Facts about Maine for each letter of the alphabet.
Click on highlighted word for more information.
The APPALACHIAN TRAIL was the first National scenic trail designated by the National trails system act of 1968. Maine has a variety of State Trails including Horse and Mule Trails and participates in National Trails Day. The Cadillac Summit Path is one of the best paths in the state. Maine has one of the oldest Scenic Byway Systems in the country. The Schoodic Scenic Byway in northeastern Maine is one of the last frontiers on the eastern seaboard. The Coast of Maine is considered one of the best road trips in the state. The state also has many Roadside Attractions.
October is Maine ARCHAEOLOGY Month. Maine has several archaeological sites ranging from pre-historic to Industrial. The Cushnoc Site was the location of a 1628 Plymouth Colony Trading Post. The Permaquid Site has excavations of 17th and 18th century village buildings. The Maine Historical Preservation Commission has regular excavations. The Maine State Museum has prehistoric and historic artifacts. There are over 500 Petroglyphs at nine sites in Machias Bay.
Maine has over 400 species of BIRDS. Bird watching is popular and there a several Birding Hotspots and Birding Trails. The State bird is the chickadee. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only species of humingbird found in the state. Over a dozen birds are on the endangered list including the American Peregrine Falcon and Roseate tern. The Maine Audobon Society has programs, trips, camps, and group activities. The Project Puffin hopes to restore puffins to Maine.
Maine has many BRIDGES. Some of them are on the National Register of Historic Places in Maine. The state has many covered bridges and several Suspension Bridges. The Wire Bridge in New Portland may be the last wire-supported bridge of its type in the world. The Department of Transportation is responsible for inspection, repair, and/or replacement of bridges on major routes sytems in the state.
During the Revolutionary War, Maine was part of one of the 13 COLONIES - the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Maine did not become a state on its own until 1820 when it entered the Union as part of the Missiouri Compromise.
Maine has all forms of COMMUNICATION including newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, telephone, and internet. The Telephone Area code for Maine is 207. Internet access is available in schools and libraries and there are many Internet Service Providers throughout the state. Webcams are located throughout the state.
Maine has 16 counties, 22 cities, 435 towns, 33 plantations, and 424 unorganized townships. The largest county is Aroostook which is also the largest county east of the Mississippi. Sagadahoc is the smallest county. Cumberland County has the largest population and Piscataquis has the smallest. Portland is the largest city. It is also the chief seaport and the closes U.S. port to Europe. York became the first incorporated city in the country in 1642. The term county is used in 48 of the 50 states for the level of government below the state government.
Although DINOSAURS probably lived in Maine, their remains have never been found in the state. Maine has an interesting paleontology history and a variety of Fossils have been found in several places in the state. The state fossil is the pertica quadrifaria. For dinosaur coloring pages, CLICK HERE.
The State Department of Education in Maine oversees matters concerning state laws related to education including private schools. School attendance is compulsory from age 7 to 17. Information about schools is provided by SchoolBug and GreatSchools.
Maine has many EVENTS during the year including festivals and fairs. The State Fair in Skowhegan is the oldest continuous state fair in the country. Arts & Music Festivals are held during the summer. There are also Craft Shows and Horse Shows. The Maine Lobster Festival is held in Rockland. The Maine Irish Heritage Center is dedicated to providing information about Irish culture. There are many Antique Barns along the coast of the state.
The State FLAG is blue with the State Seal in the middle. Maine is 1 of only 2 states that have a Maritime and Marine flag. It is white with a green pine tree in the center with an anchor below it. Some cities and towns in Maine have their own flag. Some Native American tribes in Maine have their own flag including The Micmac, the Passamoquoddy, and the Penobscot. The State Character is Yogi Bear.
The FOOD Timeline of Maine goes back 50 years before the first permanent settlers arrived. Moody's Diner has been serving hungry Mainers since 1930. The state has has FOOD Festivals and Events. The state is world-famous for several foods including potatoes, lobster, blueberries, apples, and beanhole beans. The Whoopie Pie is the State Treat and Blueberry Pie is the State Dessert. The Maine Department of Agriculture deals with all aspects of the food system. The The Emergency Food assistance Program provides donated federal food to feeding programs in the state.
