Maine is a paradise for those who love to explore the world around them. You can surround yourself by beauty – both natural and mad made – with just a short walk or drive. A few months ago, we gave you
some exploration ideas and, now that summer is here, we’re giving you more. Read on for some fun ways to explore an incredible side of Maine you may have missed.
1. Daicey Pond, Baxter State Park
Many come to Baxter for Katahdin. But, if you're looking for something a bit more laid-back explore the Daicey Pond area. We say "area" because getting away from the pond is pretty great as well. Along with the surrounding campground, there are lots of trails leading to other areas of Baxter.
2. Castle Island Camps, Belgrade
Castle Island Camps are not simply camps. They are an "American Plan Camp," which means you won't need to do any of your own cooking. Staying here provides access to all areas of Long Lake in Belgrade along with some fantastic fishing. The lake has large and small mouth bass, northern pike, salmon, brown trout, brook trout, black crappie and white perch. Check them out online
3. The Androscoggin Swinging Bridge, Brunswick / Topsham
This strange swinging bridge was originally built to allow workers at the Cabot Mill to cross the Adnroscoggin. This pedestrian suspension bridge is over 330 feet long and very narrow. Though the bridge has been repaired a few times over the years, and many parts have been replaced, the cables are original to the 19th-century structure. We recently highlighted this wonder in its own dedicated article. Click here to read more and to see a video of one person's crossing.
4. Brown's Head Light, Vinalhaven
If you are a regular reader, you know how much I love Vinalhaven. Brown's Head Light is just one more thing on the island network to explore. It overlooks the waterway separating Vinalhaven and North Haven. The light and dwelling are so close to the water that Ernest DeRaps, the keeper in 1961, once had to tie his son to his body with a rope to keep him from blowing away from the coastal winds as they got into their truck. You can visit the ground (the light and dwelling are closed to the public) by heading northwest from Vinalhaven ferry terminal to the end of Brown's Light Road.
5. Isleboro Island
This island in the West Penobscot Bay is located off Mid-Coast Maine. Year-round residents are small in number, but there's still plenty to do. Check out Grindle Point Light, The Islesboro Historical Society & Museum and Warren Island State Park. Or, just spend your time spotting celebrity homes. Quite a few have chosen Isleboro as the location of their vacation homes.
6. Sebec Lake in Peaks-Kenny State Park, Dover-Foxcroft
Located on the shores of Sebec Lake, Peaks-Kenny State Park is an undiscovered gem of Maine's park system. Campers enjoy the peaceful, family-oriented campground with only 56 sites that are tucked away in wooded areas to promote privacy.
7. Asticou Azalea Garden. Northeast Harbor
The garden is part of the Land and Garden Preserve of Mount Desert Island, which also includes the Thuya Garden & Lodge, and the Asticou Terraces & Landing.
8. Chauncey Creek, Kittery
Perhaps best known as home of the Chauncey Creek Lobster Pound, this waterway meanders through the area providing visitors a glimpse of various tides and working lobstermen. Grab a lobster roll, some oysters or just about any fried seafood and spend the day in the sunshine.
9. Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs
Fort Pownell was built by Gov. Thomas Pownall in 1759. It is now a part of Fort Point State Park. A day spent at the park will provide incredible views of the Penobscot River and Bay. Comprised of 120 acres, the park has a lovely and large rocky shore, a tidal sandbar and lots of nature to enjoy. You'll also find Fort Point Light Station here.
10. Battery Steele, Peaks Island
Battery Steele is a military fort located on Peaks Island in Casco Bay. The Fort was built in 1942 as part of efforts to support World War II. The military site is hidden to those who don't know that its tunnels and rooms are open for exploring. 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 covers the walls.
11. Bailey Island, Harpswell
Home to Cook's Lobster Pound, Bailey Island is one of the many islands of Harspwell. Each of the islands are connected by bridges, but exploring the other, much smaller islands, is easy via private boat from Bailey Island. While here enjoy the homey inns (such as Log Cabin Island Inn or Driftwood Inn) and the Bailey Island Bridge.
12. Shipwreck of the D.T. Sheridan, Monhegan
Built in Brooklyn, New York in 1939, this barge towing ship ran aground on rocks at shores of Lobster Point due to intense fog. Come take a look at the rusted hull and try to imagine the not-so-great parts of Maine's maritime history.
Have you been to any of these places? What’s on your list of most incredible spots in Vacationland?