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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at MaineOutdoors@aol.com.

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Posted: July 17, 2014

Hiking and the Yarmouth Clam Festival: A wicked good combo!

Written by: Carey Kish

The Yarmouth Clam Festival is this weekend, three great days of fun, food and entertainment. It’s perhaps my favorite summer festival of all here in the Great State of Maine.

While the carnival and midway kicked things off on Wednesday, and will be running again on Thursday night, the festival really gets going in earnest on Friday. I know I’ll be there Friday afternoon and evening, to watch the parade for one, and to fill my face with a pint of fried clams and lots of whatever else I’m not supposed to have but will anyway. A little music under the tent and a stroll through the midway will surely round out our evening.

Ohhh, those fried clams at the Yarmouth Clam Festival! Image courtesy Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce.

Ohhh, those fried clams at the Yarmouth Clam Festival! Image courtesy Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce.

All the festival stuff said, hikers like you and me need to know that there’s some pretty fine walking in and around Yarmouth, courtesy of the good folks at Yarmouth Community Services and the Royal River Conservation Trust among others. So you can enjoy some good ol’ festival fun and games and mountains of food and walk it all off on a goodly variety of scenic trails nearby.

I wrote about all this – the Yarmouth Clam Festival and the miles of trails and whatnot described in the Yarmouth Open Spaces Guide – in my outdoors column last Sunday in the Maine Sunday Telegram, “Hiking in Maine: Happy as a Yarmouth clam.”

My wife and I checked out three parks and preserves in particular a few weeks back to get a flavor of what’s on the ground in town. We were duly impressed and had a wicked decent morning amid the pretty environs of Yarmouth’s green spaces and places. You too are gonna like your time spent here.

Gotta love the Yarmouth Clam Festival parade! It starts Friday evening at 6:30, but you'd better claim a viewing spot long before that. Image courtesy Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce.

Gotta love the Yarmouth Clam Festival parade! It starts Friday evening at 6:30, but you’d better claim a viewing spot long before that. Image courtesy Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce.

Spear Farm Estuary Preserve has a nice couple miles of trail on its 55 acres bordering the Royal River. Enjoy the oak and pine forests, salt marshes along the river and a freshwater pond as you go. Great spot!

Looking out over the salt marshes along the Royal river, Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Looking out over the salt marshes along the Royal river, Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

At Royal River Park, meander along the river through patches of woods and lovely grass fields past three waterfalls, two at old dam sites and a third at an old mill. The grove of old growth hemlocks is pretty impressive; some are 200 years old!

Along the Royal River in Royal River Park, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Along the Royal River in Royal River Park, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Littlejohn Island Preserve protects 26 acres on the eastern tip of the island. A mile long loop hike circumnavigates the property and takes you right along the waterfront, where wonderful island and bay views will knock your hiking socks off. Parking is extremely limited here; two cars at a time only. If the spaces are full, well, you’ll have to come back another time. It’s the rules, so please comply!

Exploring the shoreline at Littlejohn Island Preserve, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Exploring the shoreline at Littlejohn Island Preserve, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Here are a few more photos of our recent day outdoors in Yarmouth. Enjoy! And maybe I’ll see you at the Clam Fest or on the Yarmouth trails this weekend…

Freshwater pond, Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Freshwater pond, Spear Farm Estuary Preserve, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Trailside Black-eyed Susans, Spear Farm Estuary Preserve. Photo © Carey Kish.

Trailside Black-eyed Susans, Spear Farm Estuary Preserve. Photo © Carey Kish.

Second Falls at Sparhawk Mill, Royal River Park, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Second Falls at Sparhawk Mill, Royal River Park, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Old growth hemlocks, Royal River Park. Photo © Carey Kish.

Old growth hemlocks, Royal River Park. Photo © Carey Kish.

Casco Bay scene from Littlejohn island Preserve, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Casco Bay scene from Littlejohn Island Preserve, Yarmouth. Photo © Carey Kish.

Be alert for poison ivy along the trail margins at both Littlejohn Island and Spear Farm Estuary preserves. Photo © Carey Kish.

Be alert for poison ivy along the trail margins at both Littlejohn Island and Spear Farm Estuary preserves. Photo © Carey Kish.

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