Maine has had many FORTS. Most have been destroyed, but some of the forts have been restored and are parks and/or historic sites. Old Fort Western is the oldest surviving wooden fort in the country. Fort Knox is one of the best preserved fortifications on the New England coast. Fort Baldwin is a Memorial State Park. Fort Foster is part of Foster City Park. Fort McClary has some buildings. Part of Fort Popham is open during the summer. Fort Preble is now Southern Maine Community College. Fort Scammel is privately owned but open to the public for a fee which includes a boat ride. Fort Williams is part of Fort Williams Park.
Maine has several GHOST TOWNS. Some are readily accessible and others are difficulty to find or access. Some towns are still inhabited. Wallagrass operates under a selectmen/town meeting/manager type government. Fort Kent Mills and Foprest City have a few residents. Maine claims to have several Haunted places.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Maine ranges from 66-71 degrees west longitude, and 43-47 north latitude. It is located in the part of the U.S. known as New England and lies farther northeast than any other state. The topography of Maine ranges from sea level to over 5,000 ft. with the highest point being Mount Katahdin. The state is bordered on the north by Canada and on the south and west by New Hampshire. West Quoddy Head is the easternmost land area of the United States. The geographic center of the state is in Piscataquis County. Yarmouth is home to Eartha the largest rotating Globe in the world. Geocaching is an adventure game using a Global Positioning System, and geocaches are located throughout Maine.
The HISTORY of Maine dates back thousands of years. There is some evidence that Vikings visited around 1,000 ad. Much better evidence exists for John Cabotís visit in 1497. Maine was part of Massachussets during the Revolutionary War and the first naval Naval Battle was fought off Machias in 1775. During the War of 1812, the state suffered from the effects of warfare more than most sections of New England. During the Civil War the state was a source of military manpower, supplies, ships, arms, and political support for the Union Army. Several buildings in York highlight local history and events. The state celebrates National History Day.
Maine observes National HOLIDAYS and other special days during the year. It is one of the northeastern states that celebrates Patriot's Day. The Great Maine Apple Day is in November. Apple Sunday is in September.
The top 5 INDUSTRIES in Maine include Health Care, Retail, Tourism, Education, and Construction. Logging is a leading industry. The lumbering and wood-processing industries are the mainstay of the economy in the state. Aquaculture is a fast growing industry. Trade Shows are held throughout the year.
Maine has a variety of INSECTS. The State Insect is the HONEYBEE. Beekeeping is popular and there are many chapters of the Maine State Beekeepers Association. There are many species of butterflies and moths, and the Monarch Butterfly is often seen. Several species of dragonflies and damsilflies are also found in the state.
JAZZ is popular in Maine and Blues and Jazz Festivals and events are held during the summer. Bar Harbor has an annual jazz festival. There is a Jazz Camp for students. The state has several opera companies including the Camden Opera House, the Portland Opera Repertory Theatre, and Opera Maine. A variety of Music Festivals are held throughout the summer. The Brewer Hometown Band is a community band based in Brewer.
The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judicial powers of Maine is outlined in its Constitution. Maine has one of the oldest constitutions of any in the country.
Many aspects of life in Massachusetts focus on KIDS. The Maine Secretary of State has a Kids Page, and the Maine Kids Count program provides information about the well-being of children in the state. NOAA has a kids page about weather. The U.S. Mint has a special Kids Page
Maine has over 60 LIGHTHOUSES. The Bass Harbor Light shines its unique redlight on the traffic entering Blue Hill Bay. President George Washington authorized the Portland Head Light, and it is the oldest lighthouse in the state. Owl's Head Light station has witnessed many shipwrecks. The most powerful beacon is Cape Elizabeth Light. The Portland Breakwater Light is believed to be the only lighthouse in the world shaped like a fourth-century Greek monument. West Quoddy Lighthouse was authorized by Thomas Jefferson and is the easternmost lighthouse in the country. It marks the point where the sun first rises each day in the country. The most important aspect of a lighthouse is the light that comes from the tower.
