When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hiking Rattlesnake Mountain, Raymond Maine

Today we hiked Rattlesnake Mountain in Raymond, Maine. There was some minor disappointment at first when my son realized there wouldn't be any rattlesnakes there, but he kept looking for one anyway.

The drive there for us was no more than 1/2 an hour - we could have made it sooner but it's Labor Day weekend and Windham traffic was crazy! We parked at the trail head, hopped over the wire that keeps idiots from driving onto the trail and headed out.

I was a little nervous because reviews indicated the trails leading off the main trail were confusing and some people had never made it up the mountain. My woman's intuition kept me in check and we made it through the beginning maze just fine. Soon enough we were busting up through the steep trail that lead us into the woods.

After about 20 minutes or so, the trail seemed to plateau a little and within 30 we had hit a rather large opening overlooking Crescent and Panther ponds - we didn't stop though, because I knew better things were ahead. The trail navigated over hills and then we started to descend, which worried the monkey. I let him know that we weren't hiking in vain. Eventually we transcended a steep rocky spot that dumped us out onto a rocky outcrop with a fantastic view of Sebago, the Presidential Range, Panther Pond, Crescent Lake and all the outlying areas beyond. Mount Washington was hiding in some cloud cover though - bummer.


So - we rested, hydrated, ate a little and I took some photographs while the monkey bellowed out Bigfoot calls and listened for the echos in return. I'm sure the forest was pleased when we packed up and started to work our way back.

We rested again at the 1st overlook we had trucked past and was amazed at the view overlooking Poland Spring, Gray New-Gloucester and beyond into Durham. Again, the forest was happy we moved on. We picked our way back down the steep, rocky trail being very careful not to slip or twist ankles and finally made it back down to the bottom with plenty of time to spare.

The trip in total is 2.5 miles, we made it easily in two hours including the break. The trail is marked with blue paint on the rocks and trees with an occasional red arrow. If the trail splits and there is a log or tree across it, I would not suggest taking it. :) I would say this is a moderate trail, but young children should be fine. We had a fabulously sunny, breezy not to hot day. I will be taking this trail again soon.

The sign at the parking lot

Trail leads through a field and then into the woods

I love the birdhouses in the field!

Entering into the woods

This trail division comes up quick - the trail to the left is a steep climb, the one to the right is a easier - the two meet back up on top of the hill here

First trail split that you need to watch for - stay to the right (note the logs across the trail on the left)

And then just watch for trail markers :)

Steep upgrade 

Following the trail

Glimpses of the view

Monkey points out one of the arrow markings....

Blue trail markings on the trees......

....and on the rocks. 

The first overlook - we passed this by for later

Overlooking Sebago - but we kept trucking

Mesmerized by a very large leaf

Downgrade towards the trail end

And there it is!

Overlooking the Presidential Range (New Hampshire) in the far back

Sebago Lake / Panther Pond

Proud of his accomplishment

An Olive Sided Flycatcher

Umm - lady? Can you quiet him down a little?


He was belting out Sasquatch calls. That was my "holy crap I think one answered" look

Back at the first overlook - with Poland Spring, Gray/New Gloucester and Durham in the distance

Crescent Pond

Panther Pond

Nubble Pond and bogwater

The Geek herself

Trail head monument stone

We made it and will do it again!

Celebratory ice cream. Life is good. And no Rattlesnakes.


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