Friday, January 28, 2011

In My Footsteps: Trip 99: New Bedford, Massachusetts

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 99:  New Bedford, Massachusetts
December 2, 2010

            An historic seaport matched in importance only Gloucester that’s what New Bedford is.  Nicknamed ‘The Whaling City’ it was one of the largest whaling ports in the world during the 19th century.  That history is still a big part of what makes New Bedford a popular destination for travelers.  However the whaling history is only the tip of the iceberg as I was pleased to learn.  In addition to the New Bedford Whaling Museum there are forts, historic homes, and some extraordinary cobblestone streets.
Fort Rodman, Clarke's Point Light on top.
            The first place I visited when I arrived in New Bedford was a pair of old forts strategically placed on Clarke’s Point, the southernmost point of the city which sticks out into Buzzards Bay.  Fort Taber is a living breathing artifact.  It is two buildings, an earthen fort and granite fort side by side along the breezy shores.  The earthen fort was built during the Civil War in 1861.  It was built first as Governor John Andrew and Mayor Issac Taber could not wait for state or federal aid to help build the granite fort at the dawning of the Civil War.
The much larger, granite structure next to the earthen fort was started shortly thereafter; the United States War Department stopped construction in 1871.  It was locally finished in 1898 and named Fort Rodman after Civil War Lt. Col. Logan Rodman of New Bedford.  The Clark’s Point Lighthouse, which once stood alongside the granite structure, was placed on the second tier of the fort and is easily visible today.   The many windows of Fort Rodman have been sealed shut using brick.  However there have been holes chipped into these bricks making it possible to see inside and even for me to get my camera inside to snap photos of the courtyard.
Garden at Rotch-Jones-Duff Museum
Despite being two different buildings with two different names, the area is usually mistakenly simply called Fort Taber.  The granite fort is kept under lock and key but the earthen fort can be entered, though beware as vandals have sprayed graffiti inside and littered as well.  It is not as large as Fort Revere in Hull but walking through the darkened tunnels of this fort is creepy yet exhilarating.  You can almost feel what it was like when the fort was active 150 years ago.
Butler Flats Light
Not to be missed is a spark plug lighthouse known as Butler Flats Light.  It is quite a ways out if you walk the long pier which stretches out from Clarke’s Point.  It is a lot closer to shore as you’re leaving the forts.  There are a few spots to stop along East Rodney French Boulevard where you can get a much better view of the lighthouse at the mouth of the Acushnet River.  Built in 1898 Butler Flats Light was the replacement for Clarke’s Point Light.  That lighthouse stood along the shore from 1799 until 1869.  Once Fort Rodman had taken shape a new wooden structure was built on top of it where the lantern was relocated.  The stone lighthouse tower stood until 1906. 
One really nice historic home in New Bedford is the Rotch-Jones-Duff House.  It was built in 1834 for a whaling merchant named William Rotch Jr.  The house has three names, one for each of the families that lived at the house at different times.  The Rotch family obviously when it was first built in 1834, the Jones family starting in 1851, and the Duff family starting in 1935.
New Bedford Whaling Museum
The house has a more golden yellow color which looked impressive with the sun softly shining on it.  However the best part of this twenty-eight room mansion actually is outside where the amazing garden resides.  The garden encompasses a full city block and even in the late autumn it was a sight to behold.  It is said that the current garden is more in line with the time that the Jones family lived here.  There is a knee-high hedge maze which wraps around patches of beautiful flowers, some of which were still colorful even at this late stage of the season.  I would put this location on my list when planning a visit to New Bedford in the warmer months.
One area that needs no time frame to be enjoyed is a virtual time warp back to the 19th century.  In the historic district of New Bedford, near the waterfront, there is a block of streets which are still lined with cobblestones.  Just walking these streets is a magical experience but when that is coupled with the fact that nearly every building you pass is significant it makes it a nearly perfect place to explore.
The Whaleman's Chapel from Moby Dick
Of course most people know of the New Bedford Whaling Museum, established in 1903, it is probably the most visited spot in the entirety of New Bedford.  Inside there are more than 200,000 artifacts from the past few centuries which give a complete history of the whaling industry in New Bedford and the entire ‘Old Dartmouth’ area.  This museum is a must see for all visitors.
The home of another rich whaling and banking industry pioneer Andrew Robeson is famous for having its 500 ton frame moved some 400 feet in 1978.  The federal-style(brick) home built in 1821 was in line to be torn down in the name of progress but it was saved by the Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE(WHALE).  It was painstakingly moved inch by inch from Second Street and turned ninety degrees before it came to rest at its current locale on Williams St.  That story is enough to warrant a visit when passing through New Bedford.
The cobblestone historic district has so much to see that it would be impossible to list it all.  I can only tell you to park and walk, you will be sure to find some amazing places.  Of course the Whaling Museum needs to be seen and don’t forget the historic forts out at Clarke’s Point.  New Bedford is one of the most historic seaports in the country and I can’t recommend a visit enough.  Have fun and happy traveling!    

