Often characterized as Switzerland of America, the northeasternmost state of the US is known as a vacationland for its rocky coastline, nautical heritage, and natural preserves. Known as the Pine Tree State with its abundance of white pine trees, the state of Maine hosts the largest eastern conifers in the US.
Home to black oaks, sugar maples, black walnuts, and American elms, Maine’s rich terrain is promoted as a vacation destination and summer playground. Not only this, Maine is the lowest populated state east of the Mississippi River and forests cover more than four-fifths of the total land area of this state.
The origins of the name Maine in the United States are unknown. However, Maine's name may have come from the word "mainland," which the colony's founders may have used to distinguish Maine from the islands off its coast.
With many beautiful attractions waiting to be explored, keep reading to update your go-to list of places to visit in Maine!
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park protects a stretch of coastal Maine where the north woods meet the wild Atlantic. With 27 miles of ancient automobile roads, 158 miles of hiking paths, and 45 miles of carriage roads available to visitors for exploration, it is one of the top ten most visited national parks in the United States, drawing 3.5 million visitors per year.
The word "Acadia" is most likely derived from "Arcadia," a region of Greece that reminded Giovanni Verrazano of when he sailed past in 1524. It now spans around 49,052 acres in three distinct locations.
Baxter State Park
A camping enthusiast's dream, the Baxter State Park has nearly 220 miles of hiking trails, offering both charm and excitement to hikers. For many visitors one of the joys of checking out Baxter State Park is seeing the wildlife which consists of many of Maine's larger mammal species like moose, white-tailed deer, black bear, and lynx.
Although hiking attracts most visitors to Baxter State Park, the park also offers good paddling opportunities. Canoes are rented for $1 per hour at most campgrounds and rural ponds.
White Mountain National Forest
A federally managed forest in the northeastern United States, located on an area of 750,852 acres, the White Mountain National Forest is a vast forested and hilly environment that serves as a sanctuary for many metropolitan visitors and locals alike.
The features of White Mountain National Forest are varied landscapes that include high hardwood forests and breathtaking alpine peaks. Enjoy the gorgeous scenery, crystal-clear alpine lakes, animals, and year-round outdoor recreation opportunities.
Camden Hills State Park
Camden Hills State Park is a massive 5,700-acre park with 30 miles of hiking paths, astonishing views of the nearby lakes and hills, well-kept and equipped campgrounds, and a vast picnic area for families and friends.
Comfort stations with hot showers are available to campers staying at the park's campground. Driving up the Mt. Battie Auto Road and viewing the surrounding hillside of fall foliage color is a popular fall activity for hundreds of leaf peepers.
Grafton Notch State Park
A prominent recreational area nestled among the Mahoosuc Range, Grafton Notch State Park is located in Maine's most magnificent mountains. Backcountry hikers enjoy the harsh terrain on these properties, which comprise 12 of the Appalachian Trail's most challenging miles. Hikers who brave the steep summit routes, especially on Old Speck, are rewarded with breathtaking views.
Grafton Notch State Parks offers three modest locations less popular for people searching for a leisurely hike. Visitors of all ages can see some of the unique geological features in these family-friendly sites. Snowshoers, cross-country skiers, and snowmobilers love exploring the landscape in the winter.
Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park
The renowned Casco Bay Trail takes visitors down Maine's legendary coast to a point where an informational panel describes the neighboring islands of Eagle, Cousins, and others.
Massive white pine and hemlock woods, a salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shorelines of Casco Bays and the Harraseeket River make up the park's diverse habitats.
Reid State Park
Reid State Park is the epitome of Maine's stunning coastline, said Walter E. Reid, a Georgetown native who donated the land to the state in the late 1940s. Several islands, notably Damariscove, a significant fishing hamlet in Colonial times; Outer Head, a tern refuge; and Southport, where famed biologist Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, are also accessible to visitors.
There are plenty of rocky coast and tide pools for the slightly more adventurous and daring people to find all kinds of natural treasures.
Popham Beach State Park
Popham Beach State Park is a unique geologic feature with a lengthy stretch of sandy beach. The Kennebec and Morse rivers flank each end of the beach, and sunbathers may see the Fox and Wood Islands off in the distance. Popham has something for everyone, whether you're planning a casual picnic or a thrilling fishing expedition.
Thousands of swimmers and surfers flock to Popham Beach to enjoy the rolling Atlantic surf throughout the summer months. Visiting Popham Beach State Park is a great way to spend a fun and economical day.
Two Lights State Park
Named after the two neighboring twin lighthouses at the end of Two Lights Road, the location of this park was first used as a World War II coastal defense installation, and relics of its use may still be seen today, including an observation tower and many bunkers within the park.
Picnic tables and grills can be easily found throughout the route, several of which are right on the water's edge. Two Lights State Park is a popular location for Maine residents and visitors alike, allowing visitors to appreciate the state's famed rocky coast.
Bradbury Mountain State Park
Located in Pownal near Freeport, the Bradbury Mountain State Park offers year-round trail activities and camping. Despite its low elevation of 485 feet, Bradbury Mountain Park provides magnificent vistas of Casco Bay, over 21 miles of hiking, both bicycling, and equestrian trails, campsites, a playground, and year-round family-friendly activities.
The annual migration of numerous species of hawks can be seen from the summit of Bradbury in the spring. Over a thousand hawks have been spotted traveling over the summit of Bradbury Mountain on clear days with strong southerly winds.