Monday, March 08, 2010

Winslow Park, Freeport, Maine

Winslow Park beach.
Keeping up with the beautiful weather here this week, I decided to chuck doing anything indoors (I'll wait for the rain) and Bre and I took another walk. We've been to Winslow Park before, but not with the camera. I was ready this time!

We parked just inside the entry gate (no charge at this time of year!) and meandered off toward the beach. (No dogs allowed on the beach at any time, so we just looked from the boat launch.) This is a small, town beach perfect for just relaxing or letting the kids play.

There is a playground in the center of the park with climbing and swinging apparatus (no dogs here, either). The 'No Dogs' policy seems a bit strict until you think about it from the perspective of the kids- why should they have to watch where they're playing when dogs have the whole rest of the park to play in!

Bre and I wandered off down the 'driveway' where you can take your car to the camping area. There are plenty of ramps and ladders along the path to make your way down to the rocks below. These are perfect spots for kids to explore the tidal areas.

Winslow Park tidal pools.
Pretty quickly we came to the end of the park grounds on the Bay side. (Small signs indicate where the park ends and private property begins.) We were headed back around the camping area loop when I saw several walkers coming down a dirt road. Looking over, I saw another small sign indicating there were trails in that direction, so off we went.

If you do bring a dog, the park is a 'pooper scooper' area, so bring along your own bags or pick some up at the 'pooper scooper' station near the parking lot. Very kindly, residents had placed a trash can outside their barn for collection of the 'doggie treasures.' (If they find this blog, 'Thank you!') At this time of year (March) the park is a 'carry in, carry out' with no regular trash collection.

In season (May-Oct) dogs must be leashed. (Or, if you prefer, people with dogs must be leashed!) It was a bit overwhelmingly doggie when we were there and too many people weren't paying close enough attention to their random dogs, who were just being dogs. Please doggie people, your dog should not approach a strange dog without you making sure it's ok. You wouldn't let your kid run up to a strange dog, please don't let your dog do that, either. (In case you're wondering why I'm on the soapbox, Bre got bitten and I wasn't the least happy with that because the other people only 'noticed' what was going on when Bre defended herself. Then we got 'the look.' And the 'Hmmpf,' as they dragged their dog away.)

Anyhoo...on with the walk. We went the whole length of this seeming 'driveway' and came out to the end of the point. Wow! How I ever missed this before, I don't know! It was stunning. Other than the stretch where we walked on the roadway, all of the trails have benches set fairly close together so you can stop and rest, have your lunch or just stare off at nothing for awhile. (Note below what 'nothing' looks like!) It was really quite quiet and peaceful.

Winslow Park Casco Bay view
The photo above is the end of the point. If you look across to the right, that's Wolfe's Neck on the other side of the Harraseeket River. To the left is the Freeport Town Dock (between the 2 trees on the left). It'll take you about 20 minutes to drive from one park to the other. Longer if you stop at the Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster to get a bite to eat!

The whole loop, with stopping to admire the view, take some pix and do some exploring in the tidal pools took about 2 hours. Bring along a picnic lunch and make a day of it. If you have a kayak or canoe, better still. You can paddle around for hours! In the late spring and summer, those little islands in the bay are covered with seals and the osprey are winging their way around the whole area.

If you don't know how to kayak, take a Walk On Adventure class at LL Bean. You can also rent kayaks at Rings in South Freeport. They'll help you get the kayaks put in.

We're thinking this spring-like weather isn't going to really last, but until winter comes back, I'll leave you with this final picture. Imagine yourself relaxing here, looking out across the river to the bay, listening to the sounds of the water lapping on the rocks, the cry of the sea ducks just offshore and then pick up the phone and give us a call!

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