While Freeport is nationally known for its outlet shopping, that’s not all it offers. Just outside of town you’ll find a lovely pastoral landscape, picturesque picnicking spots, and scenic drives that make for a handy retreat from all that spending.
By car head east on Bow Street (down the hill from L.L. Bean’s main entrance), and wind around for 1 mile to the sign for Mast Landing Audubon Sanctuary (tel. 207/781-2330). Turn left and then right about 1/4 mile into the sanctuary parking lot. A network of trails totaling about 3 miles crisscrosses through a landscape of long-ago eroded hills and mixed woodlands; streams trickle down to the marshland estuary.
The 140-acre property is owned by the Maine Audubon Society and is open to the public until dusk. Continue south on Wolfe’s Neck Road, and you’ll soon come to the 233-acre Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park (pictured above, tel. 207/865-4465). This compact, attractive park has quiet woodland trails that run through forests of white pine and hemlock, past estuaries, and along the rocky shoreline of the bay. Googins Island, just offshore and reached by following the park’s Casco Bay Trail, has an osprey nest on it.
This is a good destination for enjoying a picnic brought from town or for letting the kids burn off some pent-up energy—there are guided nature walks at 2pm daily during the summer. The day-use fee for the park is $6 per non-Maine resident adult, $2 for nonresident seniors, and $1 for children ages 5 to 11.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.