For more In My Footsteps items follow my Twitter Feed, view more photos at the In My Footsteps fan page on Facebook, or visit my homepage at   Thanks for reading! 

DirectionsFort Taber/Rodman: From I-195 West take Exit 15 into New Bedford.  Follow John F Kennedy Memorial Highway until you need to bear right onto Rodney French Blvd.  The Fort Taber/Rodman site is on the right at the end of the road.
            Rotch-Jones-Duff Museum:  From I-195 take Exit 15, continue onto JFK Memorial Highway for 1.7 miles, turn right at Union St., turn left at 7th St., follow it .2 miles to house on right.
            New Bedford Whaling Museum:  From I-195 take Exit 15, continue onto JFK Memorial Highway for 1.5 miles, turn right at Elm St.  Take the 2nd left onto 1st St., museum is on left.  

            New Bedford Whaling Museum

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In My Footsteps: Trip 98: Acushnet, Massachusetts

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 98:  Acushnet, Massachusetts
December 2, 2010

            Formerly a part of New Bedford and then Fairhaven the town of Acushnet may be small in size but it has a rather large link to the world of sports.  The name Acushnet comes from the Wampanoag word ‘Cushnea’ which means ‘peaceful resting place near water’ which is no coincidence since the town lies along the Acushnet River.
Acushnet Town Hall
            The link to the world of sports that Acushnet has comes from the Acushnet Process Company, now known as the Acushnet Company.  Founded in 1910 the Acushnet Company owns the Titleist brand name which is very well known to any fan of the sport of golf.  The Acushnet Company was founded by Philip E. Young and began creating their own rubber-based products after initially supplying rubber to other companies.
            I began my time in Acushnet by visiting the center of town which as I have stated many times is where my GPS tends to bring me.  I parked next to the Town Hall and took a walk.  Posted on nearly every telephone pole were signs celebrating Acushnet’s Sesquicentennial.  That means 150 years, I had never heard of that particular term before visiting Acushnet.  The Town Hall had a unique style to it with a stone face looking more like an old castle than an official building.
History outside Long Plain Museum
            Being that this trip came during the Christmas season there were decorations and lights everywhere that captured my favorite time of the year.  I really loved the set up in front of the local fire department.  There were nutcrackers, snowmen, white bears, and of course Santa on the front lawn.  I arrived as the winter sun was getting low and the yellow orange hue to the collection really made it a sight to behold.
            After leaving the center of Acushnet I took a drive out to the Long Plain Museum further out on Main Street.  This museum is also the home of the town’s historical society.  The Long Plain Museum was built in 1875 and was originally the Long Plain Schoolhouse until 1972.  Many of the historical photos and exhibits inside depict school life in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Long Plain Museum
