brought them to this special spot. Nubble Lighthouse is located in York, Maine and is a must-see in the area. I was told as a child, it’s the most photographed lighthouse in the world!!! I’m not sure if that’s true, but thirty-some years later, it’s still one of my most favorite places to see and of course photograph.

It was pretty foggy when we arrived, so we could hardly view Nubble. This small rowboat is anchored to the rocks, which was perfect (and safe), for my boys to explore and for me to capture (double bonus).

I might be biased, but isn’t he SO handsome!

If you’re planning to view Nubble Lighthouse, then you need to eat lunch at Fox’s Lobster House. You can’t beat the view from the picnic tables, which is just a quick walk from the lighthouse’s parking-lot. The New England Clam Chowder is always my go to, you can never go wrong with chowder and a lobster roll…right? After lunch, head to Dunne’s Ice Cream (it was formally Browns Ice Cream when I was growing-up), for some tasty homemade ice cream.