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Maine Best Outdoor Activities 2012

Maine Best Outdoor Activities 2012
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BEST GARDEN DOUBLE-HEADER
Asticou & Thuya Gardens, Northeast Harbor
On Mount Desert Island, it’s easy to pair Asticou, a 2.3-acre space famed for its Japanese sand garden, stone lanterns, azaleas, and waterlilies, with nearby Thuya, which blends semiformal English beds with woodland plantings. Asticou, Route 198; Thuya, Route 3. 207-276-3727; gardenpreserve.org

BEST CRUISE INTO HISTORY
Great Pond MailBoat, Belgrade Lakes
On Golden Pond, that sunset-of-life film, took inspiration from the original Great Pond Mailboat. Although that lovely wooden launch has been replaced with a modern pontoon boat, the excursion is still memorable. 207-215-7520

BEST BIKING
Carriage Trails, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor
Pedal up to 45 miles of well-signed, crushed-rock carriage roads weaving though Acadia National Park’s woodlands. Adding interest are gurgling streams, sparkling ponds, 17 rough stone bridges, two stone gatehouses, and the Jordan Pond House restaurant and tearoom. 207-288-3338; nps.gov/acad

BEST MOUNTAIN PARK
Sunday River, Newry
Fly down the mountain tethered to lines strung between trees in the zipline park, or explore more than 20 miles of downhill terrain for all abilities in the lift-accessed mountain-bike park. Better idea: Do both! 15 South Ridge Road. 207-824-3000; sundayriver.com

BEST ROCKHOUNDING
Maine Mineral Adventures, Bryant Pond
Dig for gems, such as Maine tourmaline, on a field trip to a mine or quarry in the Oxford Hills. All tools and safety gear are provided, and you get to keep what you find. 1148 South Main St. 207-674-3440; digmainegems.com

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