Maine is a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts and families, attracting nearly 25 million visitors a year. Here are some incredible facts about Maine that set it apart from other places.
Maine State Symbols
1. Maine’s State Berry is the Wild Blueberry
The state berry is also one of Maine’s most popular products, the wild blueberry. Farmers harvest it from late July to early September using a hand rake that helps pull ripe berries from the vine without smashing them.
Maine’s wild blueberries provide over 98% of low-bush blueberries in the United States. Blueberries thrive in Maine because they are hardy and can withstand harsh weather and rough soil.
2. Blueberry Pie is the State’s Dessert
With wild blueberries plentiful in Maine, the state’s dessert became blueberry pie in 2011.
3. The State Tree is a White Pine Tree
As the largest conifer in the area, the white pine tree became Maine’s state tree in 1945. The state’s nickname became “The Pine Tree State” because it’s the state tree and has a landscape involving more than 17 million acres of forests.
4. Maine’s State Fish is the Landlocked Salmon
Landlocked salmon are common in lakes in the northern United States. They can grow to 35 pounds and don’t travel out to sea, staying in lakes throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and New Brunswick.
5. The State Animal is a Moose
Maine’s state animal is a moose because they are one of the few U.S. states and the only one in the east with a decent moose population. Taiga is a moose sub-species you’ll find in Maine.
6. Maine’s State Bird is a Chickadee
The legislature adopted the chickadee as Maine’s state bird in 1927 because it is common throughout the state. A chickadee has a short, straight, brownish-black bill with a slightly rounded tip. Its body is light gray with black on the head, neck, and throat.
7. Maine Has a State Cat
The Maine Coon Cat is the state cat because it is native to the area. These cats can handle the cold winters with the help of their heavy, water-resistant coat.
8. The State Crustacean is a Lobster
The Gulf of Maine is home to many lobsters, leading to them being the state’s crustacean. You can often find these crustaceans in rocky beds along the coastline below the low tides. Many believe eating Maine lobster provides the freshest taste compared to other states.
By the Numbers
9. Maine has Nearly 3,500 Miles of Coastline
With nearly 3,500 miles of coastline, Maine ranks fourth in the country for having the most. 228 miles of the coastline are on the mainland, with the rest on inlets and islands.
10. Over 4,600 Offshore Islands
Maine has thousands of offshore islands, but only 15 residents there year-round. The island of Vinalhaven has the most residents, with 1,269 citizens as of 2020.
11. Maine Has Over 6,000 Lakes and Ponds
Moosehead Lake is the largest in Maine, spanning more than 75,000 acres. The smallest is Staples Pond, covering only 56 acres.
12. The State Has More Than 32,000 Miles of Streams and Rivers
The river system in Maine is one of the largest in the United States. People enjoy the whitewater rapids of the Kennebec River and tubing on the Saco River. The longest river in the state is the St. John River, which continues for 418 miles, often creating a border between Canada and the United States.
13. It Became the 23rd State on March 15, 1820
Maine separated from Massachusetts in 1820 after the Missouri Compromise took effect. The Missouri Compromise required keeping equal numbers of slave and non-slave states, so Maine was admitted to the Union to help reach the requirement.
14. Maine’s Largest city is Portland
The population in Portland is 66,645 people, making up one-third of Maine’s total population.
15. The State Capital is Augusta
Agusta is in Kennebec County and is the capital of Maine. The capitol building is called the State House. In 2020, Augusta had a population of 18,899, making it the country’s third-smallest state capital.
You can find Fort Western in Augusta, the oldest wooden fort in the country. As the largest city, Portland was Maine’s original capital, although it was changed to Augusta in 1827 due to its centralized location within the state.
16. Baxter State Park
Baxter State Park is one of the best places to visit in Maine. You’ll find the highest mountain in the state, Mt. Katahdin, which has a 5,268-foot elevation. This mountain is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, so hiking is popular in the area for those who enjoy long treks.
17. Acadia National Park
Over 2 million people visit Acadia National Park annually, making it one of the United States’ most-visited start parks. It was opened in 1916, with all the land donated, including the donation of 51 miles of carriage trails from John D. Rockefeller Jr.
The easternmost city in the United States, Eastport, ME, is the first in the country to see the sunrise. This city has the smallest population in Maine, with only 1,288 people as of 2020. It is on Moose Island and is a popular area for watching whales.
19. Old Orchard Beach Palace Playland
This amusement park has operated since 1902, with 28 amusement rides spanning five acres. It also houses Maine’s largest arcade and has fireworks shows nightly in the summer.
20. George H.W. Bush
The late Former President, George H.W. Bush had an estate in Kennebunkport called Walker’s Point. The Bush family still owns the property and often spends their summers in the area. You can take a bus tour of Kennebunkport for a good view and pictures of the main house.
21. Nelson A. Rockefeller
The son of John D. Rockefeller Jr., Nelson A. Rockefeller, was born in Bar Harbor during a family vacation. Two years after the birth, Nelson’s father bought a home in Seal Harbor.
22. Stephen King
During warm months, famous horror story author Stephen King lives in Maine. He lived in Bangor for over 35 years but now has a lake home in Center Lovell. Two films based on his books were also filed in Maine, Pet Sematary and Graveyard Shift.
23. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland at his aunt’s home. He also was raised in his grandmother’s home in the same city. His old home still stands and is now called the historic Wadsworth-Longfellow House.
Random Facts About Maine
24. Maine Only Borders One Other U.S. State
Maine borders New Hampshire to the west, and that’s the only U.S. state it touches. It borders Canada on the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.
25. The Olde Woolen Mill Was Featured in “Jumanji”
The Olde Wollen Mill was the Parrish Shoe Factory in the movie “Jumanji”. You can see the location if you visit North Berwick.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
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