A is for Alewives
Every spring the alewives return to Maine streams and ponds to spawn. On any given day during the April – June migration see them at at the Damariscotta Fish Ladder. The access from the ocean to the pond behind the dam is maintained by the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration organization. They host an annual fish fry to help pay for the cost of repairs and additions to the ladder. Come July, the process is reversed and the young alewives begin the journey back to the ocean where they live until mature enough to return to their home pond.
The drive to the fish ladder is pretty straightforward – from White Cedar Inn head north on Rt 1 to Damariscotta/Newcastle. Turn off Rt 1 at Rt 129 (Bus Rt 1). At intersection, go straight onto Rt 215. Stay on there until you reach the fish ladder on the left (approx 2 miles).
Make a day of it
While you’re out near the fish ladder, stop by at Alewives Fabrics for some great quilting fabrics and notions. Lots of cool Maine fabrics!
Hike through the Great Salt Bay Marsh Trail to the shell middens.
Return to Newcastle for lunch at the Newcastle Publick House, or Damariscotta for a meal at King Eider Pub or Schooner Landing. Continue on Rt 129/Rt 130 to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Climb the spiral stairs into the lighthouse, view the museum, wander the grounds of the park.
Also along this peninsula, stop at Ft William Henry.
Not tired yet? On your return from Pemaquid Point, take a right on Rt 32 and head for New Harbor. Stop at Shaw’s for an al fresco lobster dinner and hop on the Hardy Boat Cruises for a puffin watch tour (May – August). These tours are guided by a naturalist who works on the island all summer following the large variety of sea birds that nest there. You’ll see puffins, cormorants, black guillemots, razorbills, and more. Seals and dolphins are often seen while cruising the Muscongus Bay. Artists set up on the pier to paint a view of the scenic fishing harbor.
Or, continue on scenic Rt 32 to the Rachel Carson Salt Marsh Preserve for a walk along the shore. Afterwards, turn off at Round Pond where Muscongus Bay Lobster and the Round Pond Lobster Co-op are open in the summer. The Granite House is the perfect stop for ice cream.
Continue on to Rt 1, turn south and head home. Ask us for a map and we’ll highlight the locations in this post so you can find them.
Ready for vacation? Check here for availability at White Cedar Inn. See you soon!