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Just like that, mid July is upon us. If you’re like us, you’re looking around wondering where those first weeks of summer went. And you’re thinking about ways to get outside and enjoy the rest of another Maine summer while we still have it.
We have some ideas.
The Bigelow Preserve in Franklin County has more than 36,000 acres of public land, seven summits and a host of hiking trails. At the other end of the state, West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec provides an opportunity to watch the sunrise at the easternmost point in the continental U.S.
The Aroostook Valley Country Club 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. It’s a unique chance to be bad – or good – at golf in two countries.
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 estate. The island also features a roughly mile-and-a-half loop trail that has great views of Casco Bay.
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.
We’ve always found that blueberries taste a little bit better when you pick them yourself. You can find a pick-your-own farm (and call ahead to make sure they’re open!). And if you like a good festival, a more full schedule is back after a few years of pandemic interruption. If you didn’t make it to the Moxie Festival in Lisbon over the weekend, there are still plenty of options coming up. The Maine Lobster Festival will be held in Rockland from August 3-7 (disclosure: the BDN is a sponsor).
There are also some more off the beaten path excursions here in the Pine Tree State, and BDN reporter Emily Burnham has already put together a handy list of them. Have you ever wanted to see a wooden Richard Nixon sculpture? Head to the Bernard Langlais Sculpture Preserve in Cushing. And if you’d like to dial in a trip to the world’s largest telephone, head over to Bryant Pond. There is no shortage of summer activities here in Vacationland.
Perhaps that is why so many people have spent so much time and words explaining the singular beauty of this state.
“What happens to me when I cross the Piscataqua and plunge rapidly into Maine at a cost of seventy-five cents in tolls? I cannot describe it,” writer E.B. White wrote in “Home-Coming,” which is basically a love letter to Maine.
“The beauty of Maine is such that you can’t really see it clearly while you live there,” Alexander Chee, who spent part of his childhood here, wrote in a 2016 essay about Acadia National Park. “But now that I’ve moved away, with each return it all becomes almost hallucinatory: the dark blue water, the rocky coast with occasional flashes of white sand, the jasper stone beaches along the coast, the pine and fir forests somehow vivid in their stillness. The sun, more intense through the clear air, makes all of this even sharper.”
Not to argue with Chee, but we can confirm that it is also possible to clearly see Maine’s beauty while you live here. And we’re guessing that readers have additional ideas about beautiful places to visit. We hope you’ll share them with us and others by sending us a letter to the editor (you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org). 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. We’ve offered a few suggestions here, but we’ve just barely scratched the surface of what summer in Maine has to offer.