The Dunes Remote Learning Lesson Plan


Are there any really cool plants and animals around Ogunquit?

For an up-close and personal view of the remarkable abundance of wildlife that calls southern Maine home, take to one of our nearby walking and hiking trails. There are plenty of great places to walk – each with their own unique character. Not only do they provide a great learning experience for the whole family,  they’re also one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the region. Below are three can’t-miss opportunities. 

The Wells Reserve Trail System These trails offer enormous educational value for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. Along the seven miles of easy to navigate Maine walking trails you’ll explore a wide variety of landscapes and wildlife habitats, from barrier beaches to coastal mudflats to mature Maine forest. Shellfish, seabirds and land animals all make the Wells Reserve their home, and visitors can even take guided tours to learn more about what they will encounter on their hikes.

Ogunquit Beach Though it isn’t a trail per se, one of the best places to walk in Ogunquit is along the famous and beautiful Ogunquit Beach. Condé Nast rated it as one of the top 10 beaches in the United States, and you’ll see why when you walk down its 3.5 miles. White sand, gently rolling dunes and unspoiled views define the beach, and you’ll find plenty of examples of the wildlife that inhabit our coastal waters. You can even walk right up to your cottage door – Ogunquit Beach is only a short walk away from our cottages!

Mt. AgamenticusThe granddaddy of them all. Mount Agamenticus consists of 10,000 acres of wetlands and forests that house the greatest diversity of animal and plant species in all of Maine. “Mount A” features more than 40 miles of hiking, biking, and activity trails that criss-cross its forests and wetlands. Check out The StoryWalk program. It combines the benefits of physical activity, time outdoors, and literacy by taking children’s books and posting them along 24 stations on the Ring Trail. In addition, The Turtle Loop includes a self-guided interpretive trail featuring 15 information stations highlighting many of the unique natural, geological, and cultural history of Mount Agamenticus.


Have you ever caught a crab?

Take a stroll on the Footbridge Beach pier and you’ll see them there. The crabbers. Crab fishing is a true “Maine” Harbor experience! And best of all, it’s a great family activity for less than $10.00! You can crab any time of the day, crabs are always hungry! Check local stores for crabbing kits. 


How did people travel back and forth to school and work in the old days?

As the largest Electric Railway Museum in the world, see a collection that includes vehicles from almost every major city in the United States that had streetcar systems. Located in nearby Kennebunkport, the museum’s world-class transit collections provide knowledge, context, and resources by collecting, restoring, operating, and exhibiting significant public transit vehicles and artifacts dating back to the early 20th Century.


What kind of apples grow in Maine?

What could be better than breathing in some fresh air and soaking up some of those sweet Autumn rays – all while strolling through a pristine apple orchard or pumpkin patch? That’s what picking is all about. There are a number of great spots just a stone’s throw from The Dunes. These “U-Pick” (also referred to as “Pick-Your-Own”) farms offer plenty of additional ways to enjoy the season as well.. Some of the best picking spots can be found at nearby Spiller Farm, McDougal Orchards, Giles Family Farm and Smith’s Red Apple Farm.


Why do some leaves turn red and others yellow?

There’s nothing quite like fall in Maine. Cooler weather. Less crowds. And an amazing explosion of color that showcases leaves awash in a palette of gold and red hues. “Leaf-peepers” travel from all over the United States just to experience our multihued, autumn foliage Whether by foot or by car, it’s something you need to see for yourself. And you can discover some of Maine’s most vibrant fall scenery right around the corner from The Dunes. Just ask our staff for the best places for peeping.


Are lighthouses still in use?

An iconic part of our rich seafaring tradition, and nearly as famous as our lobster, Maine’s network of lighthouses stretch from the southern coast to the Canadian border. These lighthouses once shed light on the foggy seas to help guide ships home Today, only a few are actually still in use. Here are a few suggestions every visitor should visit.

Nubble Light — York Cape Neddick Lightstation, more fondly known as Nubble Light, is the Maine lighthouse that is closest to The Dunes — about 20 minutes away in York  This gorgeous and historic lighthouse was built in 1879, Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse is actually still in use today, Unfortunately, the lighthouse and its grounds are not currently open to the public, but a trip to nearby Sohier Park provides an excellent view of this stunning structure.

Goat Island Light — Kennebunkport About the same distance from Ogunquit as the Nubble butin the opposite direction, first operated off the coast of Kennebunkport in 1833. You can check it out from the landing at the end of Pier Road in Cape Porpoise, and there’s a dock on the island for visitors with their own small boats.

Wood Island Light — Biddeford Pool About 40 minutes north of The Dunes in Biddeford, Wood Island Light is well worth a little extra time on the road. It’s one of only two island lighthouses in Maine that are fully open to the public. In July and August, you can take a 15 minute boat ride to the island, where you’ll walk a half-mile boardwalk to the lighthouse itself. Views from atop the tower’s 60-stair spiral are stunning,

Portland Area Lighthouses If you’re up for visiting the Portland area, about 50 minutes north of Ogunquit, you can see another set of Maine lighthouses relatively close to each other. Portland Head Light has a museum in the former keepers’ residence. The Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, or “Bug Light,” is located at the tip of the Greenbelt Walkway, Portland’s version of Marginal Way, which offers great views of Portland Harbor and the city’s skyline.


What causes the changing tides?

Here at The Dunes you could say we live by the sun and the tides. In fact, you don’t have to be a meteorologist or maritime student to appreciate the cause and effect of their gravitational pull of the tides on life along the southern coast. To start, just step outside your cottage and mozy down to the tidal river that runs between our property and Ogunquit Beach. The ever-changing tidal river fills and empties along with the ocean waters twice a day. Another great spot to observe the local tides at work is less than a mile away in Perkins Cove, While you’re there, grab some penny candy and fresh Maine lobster.


How many different kinds of whales are off the southern coast of Maine?

Whale watching in Maine is a must for anyone looking for a bit of high seas adventure. In fact, a whale sighting could amaze even the most stubborn teenager. So grab the family binoculars and a bag lunch and head out for a chance to catch a glimpse of one of the ocean’s most magnificent creatures in their summer playground. You just might spot a humpback, minke, pilot or huge finback, as well as orcas, right and sperm whales, even dolphins moving through the Gulf of Maine. Nearby whale watching cruises include Nick’s Chance Whale Watching Tours in nearby Kennebunkport and Odyssey Whale Watch in Portland.


What can you see from the Marginal Way?

Ogunquit has plenty of attractions, but the Marginal Way is undoubtedly the best-known and most popular. Originally built in 1925 and fully restored in the 1990s, “The Way” offers breathtaking vistas of the Maine coast and the town of Ogunquit, as well as an opportunity to take in some of the area’s most amazing local flora and fauna.The 1.25 mile walking trail hugs the coast as it winds its way from Perkins Cove in the south to the middle of Shore Road. Reward yourself for with some fine seafood offerings at either end of your stroll.

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