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Heather Steeves

Heather Steeves tries to do things that are fun -- and only things that are fun. So far that's included stilt walking, roller derby and cross-country road trips in her Saturn.

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Posted: May 16, 2015

Maine Mini Adventure: Maine’s most diverse hike, plus a killer doughnut in Wells

Written by: Heather Steeves

You will find just about every Maine landscape nestled in the Wells Reserve. An easy 2-mile hike will reward you with sand beaches, marsh lands, massive pines, old-growth forests, fields — both trimmed and wild, estuaries, brooks and rivers. After your walk, treat yourself to the best doughnut of your life.

When I visited the Wells Reserve on a weekday, I saw no other hikers. I’m sure this won’t be the case as July approaches and the tourists come out of their suburban hibernation.

Drive (or bike) to 342 Laudholm Farm Rd. in Wells (just off Route 1).
Pay the suggested donation ($4 adults, $1 children) at the little outhouse of a building as you drive up.
Park right near the historic Laudholm Farm with its big, yellow farmhouse (and a dozen other adorable, old yellow carriage houses, barns and other outbuildings).
Visit the info booth near the parking lot and grab a free trail map (it was a huge help – very easy).
Walk past the farmhouse and you’ll find a big sign with all the trails.


This 2-mile hike will get you to all the sights in a loop:
From the farm, take the Cart Path (buzzing with massive bumble bees) toward the Laird-Norton Trail, which has a deck path through high, green bushes. The trail winds through the estuary, where open ocean splashes against sand bars, which protect marsh lands. If you go in the morning, I’m sure you’ll find a lot of wildlife. There are plenty of beeches along the way, so pack a picnic.

Connect to the Laudholm Beach Trail for a stroll along a sandy beach. If you stay to the right, you’ll avoid the huge beach mansions. When you’re done at the beach, take the same path back, but stay left to the Pilger Trail, which winds through shady forests. You’ll soon be dumped near an open field abutting the forest. You can follow the Pilger trail to another estuary overlook. Connect to the Muskie Trail, which will offer views of milkweed fields and wildflower fields before it dumps you out near the farm again.

Time for a sugar coma

Once you’ve taken in all the sights and salty air you can handle, head back to Route 1 for the best doughnut of your life. I opted for the apple fritter at Congdon‘s (1090 Post Rd.). It was perfectly crispy and moist. The sugar glaze gave it this melt-in-your-mouth texture that I’ve never experience in a doughnut. There’s not much worth seeing in Wells, to be honest, but the doughnuts ($1.29 each) are almost worth the drive on their own. The honey dip was pillowy and tooth-hurting sweet.

Antiques galore

On your way out of town you’ll see a ton of antique stores. Give Bomar Hall a shot for the quirky and old.

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