            What I particularly liked about this museum was the fact that there were several pieces of significance outside lined up along the fence.  There is a horse watering trough from 1840 that formerly resided outside of the Whelden School on Middle Street.  Next to that is the front step of the one room ‘Bog School.’  This tiny schoolhouse was taken over from Fairhaven in 1860 and remained in operation until 1905 when it was closed and the students transferred to the Long Plain School.  To the right is a date stone from the Whelden Mill, one of the earliest cotton mills in the northeast.  It was built in 1814 by Captain Joseph Whelden near where Deep Brook meets the Acushnet River.  Finally there is the keystone of the Deep Brook Bridge built in 1845.  The old bridge crossed Middle Road over Deep Brook before being replaced in 1974 by the current bridge.  The old schoolhouse had a haunting presence in the fading daylight making it an image I will take from my time in Acushnet.
            The final place I was able to visit before winter took the sunlight away was the Long Plain Friends Meeting House and Museum a short drive away on Main Street.  The meeting house was built by the Quakers in 1759, the term ‘friends’ used in many of the titles of these religious halls was just another way of saying Quaker.  It is the oldest such meeting house in southeastern Massachusetts but is no longer actively used. 
Long Plain Friends Meeting House
Set back from the road it was a memorable walk to get to where the solo white building stood in the open field.  As is the case with every other Quaker meeting house I have seen in my travels there is a small cemetery of loyal followers not far from the meeting house.  I stayed on the grounds of the meeting house until there was only milky dusk remaining it was as if I was in the soul of little Acushnet at that time.  That is what I will take from my trip, being able to ‘feel’ what the town was about.
Acushnet is a small town with a big connection to the world of sports with its association with the Titleist company. It also has hands on history with the Long Plain Museum.  It absolutely lived up to its Wamapnoag name of being a peaceful resting place near water and I believe that any visitor will enjoy their time in Acushnet.  Have fun and happy traveling!

For more In My Footsteps items follow my Twitter Feed, view more photos at the In My Footsteps fan page on Facebook, or visit my homepage at   Thanks for reading! 

DirectionsLong Plain Museum:  From I-195 take Exit 20, take Rt. 105 through Rochester.  Turn right at Cushman Rd., left at Robinson Rd., these are still Rt. 105.  Follow Robinson Rd. to Main St., turn right, Museum is almost immediately on left.  Quaker Meeting House is .7 miles further up on left.  

ReferencesLong Plain
            Acushnet, Ma. - Official Town Site

Friday, January 21, 2011

In My Footsteps: Trip 97: Dartmouth, Massachusetts

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 97:  Dartmouth, Mass.
December 2, 2010

