The Maine National Parks list may be short, but quality trumps quantity. Maine is one of our nation’s most beautiful states with all of its preserved, wooded wilderness and it’s home to Acadia National Park. With over 5,000 miles of pristine New England coastline, Maine has more than any other of the continental U.S. states.
Best known for lighthouses and lobsters, you’ll find both in bountiful supply! There are more than 60 lighthouses along Maine’s Atlantic coastline, and you’ll see roadside lobster pots with the day’s live catch and your prospective dinner!
Maine National Park Sites:
Acadia National Park: Established in 1919, Acadia National Park encompasses more than 47,000 acres. If you’re planning a trip, schedule a few days to see: Cadillac Mountain; Schoodic Peninsula; Thunder Hole; Bass Harbor Head Light; and take a day to slowly drive the 27-mile Park Loop Road. Nice lodging can be found in Bar Harbor or Winter Harbor, both of which are just a short drive from Acadia.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail: The Appalachian trail (AT) takes hearty through hikers on a 2,174-mile journey of a lifetime from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. It travels the beautiful Appalachian mountains through Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Saint Croix Island International Historic Site: This National Park Service site marks the location of French Explorer, Pierre Dugua’s 1604-1605 expedition. The harsh winter took half of his men and the native people helped the expedition through trading. This expedition marked the beginning of a French presence in North America.
Proposed Maine Woods National Park: Wildlife conservationists, Thomas Mark Szelog & Lee Ann Szelog have started a movement to preserve a 3.2 million acre parcel for a new National Park. This parcel sits amongst 10-million acres within Maine’s Great North Woods, an undeveloped and unprotected deciduous forest wildlife habitat within our temperate region. The 3.2 million acre proposed Maine Woods National Park would encompass an area larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, combined. Personally, I applaud the Szelog’s efforts and would love to support them – they are carrying the torch for John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt for our generation. Thank you!
Maine’s State Parks
Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Lands encompasses over 700,000 acres that offer camping, fishing, boating, and recreation. Baxter State Park is over 200,000 acres of wilderness area, located in north central Maine. It is also home to Mount Katahdin and the final northern stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Baxter State Park is adjacent to Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area, whose 46,000+ acres link a total conservation area of 500,000 wilderness acres. Debsconeag is known for containing the highest concentration of pristine, remote ponds in the New England region. Debsconeag means “carrying place” from the native tribes who would have to carry their birch-bark canoes around the waterfalls and rapids. And going south of Debsconeag is the Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land which has hundreds of miles of trails (includign AT); 24 ponds that are 10-acres or larger; campgrounds; Tumbledown Dick Falls; and the Pollywog Gorge, a mile-long gorge with walls that rise up 180 feet!
Our Family Recommends:
2. LL Bean Outlet
3. Route 1 Drive along coast – Mother’s Beach in Kennebunkport can be a welcomed rest stop!