Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting my Augusta Area Adventures Series, featuring businesses and outside spaces that are great for parents and kids! If there is a place you love to take your kids, leave a comment and you might see it featured in a weekly post!
Armed with an apple sauce pouch, my lightest weight stroller, and a happy baby, I drove to a small parking lot in Hallowell that can’t be found with a GPS. This is the entry way to Vaughan’s Woods, known locally as Hobbitland for its resemblance to The Shire in The Lord of the Rings books.
Since moving to the area and telling friends about this series, I’ve been told over and over again that I had to take Zoey to Vaughan’s Woods. I trust my friends’ judgement, but I didn’t really understand what the fuss was about until we crossed through a field and into the woods.
Once into the woods, it felt like the world outside had disappeared. The shade kept everything cool and Zoey and I could hear a stream somewhere near by. As we walked, we discovered beautiful bridges, waterfalls, and ancient trees with initials carved into them.
We stopped and sat on some rocks. Zoey dipped her feet into the stream and giggled while the water flowed over her toes.
Vaughan’s Wood’s is owned by a non profit organization, The Vaughan Homestead Foundation and includes the Vaughan Homestead, which is open to tours by appointment. The woods include about three miles of trails, not all of which are accommodating for strollers. That being said, the trails are easy and not steep at all. When Zoey and I go back, I’ll carry her in the baby carrier so we can take a longer hike.
While walking, Zoey and I met several groups of people, many with dogs and small children. Vaughan’s Woods welcomes pets, as long as they are on the leash and they are cleaned up after.
Vaughan’s Woods is an example of a hidden gem in this part of Maine. Well known locally, it’s a huge surprise when visited for the first time. I know that we’ll be back, and we hope to see you on the trails!