Monday, November 19, 2012

Fort Baldwin State Park

Fort Baldwin steps to gun emplacement.

How many times have we driven down the road to Fort Popham and never even knew there was a whole other fort hidden behind the trees? Well, we've been here for 8 years now and you've seen all the photos from Popham Beach so you know the answer is 'quite a lot'!

battery cogan at fort baldwin
Battery Cogan at Fort Baldwin
Yesterday we took a different road and found this fort. Fort Baldwin is newer than Fort Popham. Built about 40 years after Popham it is constructed of concrete (which you can see is leaching out in the photos above and below). The tops of the three batteries are covered over with soil and grass to better blend them into the surrounding terrain.

Most of the trees you'll see in the photos weren't in place when the fort was in use (WWI and WWII) so the view was quite expansive from up on the hill. Still is if you walk around a little!

Remember you can enlarge these photos by clicking on them.

Fort Baldwin State Park is 38 acres on both sides of Rt 209. Next time we're out that way we'll go down a different road to see what's on the other side. (So, there's the answer to why the chicken crossed the road....)

The trail we were on kept going long after we decided to turn around. It looks like it might be good in the winter for snowshoeing! Remember in hunting season that many local and state park grounds are open to hunting. No hunting allowed on Sunday.

Some scenes from the fort:

pond island light from fort baldwin
Pond Island Light from the top of the battery.

fort baldwin lookout tower
Around every corner of the trail was another discovery.

Will have to come back in the fall for the colors!

fort baldwin circular gun placement track
Circular gun track overlooking the Kennebec.

fort baldwin fireplace
The batteries all had fire brick walls and ceilings. You can see there is another opening at the back. It's a rabbit warren of hallways and rooms in the batteries.

moss on the trail maine
This moss was growing all along the tree roots.
fort popham from fort baldwin
Fort Popham as seen from the parking area for Fort Baldwin.

pinnace virginia marker
A marker near where the first ship built by the Popham Colony was constructed.
fort baldwin park sign
Sign at the bottom of the hill. 500' straight up.

Directions: To get here take Rt 209 almost all the way to Fort Popham. Where the road takes a sharp right (just before the Fort Popham library) go up the very small road straight ahead of you (Fort Baldwin Rd). This is a one lane road so go slowly and be prepared to back up!

There is a parking lot across the street from the entrance to the park. Great views! Space for picnicking. Walk the park road (Sabino Head Rd) past all 3 batteries and to the tower. After that the road ends and the trails begin. Trails are on both sides of Rt 209 but there is NO parking on Rt 209. (We'll be checking for other parking areas next time out.)

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

chocolate chip cookie bars
Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
If time is short and you need a treat for a group or for a bake sale this should be your go to cookie bar recipe!


1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
5 tbs butter
1 bag chocolate chips

Yup, that's it. You could use chocolate cake mix as well for a double chocolate recipe! I will add walnuts to this next time as I thought it needed a little something else.

Mix together the first 3 ingredients using a mixer. The batter is really thick. Fold in the chocolate chips, I used a spatula. Spread in a greased 9x13 baking dish. This was the hardest part...spreading it out! I used the spatula for this, too.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the top of the 'cookie' is lightly browned. It will puff up while cooking but it falls in after cooling. My oven took 30 minutes to bake this up so you'll have to experiment.

Cool, cut and enjoy!

Printable recipe here.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Amtrak Downeaster to Freeport

lobster wreath on Downeaster
Check out the lobster wreath on the front of the train!
The inaugural run of the Downeaster to Freeport & Brunswick rolled into town today. It's been over 50 years since the last passenger train stopped here. The scheduled runs for the train can be found here.

There are certain sounds that evoke deep feelings- the sound of a church bell in a small town gives me a sense of community and a train whistle signals the wanderlust many of us have to see new places and meet new people.

The train whistle is calling...will you answer?

Amtrak Downeaster in Freeport
The guy who made sure all the signals worked right today!

Crowds greet Downeaster in Freeport
The crowds at the station

Senator Snowe in Freeport
Senator Olympia Snowe praises joint efforts to get train running again.

Downeaster heads out of Freeport toward Brunswick.

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032