Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Old Orchard Beach and Cascade Falls

Monday September 9, 2013
Site 42 Ne’er Family Campground
Old Orchard Beach, Maine



We’re taking it easy today.


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The high today is only going to be 69 and the low 42 so we are in no hurry to get out.  Seems like fall to me.  I put on my hoodie and we head out for the beach.   Turns out we could have walked, it’s only a half mile away.  But we didn’t know that so we took the car and parked two blocks away.  Right across from one of the cute painted murals on the buildings in the beach area.




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We walk down the main street, Old Orchard Street of course,  to the big welcome sign.  In doing so, we cross the rail road tracks. 

Old Orchard Beach is bringing the tourists in any way they can.  Amtrak stops at the station one block from the beach enabling anyone who can get to a station to come for the day.  I do love that idea.



When we get to the Welcome sign I realize my mistake.


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Everything is closed.  No rides are running.  I can’t even see the carousel. It’s doors are all shut tight.  The amusement part of the beach and many of the shops are now open only on week-ends.   DRAT!!   If I’d just have come down here to check it out first thing after we got set up, I might have found that out that I needed to do the beach on Sunday.  It’s what I came here for.  To experience the arcade type beach.


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Well then, on down to the water.



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  It is a beach after all and that’s not closed. I do LOVE the beach.

It’s a cool day but folks are here in bathing suits.  And this couple has built an elaborate sand castle of which they are rightly proud.   I love that they have no children to use as an excuse for getting out their pails and shovels.  They have obviously worked a long time on this.


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Regardless of the temperature, I have to put at least my feet in the water.  So I roll up my jeans and go for it.   Not too bad. I could swim in this.  The ocean of course warms and cools more slowly than the air.


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As I walk out of the water,  I see that the rides really are right next to the beach.  I’ll bet it’s great to go up in the Farris wheel and watch the people on the sand and in the water.

I look more closely and notice that they are working on the wheel.  There are a couple of guys high up and 3 of the buckets are missing.  I’ll be they were all there yesterday and now workers have 5 days to do repairs before the riders return.


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The only thing left to do is to check out the very interesting looking pier.


I always expect piers to be fishing piers.  Open all around.  Guys hanging out trying to catch the big one.   Not sure I’ve ever seen an enclosed pier before although I’ve crossed bridges in England with shops all across on both sides enclosing them.


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We look under the pier and see the normal high rise beach accommodations further on down from the amusements. I was wondering where those were.


Up on the pier, we find most of the shops closed with the exception of one or two including the bar at the back, or front if you think the section farthest into the water is the front.   Folks are there having drinks.  It’s about 1:30 in the afternoon on a Monday.





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A restaurant along one side is closed.  Nice stools and tables overlooking the water though.   Wonder if they ever see dolphins or whales??   There is also a good view back toward the beach and the rides.


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On our way out I notice a familiar name and wonder what it’s doing here.  I also see an interesting model of the pier and wonder if the pier has been shop lined like this since 1898.   There seems to be no one around to ask.


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As we walk back to the car, I’m lucky to see one of those very Amtrak trains crossing the road.  I look down the direction from which it came and there’s the little yellow train station.  I wonder if anyone got off coming to the beach today.


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Since we can’t play the day away on the rides at the beach, it’s time to go to plan two. 


Find the local waterfall.


I’ve gotten some good directions from the guy who checked me in.  He suggested this when I asked what would someone who likes to hike, kayak and bike do here if they only had one day.  It’s called Cascade Falls.


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We find the dirt parking lot and take a look at the map.  I take a quick shot of it for us to use if we need to since there don’t appear to be any paper  trail maps. 

What we don’t notice until later is that this is the “master plan” map and not the trail map.   It’s those attention to details things that get me every time.



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There don’t appear to be any trails really.  We see one sign that says falls. 

This beautiful place has just been stomped and climbed to death.  It is eroding badly.   I really hope they get on the ball here and put some trail markers and restraints in before it is totally ruined and is nothing but hard packed dirt everywhere.  It could be a really gorgeous area of trails around the falls and the brook.  They have a great looking plan and even if they don’t have the money to do it all now a minimum really needs to be done to make anything else possible ever.

We find some big trees that need to be hugged and protected.  And we do find the lovely little waterfall which I am sure is even more lovely in the spring when the water is not at its lowest point.




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We walk along the “brook” looking for some real trails.  There are dirt paths going everywhere including up slopes where they will hasten the erosion here.


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I locate the top of the falls and watch it fall down.  Of course that’s what falls do, they fall down the rock.   I’m glad I didn’t fall down the rock given the scarcity of trails.


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All joking aside, this is a beautiful place with lots of potential and I really hope whatever group is involved with it will get out here and take a look and organize a volunteer week-end to try to get some control on the folks creating their own trails wherever they like.  If not it will be much more difficult trying to implement their very nice looking master plan.


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That’s all for today.  
Mid Cape Cod tomorrow!


  1. Thank goodness the beach wasn't closed up tight! Always good to have a Plan B. After all, those trees were needing hugging! :c)

  2. Nothing can keep you guys down. I like how you always have a Plan B and just go with the flow. I'll be that amusement park is hoppin' during the summer!

  3. ha David hugs trees too... of course he does.

    Atlantic City boardwalk up in flames today! after all their rebuilding ... sad stuff.

    glad you have the beach open

  4. Hope they are not taking down the rides for the Winter, sure would be fun to do close to the beach. I just knew both of you were tree huggers, some more people need to learn to respect what they do for all of us.

  5. Sorry the amusement part of the beach was closed. But at least you got the beach and trails without a lot of people:o))

  6. We really like beach boardwalks too. The ones on the eastern shore are the best!

  7. Love the"ride the train to the beach" idea. Wouldn't that be fun?

  8. Been to Old O and loved it a few yrs back..wish we could have gotten over to Maine to meet up with you folks..its sure been a busy summer..love the tree hugging pic :)

  9. Beach and another great hike. What a perfect day!

  10. Plan A-Z, you two always have fun and find interesting activities.

  11. I never heard of this beach in Maine--somewhat of an anomaly. You sure made the most out of what may have been a disappointing day.

    Looking forward to posts from Cape Cod, a place neither of us has ever been. You sure are a good planner.

  12. It definitely looks like a fun beach with the amusement park right there and the pier with food and drink and other amusements. Waves were down, but I understand they can get decent waves here too. Thanks for documenting our findings!


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