Demarest Lloyd State Park
            One part seaside village and one part college town, Dartmouth has the best of both of those worlds and much more. Dartmouth is primarily known as the home of one of  the University of Massachusetts campuses.  However, the ‘college town’ part of Dartmouth is only a small piece of what makes up this seaside town.  It was first settled in 1652, purchased from the Wampanoag chiefs Massasoit and Wamsutta by Plymouth Colony.  It was subsequently sold to the Quakers because they wanted a place to live outside of the strict Puritan laws of Plymouth Colony.  There are several Quaker Meeting House’s located in Dartmouth’s borders that remind citizens and visitors alike of the town’s roots.
            The first place I stopped at was Demarest Lloyd State Park along Dartmouth’s southern coast on Barney’s Joy Road.  In the offseason the gate is closed and so I had to walk down to the beach which faces Buzzards Bay.  The walk was nice though as the road is paved and the weather was not too cold.  There is a picnic area on the right as you head toward the beach.  Although there aren’t any places to park next to the picnic area they would really only be used when it is warm so that should not stop anybody from partaking in the beautiful picnic area scenery.
Oxford Creamery at the Bucket
            The beach is small and filled with small rocks but it has spectacular views.  To the east there is Mishaum Point and the Slocums River empties into Buzzards Bay here.  To the west the land slopes out toward Horseneck Beach in neighboring Westport.  The river may empty here but there is a much better place to enjoy the sights of Slocums River.  Russell Mills Landing on Horseneck Road was where I stopped to get a good view of the river passing through.  There is a playground for the children and I got to see a huge flock of ducks meandering around in the water.  While I can’t promise you the ducks the scenery at Russells Mills Landing is worth a look.  The name Russells Mills will appear again later in this article.
            Apponagansett Park on Gulf Road is another place filled with great maritime scenery.  The name Apponagansett is also the name of one of the previously mentioned Quaker Meeting House’s located in Dartmouth.  The park is rather small, facing Apponagansett Bay, and connected to South Dartmouth by a long drawbridge.  There were still some boats in the water as well despite it being well past the end of the season.  However despite the boats, a gazebo, and drawbridge, there was something else that caught my eye here above all else.
Looking across Apponagansett Bay to S. Dartmouth.
            It was a twenty-foot tall brown ice cream bucket that fascinated me the moment I pulled into Apponagansett Park.  Oxford Creamery at the Bucket, also known as Gulf Hill Dairy Ice Cream is a unique ice cream shack that must be extremely busy during the summer.  I imagine that there must be lots of people who come from miles away just to see this one of a kind landmark in addition to partaking in the delicious treats it serves.  It was during my time at places like this where I had to remind myself that this was a college town you’d be hard pressed to find evidence of that fact once you get out of sight of the UMass campus.
            The Apponagansett Friends Meeting House, located on Russell Mills Road was originally built in 1689 with the current structure having been erected in 1790.  As I previously said it is one of several Quaker Meeting Houses in Dartmouth and this one sits stoically on a hill overlooking the road and hiding an old cemetery behind it.  I am not one for wandering through cemeteries but it felt like I was taking a walk through the history of the town as I did.  Granted it is not for everyone, but those who don’t get creeped out easily might enjoy it.
            The village of Russells Mills is a large part of the history of Dartmouth.  I have already mentioned it when speaking of the landing which sits next to Solcums River.  However, there is an historic district in the western part of the town that houses some neat old buildings.
Russells Mills Schoolhouse-Library c. 1871
            I stopped at the Russells Mills Library-Schoolhouse built in 1871.  Doubling as both in the past it is now used solely as a library.  Try as I might I have had trouble finding out the importance of the Russells Mills name so much of the history of this area is unknown to me.  There was a donkey hitched up behind the building which was a bit surprising to me and was one of the little moments I tend to run into which make each trip unique.  I hope that maybe someone reading this might have some much needed information about the Russells Mills name for me.
            Dartmouth is definitely a mixture of many places.  One part college town and one part seaside village it is all together a great spot to visit.  I would imagine that it would be even more fun to visit Demarest Lloyd State Park and Oxford Creamery at the Bucket at Appongansett Park during the summer.  Still I enjoyed my time in Dartmouth and think any potential traveler will as well.  Have fun and happy traveling!

For more In My Footsteps items follow my Twitter Feed, view more photos at the In My Footsteps fan page on Facebook, or visit my homepage at   Thanks for reading! 

Directions:  Demarest Lloyd State Park:  From I-195 take Exit 12, turn right at Faunce Corner Dr., continue onto Old Westport Rd.  Turn left at Chase Rd., follow it 3.5 miles, turn right at Russells Mills Rd.  Continue onto Horseneck Rd., continue onto Barney’s Joy Rd.  Park entrance is 1 mile up on left.
            Apponagansett Park:  From I-195 take Exit 12, turn right at Faunce Corner Dr., turn left at State Rd., turn right at Tucker Rd.  Follow it 3 miles, continue onto Russells Mills Rd.  Continue onto Bakerville Rd.  Turn left at Gulf Rd., Park is on left 1.3 miles.


