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Rhon Bell

Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys. Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout. Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.

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Window to the Woods with Rhon Bell
Posted: November 12, 2014

8 wonderful ways to enjoy the Maine outdoors this November (before winter hits!)

Sure, it’s colder out there, but there’s still time to get outside for one last fall hike, a beach walk with the dog or to enjoy Maine’s scenic places without all the tourists.

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1. Take your dog to the beach

We live in a state that has a lot of beautiful summer beaches. We also have beautiful dogs. However, our beautiful dogs aren’t typically allowed on the beautiful beaches, until this time of year. The tourists have left it’s time once again that our four-legged friends can sniff and explore around the frigid coastline in peace. A handful of beaches are listed below, for more info on beaches near you, visit Maine.gov.
Scarborough – open to all-day off-leash use until June 15
Kennebunk – open to on-leash walks until June 15
Old Orchard – open to dogs before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m

 

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2. Build an evening bonfire big enough to keep even the neighbors warm

Nighttime falls faster now and that brings those wicked cold evening temperatures with it, but a flannel shirt, a few beers and a big backyard fire is exactly what you need to warm up the night. Invite the neighbors over or a handful of friends and see just how tall you can make those flames. Just remember to follow local ordinances. 

 

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3. Paddle a canoe in your favorite plaid shirt

The spirit of adventure comes to you whenever one of these three things happen: you proudly sport plaid, you paddle a canoe in open waters, or you simply enter the great outdoors. When all three happen at the same time – you’re in for a perfect fall excursion. Grab your boat and hit the closest body of water. This crisp, fresh air is good for the body and good for the soul. It doesn’t need to be an all-day trip to have fun. Just get out for a couple hours and soak it in.

 

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4. Plan one last fall hike

Mother nature is sometimes at her prettiest this time of year. As you gain elevation you’ll find frozen waterfalls, snow clinging to trees and a beautiful landscape laid out in front of your eyes at the summit. Plus, the foot traffic should be considerably lighter – no matter where you choose to hike. My favorite late fall hike is Mt. Jackson in New Hampshire.
Read more: Frozen Waterfall | Winter Hike | White Mountains

 

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5. Warm yourself on a cold night beside a wood fire

You’ve been stacking wood in the backyard all fall and now that nights are dropping below freezing, it’s time to start up the stove for the first few fires of the season. It’s true that nothing warms you like wood heat. It’s the romanticized way to warm your home: the smell of the fireplace, the dancing flames and the kind of warmth that instantly pulls the cold from your fingertips.

 

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6. Walk the piers without tourists and watch the sunrise

Maybe you’re noticing a trend. I love our state, but I also love the ability to enjoy uninterrupted views with a small amount of peace and quiet. I really enjoy leaving for work a bit early, finding easy Portland parking and walking the piers. I try to catch a photo or two of the fishermen leaving the docks, or seagulls sitting on the lobster buoys. If you catch a great morning, the sky will be painted with pinks and oranges and make for memorable photos.

 

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7. Get your ice fishing gear ready and skis waxed

Your garage is going to be even colder one month from now. Now is the time to throw on your boots and crawl under your workbench to find your traps, pack basket, bait bucket, auger and get ready for the snow to fly. Check your lines to ensure they remain strong and unknotted. Sharpen your auger blades (or replace if damaged). If you haven’t been out skiing yet (Sugarloaf and Sunday River just opened), it’s time to tune-up and wax your skis. Local shops can get it done during the work week so when the weekend rolls around, you can hit the slopes without waiting in line for the service.

 

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8. Christmas tree lightings

Grab your coat, your kids and some hot cocoa and come out on the town. Start the holiday season off the right way and in the brightest spirits. With two big events planned for November, you’re sure to be able to fit at least one of these dates in your calendar. Join L.L.Bean for their Northern Lights Celebration and watch this year’s tree light up on Friday, November 21 at 6:45pm (note: I’m an L.L.Bean employee).  If you’re unable to join in that night, Portland hosts a tree lighting ceremony in Monument Square on Friday, November 28 at 5:30 p.m.

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