Sunday, July 31, 2022

Acadia National Park Eagle Lake Carriage Road

We visited Acadia National Park in 2014 and saw the main features of the park at that time, including walking/rolling a short distance on the Eagle Lake road which is listed as fairly easy on the park website. This time we decided to try completing the 6 mile loop around the lake. The website mentions that there's a steep hill at the southwest end of the lake but doesn't say it's a mile up. We finished the entire loop but we were tired! The rest of the park was very busy so we drove the Park Loop Road but didn't stop anywhere.
The Eagle Lake Carriage Road is in good condition. The terrain is rolling with gentle ups and downs except for the one steep hill.
Short RVs will fit in the parking lot at the north end of the lake.

RVers are provided with a park map that shows all of the low clearance bridges and roads that are closed to RVs. Island Explorer shuttles are free and accessible - a good option instead of driving. The shuttles do not go to the overlook at Cadillac Mountain. RVs are not permitted either - a change from our previous visit. Park  44.37791, -68.25229

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Orono Bog Boardwalk

The boardwalk makes a mile loop through the extraordinary environment of a peat bog. The peat built up over thousands of years and is 25' deep in some places. The soil is acidic and lacking in minerals which stunts plant growth but moss and pitcher plants thrive.
The boardwalk starts in the southeast corner of the Rolland F. Perry City Forest and the miles of interconnecting roads and trail that wind through the forest open up opportunities for longer walks. We went north on the East-West Loop Trail to point 3 and crossed over to Tripp Road and went south to point K and then back to the parking lot on the East-West Trail. The trails and roads are in good condition and we would have gone farther if we had more time.
The boardwalk is accessible. The roads and improved trails are fairly smooth and easy to roll along but there are sections that are a bit bumpy due to rocks.
Short RVs will fit in the bog trail parking lot. Larger RVs can be parked in the wide spot of the road a few hundred feet before the parking lot.  Bog Walk  44.86274, -68.72856

Penobscot River Walkway

At less than 1/2 mile in length, this trail isn't worth going out of your way for.  It follows alongside the Penobscot River and is paved and accessible.
The parking lot is large enough for RVs if pulled through the spaces or backed up over the grass.Walkway  44.79545, -68.77051

Friday, July 29, 2022

Zillman Art Museum

Changing exhibits of modern and contemporary art are on display in this small museum. The hyper-realistic self portraits by artist Nick Sider are amazing. Make sure to visit both floors.

The museum is accessible.

The parking lot is too small for RVs but Harlow Street (the most level street near the museum) has 1 hour parking spaces which is plenty of time to see the museum.  Museum  44.80286, -68.77043


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Penobscot Marine Museum

The museum, in Searsport, Maine, consists of thirteen buildings on Church Street and the admissions building one block west on Knox Brothers Ave. Searsport is the second largest deep-water port in Maine and was a center of shipbuilding in the 19th century. Products shipped to and from the town included potatoes, coal, lumber, fertilizer, and newsprint. It's still an active port today transporting oil, coke, coal, salt, sand, and other commodities. The buildings and exhibits portray a 19th-century seafaring village. Three or four of the buildings house different types of working and pleasure boats.
A halfhearted attempt has been made at wheelchair accessibility. Even the buildings with ramps have obstacles such as high thresholds or grass and gravel that must be navigated through. The admissions building and the education center which has games and fun activities for children are the most accessible. Two accessible parking spaces are located on Church Street.
The parking lot is large enough for RVs. Museum  44.45948, -68.92482

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Maine State House

We try to visit the capitol buildings when we're in a state capital because they are often beautiful buildings and have interesting tidbits of the state history. Maine's state capitol building is underwhelming. The interior is rather plain and there aren't any exhibits. Portraits of the former governors line the hallways and the House and Senate chambers are open to peek in but that's about it. Maybe we should have visited during the week when guided tours are held.
The accessible entrance is on the west side of the building. Elevators access all of the floors except for the rotunda.
There are accessible parking spaces in the lot between the Burton Cross Office Building (government offices) and the State Building. Small RVs will fit. Larger RVs can be parked in the public lots to the west of the Cross Buildings but the last block up to the capitol is steep. State House  44.30732, -69.78401

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

This is a fairly new garden, opened in 2007, the dream of seven local residents who used their own homes as collateral to get the garden started. The planned gardens, featuring native Maine plants and other plants suited to the climate, make up a small portion of the garden. The rest has been left in a natural state. Five giant trolls, created by artist Thomas Dambo of salvaged wood, are hidden in the gardens and forest for visitors to discover.
The planned gardens are accessible except for the rhododendron garden which is hilly. The paths are crushed stone and fairly easy to push along. The craft and reading shed in the Children's Garden does not have a ramp. All of the trails marked in brown on the garden map are narrow and hilly with roots and rocks and are not accessible. The Haney Hillside trail which leads to the Shoreland trail is long and steep with many switchbacks. It may be doable with a strong helper. Birch Alley and Landing Trail also lead to the Shoreland Trail. This route descends to the river over a longer distance so it's not as steep but still impossible without assistance. The landing is not accessible. The carts used for guided tours (additional fee) are not wheelchair accessible. The shuttles (free) are not wheelchair accessible either.
There isn't designated RV parking. During busy season it may be necessary to park in the far lots which are quite a distance from the entrance and at the top of a hill. 43.87131, -69.65921  Garden 

Monday, July 25, 2022

Freeport Maine - Free Overnight Parking

In 1912 Leon Leonwood Bean opened at boot store in the basement of his brother's clothing store. He soon expanded to include all types of outdoor gear and the store become known as the L.L.Bean Company. There weren't any L.L. Bean retails stores in the US outside of Maine until 2000 so the Freeport, Maine outlet store became a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Other companies joined with their own outlet stores attracting even more visitors.

We thought hard about what we needed and came up with nothing but we were going to visit the L.L. Bean store anyway until we saw this sign on the elevator "CAUTION This elevator does not meet safety standards" or something similar. I should have taken a picture. So that was end of our shopping trip. There is another way to enter which involves going up a steep sidewalk.

We did take advantage of the great free parking for RVs. We aren't sure if the sign means 24 hours if left unattended or 24 hours no matter what - very poor punctuation. The parking lot is marked in long rows without a drive through lane. Park at end if you plan to stay a short time to avoid getting blocked in. We stayed overnight but most of the other RVers who used the lot only stayed for a few hours.  Parking  43.85524, -70.10434