It’s officially summer here in Maine. We’re not sure where spring went, but we’re also not complaining.
Studies have shown that getting outdoors is beneficial to people’s health, and with a wealth of outdoor opportunities here in the Pine Tree State, summer is a great time to explore each of Maine’s sixteen counties.
So, we thought we would suggested a few summer adventures. These are places we’ve been or places we’d like to go. And just so we’re 100 percent clear, this is by no means a comprehensive list or ranking. There are far too many great places in Maine for us to even scratch the surface here. These are just a few of the spots and experiences around the state that we think are worth a try this summer:
Androscoggin County: Head upta camp to enjoy some time at Androscoggin Lake.
Aroostook County: There’s a unique round of golf waiting at Aroostook Valley Country Club, which straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada. The pro shop and parking lot are in Fort Fairfield, and the course and clubhouse are in Canada. An errant shot on several holes can cross the international boundary. For the record, we’re bad golfers in both countries.
Cumberland County: Mackworth Island in Falmouth is home to the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, housed on Percival Baxter’s old family state, and features a roughly mile-and-a-half loop trail that has great views of Casco Bay.
Franklin County: The Bigelow Preserve has more than 36,000 acres of public land, seven summits and a host of hiking trails. Bigelow Mountain is designated as a National Natural Landmark.
Hancock County: Do blueberries taste a little bit better when you pick them yourself? We think so. Find a pick-your-own farm, call ahead to make sure they’re open and have a berry good time.
Kennebec County: Catch some fish on the Belgrade lakes, where “landlocked salmon and lake trout fisheries exist throughout the interior of the region,” according to state fisheries biologist Jason Seiders. “Stocked brook trout and brown trout can be found virtually regionwide and many waters offer year-round fishing opportunities. This area supports many robust populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass that attract anglers from throughout the state and the country.”
Knox County: The Maine Lobster Festival is held each summer in Rockland and dates back to the 1940s. This year’s five-day event runs from July 31 to Aug. 4.
Lincoln County: Take the ferry out to Monhegan and enjoy the island’s picturesque beauty that continues to draw artists and tourists alike.
Oxford County: The 45th Oxford 250 races into town August 23-25 at the Oxford Plains Speedway.
Penobscot County: Head to Bangor’s waterfront to enjoy some music, and the new energy and revitalization on display.
Piscataquis County: Some call Gulf Hagas, near Brownville, “the Grand Canyon of the East.” That may be a slight overstatement, but the winding hike along the river gorge is, well, gorgeous.
Sagadahoc County: Some beaches are worth walking for, and Seawall Beach in Phippsburg is one of them. Part of the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, beach access involves walking up and over Morse Mountain, but the trek yields a commanding view of Seguin Island and Casco Bay.
Somerset County: For the particularly adventurous, find a rafting guide and take on the rapids of the Kennebec River.
Waldo County: The St. George River Canoe trail, part of the Georges River Land Trust, spans 36 miles. A river trail map from the land trust helps guide canoers and kayakers from Searsmont to Thomaston.
Washington County: Greet the sun at the easternmost point in the continental U.S. by watching a sunrise at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec (note: the lighthouse building itself is not open that early).
York County: Mount Agamenticus not only offers accessibility and a view of the Atlantic Ocean and White Mountains, but its trails weaving through a now-defunct ski area also offer a trip back in time.
We’re quite certain you’ll have additional ideas, and we hope you’ll share them with us and your fellow readers. Send us a letter to the editor, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to tell us about a place or experience in Maine that is special to you — or one that you’ve always wanted to explore, but haven’t yet.
And then, if you have the chance, go spend some time outside.