If you’ve lived in Maine a long time, you might feel like there’s nothing new to explore. That’s why we love unearthing the unexpected – or, even just reminding you of the things you may know about but tend to overlook. Here are some of the state secrets we love best. Whether you’ve seen them all or never heard of a single one – we hope you want to share these with your Maine friends and do a few together!
1. Hope General Store, Hope
Hope General Store was founded in 1832 and is still as open for business as ever! It's perfect for takeaway sandwiches, just about any kind of beer you might want and pizza that gets rave reviews. They've also got you covered when it comes to fishing licenses, bait, internet access, and sandwiches. Stop by en route to Hobbs Pond, Camden or Rockland. Visit them at: 449 Camden Rd, Hope / (207) 763-2816
2. The Reversing Falls, Mahar's Point, West Pembroke
In West Pembroke, a tidal flow alternately fills and drains both Whiting Bay and Dennys Bay. The salt water flows incredibly fast into the bays over rocks causing the appearance of "falls."
3. Aroostook State Park, Presque Isle
Aroostook State Park is the ideal starting point to discover the North Woods and bears the distinct honor of being Maine's first state park. In 1938, interested citizens of Presque Isle donated 100 acres of land to the State of Maine, and following that gesture, the park became reality in 1939. Today the park totals nearly 800 acres thanks to subsequent donations and purchases.
4. Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park
A small inlet is naturally carved out of the rocks and when the waves roll in, the thunderous sound is incredible!
5. The Golden Road Scenic Byway, Millinocket
The 96-mile Golden Road was built by the Great Northern Paper Company and stretches from the St. Zacharie Quebec border crossing to the company's former mill in Millinocket. Seems like a lot of work until you think about how they used to FLOAT the logs on the river to get them to the mill. Much of this road is unpaved so make sure your car is in good shape before heading out. Look forward to some awesome views of Katahdin on the way.
6. Screw Auger Falls, Oxford County
These Bear River-sourced falls are comprised of two impressive drops. The first is a 30' drop over a granite ledge into a gorge. The second is just below the first and features another 30' drop.
7. Vinalhaven, Fox Islands
Vinalhaven is a town on the Fox Islands accessible by ferry from Rockland. Oftentimes used to refer to the entire island, Vinalhaven is one of the smallest towns on this list and offers visitors a handful of locally owned bars and restaurants, many of which shutter for the winter. Come for lovely walks in the Lane's Island Preserve, a look at the Robert Indiana pieces scattered throughout, and for at least one night at the beautiful Tidewater Motel.
8. Mystical Rangeley Lake, Rangeley Lakes Region
The town of Rangeley is almost exactly halfway between the equator and the North Pole. As a result, many people report "otherworldly" activity while being there.
9. The Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area
While the Debsconeag Lakes area is a beautiful place to visit no matter what you do there, the truly magical part is the ice caves. The cave walls hold ice even on the hottest days of the summer and descending into it will make you feel that you've begun your journey to middle earth. But remember that exploring the cave is best for advanced hikers and climbers you'll need the appropriate equipment since the area can be quite slippery and even dangerous.
10. 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.
11. Beautiful inland Maine
Contrary to popular belief, you can have an awesome experience exploring Maine without stepping foot near the coast. We've got more forest than Vermont and New Hampshire combined and some amazing scenic drives. Take a trip on the Rangeley Scenic Byway to see the Height of Land (pictured) and you'll just be scratching the surface of all inland has to offer.
12. The Angel Falls Trail, Near Byron
This easy hike ends in a lovely view of Angel Falls. The 90' plunging waterfall comes from the Mountain Brook and takes about 30 minutes to reach on the (almost) mile-long trail.
Distance/Duration: About 1 mile, Approximately 30 minutes depending on the trail condition.
13. Edna and 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