In Maine, there is no shortage of awesome things to do. From the best restaurants in New England to gorgeous state parks to our very own national park, there’s so much here to love. That’s why visitors flock to Maine from all over the country. There’s just so much to love! But, for all the things people talk about, there are tons more that fly under the radar. Here are our favorite best kept Maine secrets. Share them with your friends and add them to your list of must-do activities!
1. Chain of Ponds
The stunning Chain of Ponds are a natural wonder, but they also have historical significance. They're part of the path taken by Benedict Arnold on his ill-fated expedition to Quebec during the American Revolution. Stay for a stunning sunset at the Natanis Point Campground, named after Arnold's Abenaki Indian guide.
2. "Doc" Grant's Restaurant Sign, Rangeley
Rangeley is known for its lakes, ponds and waterfront camps, but it's also a mystical place that sits halfway between the equator and the North Pole. A quick 3,107 mile trip north or south will prove it.
3. Rattlesnake Flume and Pool, Evans Notch
Plan for a hot day of hiking Blueberry Mountain in Evans Notch and make sure you stop off at Rattlesnake Flume and Pond near the end. The crystal clear pool is located just off Stone House Trail. You'll see a marker showing you the way via a small detour.
4. 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.
5. Reversing Falls, Pembroke
When the tide here heads in the opposite direction, the movement of the water goes over a treacherous area in the reverse direction, creating what appears to be a waterfall that moves opposite of the current. Perhaps as interesting as the falls themselves, is how calm the area looks when the tide is not moving. It's as if the water holds a secret, only available to those watching in the right place at the right time.
6. Cutler Bold Coast Preserve, Cutler
In Downeast Maine, Cutler Coast Public Lands is a gorgeous place to visit with very few tourists. This 12,334-acre area has a variety of ecosystems including 4.5 miles of headlands overlooking the Bay of Fundy.
7. The Rooftop Elephant, Belfast
This elephant was previously at home at Perry's Nut House, but today sits on the roof of the Colonial Theater in town. He was sold in 1997 and subsequent attempts to buy him back to return him to his former home at Perry's Nut House have failed. So, you'll have to visit him here. On this roof. For now.
8. Edna & Lucy's, Pownal
Just outside of Freeport sits Edna and Lucy's. This unassuming red shop at the side of Hallowell Road has a modest, but incredible list of sandwiches that change often. Stop in for daily specials and pick up their not-to-be-missed donuts as well. Visit them at: 407 Hallowell Rd., Pownal / (207) 688-3029
Did you know there are other cities in Maine besides Portland? Of course you did, but folks from away, well, that's a different story. The Queen City is bursting at the seams with great restaurants, a burgeoning cultural scene and the best summer concert venue in the state. Plus, it's a great home base for outdoor adventures in Baxter and Acadia.
10. Blueberry Mountain, Evans Notch
There are bigger mountains with better views, but Blueberry Mountain in Evans Notch has something the others don't... lots and lots of blueberries! Bring a couple of containers to collect the juicy berries you don't immediately pop into your mouth.
11. The Casco Bay Mailboat Tour, Portland
Take a tour of Casco Bay aboard the boat that delivers mail and freight to the main islands in the bay - Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Long, Cliff and Chebeague. This $16 tour lasts three hours and offers a great (though strange sounding) way to see the area!
12. Camping on Hermit Island, Phippsburg
Hermit Island Campground might be the perfect beachfront camping spot. While not an island exactly (it's actually connected to Phippsburg via a small road,) it does feel like you're a bit off the beaten path. But, to ensure that feeling you'll probably need to avoid this place during the season. Ocean-view spaces cost about $60 for the weekend, but you can grab yourself a "value" space for about $40. The good news is that any space during the off-season is only $37.