Friday, January 14, 2011

In My Footsteps: Trip 96: Falmouth, Mass. - Trip 2

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 96:  Falmouth, Mass. – Trip 2
October 20, 2010

            I decided to return to the scene of my initial In My Footsteps trip: Falmouth.  That first trip had no rhyme or reason to it and in the end I did not see very much of what the town has to offer besides Nobska Light.  I knew that there was so much beauty and history in Falmouth that it deserved a properly planned trip and that is what I will share with you here.
One of Sarah Peters' bronze plaques on Main Street.
            Falmouth was first settled in 1660 and named for the similarly named town in England.  It was explorer Bartholomew Gosnold’s home town, the name was chosen due to the fact that Gosnold had given Cape Cod its name.  The Native American name of Suckanesset was originally kept for the settlement; it was incorporated as a town in 1686 with the name being changed to Falmouth in 1690. 
I was amazed to find out that the area near Surf Drive Beach which I wrote about in my first Falmouth article actually saw some action in the War of 1812.  The Massachusetts militia entrenched themselves on the beach after the initial bombardment, preparing for a British landfall but it never came.  Falmouth is also the birthplace of American poet Katharine Lee Bates who wrote America the Beautiful in 1910.  There is a bronze statue of her in front of the Falmouth Public Library and her family’s home is forever preserved as an historic landmark in the town.
View of the garden at the Julia Wood House.
            I began my second trip to Falmouth at a beautiful town green along Main Street which lies in front of the Falmouth Public Library.  I parked along Shore Road which runs perpendicular to the green and took in the sights and sun.  The way Main Street borders the green gives it a different feel than most commons or greens in other towns, I can’t put my finger on what it is.  I particularly enjoyed the small bronze plaques along the walkway depicting working life in Falmouth in the 19th century.  They include plaques featuring the whaling industry, cranberry harvesting, old saltworks, and woolens industry.  Created by local sculptor Sarah Peters between 2000 and 2003 they are both informative and striking in their detail, I appreciate little things like that which make a trip even better.
            Ironically there is another town green located just up the road from that one, it is where Main Street forks off into West Main Street.  This is another great spot to park and walk.  There is an interesting wishing well with a plaque on it which tells that the acre and a half Town Green was set aside as the Meeting House Lot in 1749 with the third Meeting House, the first built on the site, being erected in 1756. 
Nobska Lighthouse
            A short walk down Main Street to where it becomes Palmer Avenue brings you face to face with a couple of historic homes.  These combine together to make the Falmouth Museums on the Green.  The town’s historical society resides in the Conant House which was built in the 1760’s and originally was owned by the Reverend Samuel Palmer, minister of the town’s First Congregational Church in the early 1730’s.  Next door to the Conant House is the Julia Wood House.  It was built in 1790 for Revolutionary War physician Dr. Francis Wicks.  The best part of the house is the exquisite garden located just to the left of it.  There is an astrolabe surrounded by flowers on the way in and a sweet cherub birdbath near the middle.  The view of the garden from the small gazebo was fabulous; the bright sun seemed to bring out each and every color of every flower.  There are other historic homes to see on Palmer Avenue however there was another spot I needed to revisit.
            A trip to Falmouth would not be complete without stopping at Nobska Lighthouse.  Originally constructed in 1829 the current lighthouse was built in 1876 and became a part of the Coast Guard family in 1939.  It has a magnificent view of Vineyard Sound, Martha’s Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands from up on a hill where the lighthouse resides. 
Crocker Pond at Bourne Farm
            From the point on Nobska Road it is possible to see all the way down into Woods Hole to the west and it is the norm to see the ferry boats carrying passengers out to the Vineyard quite often throughout the day.  I enjoy taking photos of this amazing lighthouse from as many angles and spots as possible and there is no shortage of them.  Besides the fact that Nobska Light sits on a hill there is a place across the street that gives a wider perspective of the lighthouse.  Be careful though as it sits at the top of a steep dirt hill leading to the rocky shore below.
            A short drive north will bring you to the Bourne Farm, established in 1775.  In addition to the historic buildings on the property I was drawn to the spectacular view of the sloping green hill leading down to Crocker Pond.  The forty-nine acre farm is perfect for hiking, walking dogs, and even renting for weddings and other events.  The farmhouse itself is known as the Crowell-Bourne Farmhouse because the home was erected by Joseph Crowell along with his father.  I found it particularly amusing that the trail guide states that nothing historic happened there and nobody famous ever lived there, but in my mind a farmhouse dating back to the Revolutionary War era is historic enough for me.
            Falmouth was even better for me the second time around, I used my travel experience to fill the trip with way more historic sites than the first time.  Obviously Nobska Light is a great place to start but the Museums on the Green and the ‘nothing historic ever happened here’ Bourne Farm are excellent companion pieces to a wonderful trip to the second largest town on Cape Cod.  Have fun and happy traveling!

