We drove through Maine’s Bold Coast in a misty fog that stayed with us until Ellswoth. Our destination for the day was Fort Knox on the Penobscot River in Prospect, Maine. The kids thought that we were taking them to another boring monument and were pouting about the lack of sun. However, after the visit they were glowing about what a cool place dear old mom and dad had brought them to.
Fort Knox was built in the 1800’s to protect the town’s along the Penobscot river. It is a granite fort with 135 cannon mounts. The fort is a paradise for kids (and adults) who like to explore dark tunnels, run up winding staircases and imagine themselves defending a fort from approaching enemies. You need a flashlight to explore some sections of the fort which was a huge hit with the kids. We spent hours running all over the fort as the kids pulled us in every direction at once eager to keep exploring. High Five went particularly insane as he screeched his way through the dimmly lit, narrow passageways at break neck speed, leaving many visitors wondering if the fort was haunted.
The kids were also excited (and a bit nervous) to find out that we would taking a trip to the very top of the bridge that we drove over to reach the fort. The Penobscot Narrows Observatory is the tallest bridge observatory in the world at 420 feet (42 stories). Located just up river from the fort it the observatory gave us 350 degree views of the river, the fort, and even our Mazda 5 in the parking lot. The elevator ride to the top was super fast and three observatory decks gave us plenty of room to look out at the vista with awe.
Overall it was one of our most successful outtings in a long time. The admission to both the observatory and the fort was very reasonable especially if you have a Maine State Park pass. There were also several restrooms and a picnic area. A visit to Fort Kent is a great way to spend an overcast day and the perfect attraction for kids with lots of energy to spare. Parents just remember to bring your running shoes!