Sunday June 7th Kate and I headed out for a day trip this time exploring the North West part of Maine. We got on the road early and started out way towards Rumford to check out a waterfall. We arrived where the directions direct us which was next to the River Valley Chamber of Congress which is next to Pennacook Falls and a Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox Statues. The Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor is more well-known, but this is the only Babe the Blue Ox statue in Maine.
|Top of the falls by the Chamber of Commerce|
Pennacook Falls is a series of drops that extends down the Androscoggin river through two dams totaling 176 feet. The section by the Chamber is from a dam and is quite lovely, but down the river is a gorgeous natural falls that we discovered by chance when we went to look at the old downtown section and it is a sight to be seen.
I like Tourist information booths and Chambers and any places you can find the area information cards to guide books so you can try to find anything in the area that you might want to check out someday.
Leaving Rumford we traveled north on 17 towards Coos Canyon, but along the way we stopped at the Black Bridge Bakery in Mexico. When we walked into the entrance way it smelled like my Memere & Pepere’s house. This is an out of the home bakery that specializes in baked goods as well as various meat pies and you never know what you’ll find. I selected a Molasses cookie and a Pumpkin Whoopie Pie with cream cheese filling, Kate a standard Chocolate one with peanut butter filling.
The cookie was great and it left a molasses flavor that stayed with you in a good way. Later in the day we ate our Whoopie Pies, Kate said the cake was dry but peanut butter filling was good. Mine was extremely delicious! The cake was moist and the filling was very flavorful! If in the area again I would stop and get another without hesitation!
The town of Roxbury features a series of large wind mills or turbines that you can see along route 17. Kate and I are weird as we like them and things like this. We came across a spot where you could see them all really well and the power lines didn’t obstruct the view so of course I grabbed a few photos.
Coos Canyon in Byron is right off route 17 in a parking area across the street from the Coos Canyon Rock and Gift shop. An extremely short walk later around a fence you and walk down on the rocks of this remarkable natural wonder. The pictures don’t quite do it justice but they are several small cascading waterfalls and unique rock formations.
|The picture above this one was taken from the ledge on the righ|
At this point of Route 17 you enter the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway, one of several National Scenic Byways in Maine Kate and I have explored. Off to the left you will come across a turnout called Height of Land that has an amazing view of Mooselokkmeguntic Lake, the surrounding mountains and Valley. The turnout was built in 2011 and the Appalachian Trail crosses just prior to it. Kate was hoping we’d come across some hikers looking for a ride into town so we could pick them up. Sadly we didn’t.
A few miles down the road is the Noyes Overlook on the opposite side of the road with views of Rangeley Lake and the surrounding area. This scenic view is older and like many Scenic turnoffs in Maine that are 20 plus years old the tree growth has obstructed the view. Which is why most people probably don’t stop at them anymore, however Kate and I can’t help ourselves and stop of most scenic views and historical sites.
The next stop on our journey was to the Bennett Bean Covered Bridge in Lincoln Plantation. Built in 1898 this Paddleford truss bridge spans 92 feet over the Magalloway River and is no longer open to traffic however, it makes a wonderful spot for a picnic! It was gorgeous out with clear skies and a breeze to spread out a blanket, have a bologna and cheese sandwich, and let the boy kicks his feet a while.
Because we were only 4 miles from the New Hampshire border we drove there as well, just to go to New Hampshire.
Our day was not over as we next stopped at Smalls Falls in Township E. Of all the places we visited today this one boasted the most people. Smalls Falls has a parking area, bathrooms, and many picnic tables with this coal powered BBQ grills. Smalls Falls features a slightly difficult hike up an area of forest that has been left in its natural state. From top to bottom the total drop is 54 feet with 4 separate drops separated by pools that people have been known to dive and swim in.
The lost stop of the day was in Phillips at the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railway for a ride on their narrow gauge train. The ride itself round trip is very short totaling maybe 10 minutes, however the whole experience usually lasts about 50 minutes. Unless of course you are on the last ride of the day and there are talkers in the group then it can be more like 100 minutes, which it was.
The train takes out to their roundhouse where they do repairs on the trains. This is also when they talk about the car you rode in to get there. We rode in one of two cars that were built in 1884 by the Laconia Car Foundry in New Hampshire. The floor and seats had been replaced, however, the brass fixtures that held the kerosene lanterns and the hat and coat rack at each seat were the originals ones installed 131 years ago.
We headed home finishing the day driving a total of 244 miles. It was such a fun day, I can’t wait for the next!