For more In My Footsteps items follow my Twitter Feed, view more photos at the In My Footsteps fan page on Facebook, or visit my homepage at   Thanks for reading! 

DirectionsNobska Light:  From the Bourne Bridge take Rt. 28 south into Falmouth.  Continue onto Locust St., slight left at Mill Rd., right at Surf Drive.  Continue onto Oyster Pond Rd., continue onto Nobska Rd., follow it to the point where the lighthouse is.
            Bourne Farm:  From the Bourne Bridge follow Rt. 28 south for 9 miles going through a rotary along the way.  Turn right at Thomas Landers Rd., slight right onto Rt. 28A, Bourne Farm is on left. 
            Museums on the Green:  From the Bourne Bridge take Rt. 28 south for 13.5 miles, going through a rotary along the way.  Rt. 28 becomes Palmer Ave., take slight left at Main St.  There is parking along the road, this is where I began my walk.

ReferencesSarah Peters Sculpture
                      Nobska Light - New England Lighthouses
                      Falmouth Historical


Sunday, January 9, 2011

In My Footsteps: Trip 95: Freeport, Maine

In My Footsteps
Christopher Setterlund

Trip 95:  Freeport, Maine
October 6, 2010

            Although it is widely known throughout the Northeast as the home of more than 200 outlet and designer shops there is much more to see in Freeport including one of the most amazing natural phenomena in New England.
Wolfe's Neck Farm
            Famous names such as L.L. Bean, Nike, and Reebok are well known throughout Freeport due to their outlet shops but there was another name that I decided to check out upon my arrival in this small town twenty minutes northeast of Portland.  That name was Wolfe’s Neck.
            Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park is only a few minutes drive from the famous Freeport Outlets but it is a completely different world all together.  It consists of over 200 acres of land given to the state by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M.C. Smith in 1969.  The drive down Wolfe’s Neck Road is a great example of how much Freeport’s landscape can change in such a short distance. 
            I began to feel so far from civilization the further I ventured toward Wolfe’s Neck.  I took a walk on the Casco Bay trail to try to get a good feel for the area.  I will freely admit that on this day it was a race against time as a huge rain storm was approaching so I was trying to see as much of Freeport as possible before the rains came. 
            Casco Bay is the name for the area of ocean east of Portland.  From the shoreline where I walked it was hard to tell what was where as there are so many tiny islands scattered in the bay.  Along with the many islands of varying size I enjoyed the colorful rocks carved up by the repeated ocean waves.  The dull pink and yellow colors of some of the rocks were only matched by the increasing colors in the trees of the foliage of autumn.  It was a very calm and peaceful area and lucky for me the rain held off long enough for me to enjoy it.
Panoramic View at Desert of Maine
            Another spot with the Wolfe’s Neck name is the 626-acre Wolfe’s Neck Farm.  The Wolfe name comes from the first settler of the area, Henry Wolfe.  The land on which Wolfe’s Neck Farm stands was purchased in 1947 by the same Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence M.C. Smith who eventually donated Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park.  The farm today is used as much as an educational tool and family recreation as it is for actual farmed goods.
            There are 118 campsites and cottages on the shores of Casco Bay at the Recompence Shore Campground at Wolfe’s Neck Farm that are popular for families visiting the area.  It is not just a run of the mill campground either, it was voted ‘Best Coastal Campground’ by Yankee Magazine in 2010.   
            As amazing as the Farm and State Park which bear the Wolfe’s Neck name are there is another spot which is one of the craziest natural phenomena I have seen on any of my trips.  The Desert of Maine is just what it says it is, a huge sandy area in the middle of the forest in Freeport.  I had heard about this place but had no idea what to expect when I arrived.  It ended up being every bit as spectacular and wondrous as I could have hoped.
