Now, why anyone would ever want to leave, after having checked in and unpacked and taken that first stroll around? We’ll leave that question for others to ponder. But should you feel the yen for a little drive, or if you perhaps have a disgruntled child who is soothed by a car ride, here’s a few things you’ll encounter if you venture out the driveway!
Let’s start out by not turning onto Route 302 at all. Just cross 302, bearing left, and head up Quaker Ridge Road. First, on your left, is Blacksmith’s Winery. Did you know there was a vintner right here in South Casco? Bring some blueberry wine home for a taste of Maine.
Continuing up Quaker Ridge Road, on your right is Thomas Pond, one of the many smaller bodies of water that dot the area. This time of year you’re likely to see fishing shacks on the surface as fishing is a year round pastime in this neighborhood. Give Registered Maine Guide Brooke Hidell a call during the season if you’d like to try your line in Sebago or any one of a number of other lakes.
Keep heading northeast. Your car is climbing steadily now, and within minutes the vista will open up and you’ll arrive at Hacker’s Hill on Quaker Ridge. Take the driveway up the hill on the right. The panoramic view is incomparable; you brought your camera, didn’t you? Spend a little while on top, walking around or throwing the Frisbee or just admiring the view. Generations of lake region residents have treasured this very special place. If you are a little short on time, go past the uphill driveway and pull over on the left, after Hall’s Funeral Home. The view from here is almost as majestic, particularly when sunset is approaching. See Mount Washington out there? On winter evenings, we can see Shawnee Peak’s illuminated ski trails.
Back in the car, continue along until the road ends, then turn right at the stop sign onto Route 11. Next, left at the blinking light. The main Casco fire station is on your right, as well as the temporary Town Office. Wave at the horses in the field! The next body of water on your right is Parker Pond, where there are a couple of scenic turnouts to enjoy if you wish. In a mile or so you will be rolling into Casco Village. The Grange Hall is on the right, as is the Casco Village Church UCC. The Green is in the center, the public library and Community Center on the left. Basketball courts and a little playground around the back! The wide open area on the left is Casco Day Park, where thousands come annually from miles around to benefit the fire department for the weekend surrounding “Always the Last Saturday in July”. Visit the Village Gift Barn across the street for a unique item for your home, crafted by Joanne, queen of repurposing! Then pull into Pear’s Ice Cream for a cone (right next to our fitness trainer Lisa’s year round business BKD Fitness) and carry it down to the little beach on Pleasant Lake.
Now all this, if you didn’t stop, is just 10 minutes from the Migis driveway. A little alternative; pass Casco Day Park and take a right onto Mayberry Hill Road. There’s one of the little Casco public beaches there on the left, on Pleasant Lake. Continue on around the bend…on the right there is Lord Road. There’s a bakery operating in that house there during summer. Yummm.
Up the hill, pass Hoop Camp up up up, and left at the top. Just around the bend up there on the right is a great spot to stop for a walk of a mile or so, Mayberry Hill Preserve.
So far we’ve kept within our 15 minute constraint, but if you have just a very few extra minutes, stay on this road traveling past the preserve. Just a couple minutes more and you’ll have arrived at Seeds of Peace, a remarkable summer camp operating since 1993 whose mission is to bring together young people from global conflict areas and help them acquire the skills of negotiation and leadership. Their first teen campers were from Egypt, Israel and Palestine and their numbers and participating groups and countries have grown through the years.
Well, it’s time to make a U-turn now and head back over the Otisfield/Casco line en route to Migis Lodge. Who knew there were so many interesting features so close to our home away from home? And that’s without turning off!
Have you had your reservation confirmed yet? Call 207-655-4524. And don’t forget to Like us on Facebook if you haven’t already….
Bye for now! I’m feeling ready for a little drive.