Where It’s At ... Sleighs, trains ‘n story trails

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 6:45am

When the weather’s not too frigid, winter is a good time to get outdoors  …  or at least to your car! But, instead of being bound for one of your usual haunts – the grocery, laundromat, Rite Aid, the dump … I mean cast all of those “must do” errands right out of your head once you get into your car.

Turn it on, plug in some tunes, and drive past Hannaford, the laundromat and Rite Aid. Continue aiming for somewhere off the peninsula … no, don’t even look to your right as you pass Country Club Road; there isn’t anything at the dump you need that’s being recycled by someone else calling your name. Not today.

Why? Because you are bound for the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum. You heard me. You’re going to Alna. There are two weekends coming up that you need to be there: Jan. 19 and 20 and/or Feb. 16 and 17 for seasonal fun in two dimensions! Say what? OK, kind of like two dimensions: you’ll be stepping back in time as you board one of the steam trains at Sheepscot Station (97 Cross Road) that will take you to Alna Center or the Top of Mountain Stations. And, when you’re groovin’ on the great outdoors with nothing but trees, snow-covered ground around you and big sky above you it could be any year ... 2019, 1919, 1819 ...Let’s face it: people have stood where you’ll be standing for centuries.

In our “real time”  tickets include train fare, sleigh rides, hot beverages and access to skiing, hiking and snowshoeing trails. Get the deets at

Now, if you get off at Alna Center, you’ve got to, got to, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride (traveling into another time zone again!) it’ll be like being in a Currier & Ives painting.  And if there’s a lot of snow, or it’s snowing … it’ll be more like Dr. Zhivago … OK, that’s probably just me …  Regardless of whether you use fantasy during your outing, plan to warm up at the bonfire!

Hiking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing fans will be wanting to go to the Top of Mountain. Bring your own equipment – and layer those warm clothes! This is pretty remote compared to Alna Center, but there will be a heated caboose and attendant on the scene. And, there aren’t any restrooms – excepting for the great outdoors ...

Now, if you’re up for blowing off those pesky errands, but not driving too far, why not pack up the kids and head for Oak Point Farm (60 Samoset Road, Boothbay Harbor) and check out Boothbay Region Land Trust’s Story Trail Hike?

In January, the story is “The Tomten” by Astrid Lindgren (also the author of the Pippi Longstocking books). This is a tale about a tomten (a mythical Scandinavian dwarf or elf that takes care of a farm, but is unseen by humans) in Sweden. The tomten makes his nightly visits to the people who live on the farm in the forest and the animals. The posted story along the trail is told in words and pictures. If you check out the book online first, you’ll see how lovely Harald Wiberg’s pastel illustrations are and get a preview of the tale. I did!

For more info on the Land Trust visit or call 633-4818. The story will change in February and again in March.

Speaking of pictures, bring your camera along – the scenery is gorgeous at both locations and, well, you can never have too many pics of the kids (human and/or canine) right?