With the chilly New England fall approaching, now is the time to relish the warm weather- and what better way to do that than to take your kids on an outdoor adventure that they’ll remember forever? Here are five family-friendly day trips sure to please the whole family.
Located just 10 minutes from downtown Freeport in Pownal, Maine, Bradbury Mountain State Park is a great place for kids of all ages. Its spectacular views are accessible to family members of all ages thanks to the short and easy Summit Trail, and you’re sure to enjoy exploring the surrounding trails as much as your kids. Pack a picnic and you have the makings of a great summer afternoon!
2. Peaks Island Peaks Island is the most visited island in Casco Bay for a reason– from the first step aboard the charmingly quaint ferry to the first lick of the Down Front ice cream cone that awaits once you reach Peaks, the small island’s vacation atmosphere is contagious. Explore the island’s many beaches and walking paths on foot, bike, or rented golf cart, and be sure to seek out Rock Sculpture Cove.
3. Rattlesnake Flume and Pool If you’re in the mood to get away from the world, you can’t beat this tiny, vividly green waterfall on the New Hampshire border. Just a short hike from its entrance in Stoneham, Maine, this little-known swimming hole has a gradually deepening rocky bottom and a slide-like waterfall that kids and parents alike can have a great time riding. After you’ve cooled off in the water, have a picnic in the sun or walk on the rocks that punctuate the surrounding stream.
4. Mount Washington Cog Railway or Auto Road New Hampshire’s Mount Washington is one of the state’s most beloved landmarks, offering stunning vistas of the surrounding White Mountains. It is also one of the most accessible landmarks for families with young kids– for those of us who may not be up to the foot hike, the popular Auto Road and whimsical Cog Railway allow everyone to enjoy the view.
5. America’s Stonehenge This collection of ancient stone structures located in Salem, New Hampshire, has puzzled scientists and locals for generations. The site has gone unchanged for over 4,000 years but is to this day an accurate astronomical calendar. Today, it also serves as grazing ground for a herd of alpacas! Let your kids play in its many stone caves, bridges, and cairns and determine the builders for themselves– Native Americans, aliens, or something else altogether?
Hopefully, these beautiful destinations and all of the others scattered through New England will help you to make the most of your summer.