Everyone knows that Maine is great for certain things, blueberries, lobster, views and coastline are among just a few of them. But, what about the treasures that are hidden here? Our state is great for everything from history to BBQ and we want to help you find them. Here are a few things that are off-the-beaten-path. Some you may know about and some may be new – but all can be considered some of Maine’s hidden treasures.
1. The Telling Room, Portland
The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. The writing programs support some incredible young voices and allow inspiring stories to be told by Maine's hugely diverse population. Stop in for one of their highly acclaimed events. See what's coming up
2. The beauty of tiny towns like Robbinston in Washington County.
Located just about as far east as possible, Robbinston is separated from Canada by a 3-mile river. Early industry focused on shipbuilding, but moved to fishing and farming potatoes when steam-powered ships arrived on the scene. Notably, Robbinston was a last stop for the Underground Railroad where escaping slaves would cross over into Canada and find freedom. Visitors should stop by the John N. Brewer mansion, which is now a bed and breakfast, to see one of the houses that once supported the Underground Railroad.
3. The Shed BBQ, Rangeley Lake Area
In the heart of the Rangeley Lakes Region is The Shed, serving up incredible BBQ sandwiches with even better sides. You can't go wrong with the pulled pork or beef brisket sandwiches. Visit them at: 2647 Main Street, Rangeley / (207) 864-2219
4. Camping in Aroostook State Park, Presque Isle
While those in The County and its surrounding areas know this isn't a secret, it might be new to others who haven't made it up there. Maine's first state park will give you access to the North and South Peak of Quaggy Jo Mountain. It also offers recreational activities such as fishing, boating, swimming and hiking. There aren't tons of official spots, so you should aim to have a reservation. Though, some of the campsites are reserved for same-day arrivals.
5. Any number of your own secret hideaways in the woods.
Some places are hidden and they should remain that way.
6. Beautiful remnants of our heritage.
A remnant of Maine’s lumbering heritage, the old Moulton’s Mill in Newfield was originally built in 1790 and was in operation until the later part of the 20th century.
7. Cliff Trail, Harpswell
Just behind the Harpswell Town Hall lies the entrance for this hidden trail. Thank you to the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust for continuing to make areas like this possible.
8. Battery Steele, Peaks Island
You've surely heard of, and even visited Peaks Island, but did you know that an abandoned military area exists here? Battery Steele is a military fort located on the oceanside area of Peaks Island in Casco Bay. The Fort was built in 1942 as part of efforts to support World War II.
The military site is a mix of two worlds. From the outside, the area appears to be completely left to nature. Overgrown trees and branches crowd what appears to be a crumbling facade. However, the real magic of Battery Steele lies underground. The bulk of the fort is made up of an underground area. These tunnels have been overtaken by artists and the mark of local Maine residents and friends cover the walls.
9. The Downed B-52 on Elephant Mountain, near Moosehead Lake.
On January 24, 1963, a United States Air Force Boeing B-52C Stratofortress went down over Maine while flying a training mission. Of the nine crew members, only the pilot and navigator survived. Elephant Mountain, near Moosehead Lake about six miles from Greenville, is the final resting place of its shredded fuselage. A half-mile hike will get you to the wreckage, where a stone memorial commemorates the seven fallen soldiers.
10. Piazza Rock, near Sandy River
Believe it or not, when we talk about this amazing feat of nature, some people are surprised to hear it exists in Maine. Located along the Appalachian Trail near Rangeley, this teetering rock appears to have been placed against a tree by a very strong giant. Check it out while hiking about 4 miles round trip on this section of the AT. While the area is demanding, the hike to and from the rock is actually pretty family friendly.
11. The USS Zumwalt, Bath
This guided missile destroyer won't be in Maine forever but while she's here, she's worth recognizing! The destroyer was built by Bath Iron Works beginning in 2009. In early 2014, Zumwalt began heavy weather trials to see her reaction to high winds, stormy seas, and adverse weather conditions. I'm not a geologlist, but it seems like the coast of Maine in January is a good time for that sort of thing. Testing has continued and once the decision has been made to allow her to join the naval fleet, the Zumwalt will make its way to San Diego.
12. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester
The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is the only currently operational Shaker Village in America. A visit to the village will allow you to see a variety of Shaker tools and furniture, which are housed in the buildings on the land.