The camels at the beginning of the Desert.
            Where the Desert resides now was once a thriving farm run by the Tuttle family at the end of the 18th century.  Unfortunately their failure to properly rotate their crops combined with overgrazing and clearing of the land led to the lush topsoil eroding away.  What was left was glacial silt which looks like sand but is not. 
            The small patch of glacial silt gradually spread, overtaking the entire Tuttle farm, and has grown today to some forty acres in size.  The Tuttles abandoned the farm in 1919 after it was purchased by Henry Goldrup who turned it into the tourist attraction it is today.  There are tours of the grounds every half hour but I decided to walk it on my own, partially because with the impending rains I wanted to see everything but also hurry.
            There are some amazing attractions within the attraction here including many original tools used by the Tuttle family 200 years ago and a decomposing wagon used by the Tuttles as well.  Out in the sand there is an area of moss which has grown over the glacial silt leading to a theory that in time fertile soil may once again cover the Desert in the future.  There is also a buried spring house.  Essentially a spring house is a small building used for refrigeration in rural areas before electricity made it there.  The spring house was built in 1938 and was completely buried by the glacial silt by 1962.  There is a measuring stick on the dune which measures the height of the dune at eight-feet.
Harrington House c.1830
            In the end all of the sites within the Desert of Maine did not stop me from realizing that this odd natural phenomenon basically looks like someone scooped up a large section of beach and dumped it in the forest.  There are even camel statues and a desert thermometer at the beginning to give it a genuine feel.  It was near the end of my walk that the rains came.  However I still needed to pay a visit to the Downtown Freeport outlets even if it meant getting wet.
            I mentioned a few of the famous brands with outlets in Freeport and most people familiar with it know many of the others.  There are actually a few historic sites including the First Parish Church which was founded in 1789.  There is also the old brick Harrington House, built in 1830, which is the location of the Freeport Historical Society.  The rain combined with the colorful foliage actually made this building stand out more.  Sure I got soaked taking photos of these spots but it was well worth it in the long run.
            Many people think of Freeport as only being home to hundreds of outlet shops but there is so much more.  There are amazing trails and sites at Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park and countless activities at Wolfe’s Neck Farm, not to mention the simply incredible Desert of Maine.  Of course after all of that is done there are always the outlets, I am no fool!  Have fun and happy traveling!

For more In My Footsteps items follow my Twitter Feed, view more photos at the In My Footsteps fan page on Facebook, or visit my homepage at   Thanks for reading!

DirectionsWolfe’s Neck Farm:  From Rt. 1 heading north into Freeport turn right onto Bow St. right after North Face Outlet.  Continue onto Flying Point Rd., turn right at Lower Flying Point Rd., take 1st right onto Burnett Rd.  Main building is on right almost a mile down the road.
            Desert of Maine:  From Rt. 1 heading north into Freeport turn left at Desert Rd. just before Shaw’s Plaza.  Follow road to the end.
            Freeport Outlets:  From the south Take I-95 to the Maine Turnpike, Exit 52.  Follow signs to I-295 North and take Exit 17, 20 or 22 for Freeport. All of these Exits lead directly to Rt. 1, which is Main Street. 

ReferencesWolfe's Neck
            Desert of
            Freeport Historical