Maine has several MOUNTAINS. Part of the White Mountains covers northwestern Maine. Mount Katahdin is the highest point in the state. The Longfellow Mountains run through the center of the New England Uplands. Big Squaw Mountain had the first fire tower in the country. Mt. Kineo is on a peninsula in the center of Moosehead Lake. Borestone Mountain has a bare summit and 2 peaks.
Maine has hundreds of MUSEUMS. The State Museum in Augusta has educational programs and guided tours. The Portland Museum of Art is the most renowned art museum in Maine. The From the Maine Maritime Museum has exhibits about Maine's maritime heritage and culture . Norlands Museum shows what life was like in the 1700s. The Sailor's Memorial Museum in Isleboro features displays of life at sea.
The first inhabitants of what is now Maine were NATIVE AMERICANS - the Paleo-Indians. They were followed by the Archiac Period and the Woodland Period. Today the state has 5 Federally Recognized Tribes. The state has 3 Indian reservations. Approximately 6,000 Wabanaki's live in Maine. The town of Skowhegan has a hand carved statue which is dedicated to the Abanaki and known as the world's tallest Indian. There is an Indian Casino in Old Town. In the summer a Powwow is held in Newport.
The Atlantic Ocean borders the east coast of Maine, and the state celebrates World Oceans Day. The Passamaquoddy Bay has the highest tides off the U.S. mainland. There have been many shipwrecks off the coast of the state. There is a Boats and Harbors Show in Rockland. The Maine Geology service conducts research on the coast of Maine. The NOAA provides information on why the ocean is Salty.
Maine has a population of over one million PEOPLE. Famous people who called Maine their home include Stephen King (author), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Poet), Nelson Rockefeller (U.S. Vice President), and Edna Vincent Millay (poet). Andrew Wyeth (artist) grew up in Pennsylvania but spent much of his time in Maine.
Maine has a variety of REPTILES. Some are considered endangered or threatened. Maine has several rare turtles and a variety of snakes. The state has a Herpetological Society and an Amphibian Monitoring Program.
Maine has thousands of RIVERS and streams. Major rivers include the Androscoggin River, Kennebec River, Penobscot River, and St. John River. Most rivers frun north to south. The St. John River and the St. Croix river form the international boundary with Canada. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is part of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The rivers are home to thousands of species ranging from the tiniest micro-organism to large mammals. The American Rivers Foundation protects and restores river systems.
Nearly all SPORTS are played in Maine including High School, College, University, and Professional sports teams. Many famous sports people came from Maine. The Maine Sports Hall of Fame is in Portland. Skiing is a popular winter sport. The Ski Museum Of Maineis devoted to preserving and presenting the history and heritage of skiing.
Maine has all forms of TRANSPORTATION. The Maine Department of Transportation is responsible for all designing, building, and maintaining many of roads, highways, and bridges in the state. The Federal Highway Administration provides information about traffic and road closures in the state. Maine is one of only 4 states that have banned billboard advertising along highways. The state has an Adopt-a-Highway Program. Traffic Cameras and several transportation museums. The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles was established in 1905 and the first license plates were issued at that time. Specialty plates and Vanity License Plates are available. Several Native American tribes have a license plate. To celebrate its 50th birthday in 2002, Matchbox cars issued a vehicle for each state in the order in which it was admitted into the Union. The vehicle for Maine was the 1956 Ford Pickup. The first successful Transatlantic balloon flight started from Presque Isle in 1978
Almost 90% of Maine is covered with TREES and some trees are being considered for the National Registry of Big Trees. Valuable trees include white pine, balsam, firs, basswood, maple, oak, and spruce. The State Tree is the White Pine. Maine trees provide much of the maple syrup in the country. Part of the White Mountain National Forest is in Maine and has many amenities.There are several museums about forests and logging. The first saw mill in the country was established near York in 1623.
Four ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Maine. The 1st U.S.S. MAINE (ACR1) was a second-class armored battleship whose destruction by an explosion precipitated the Spanish-American War. There are many monuments to this ship throughout the country. The 2nd USS Maine (BB-10) was the lead ship of her class of battleships and participated in the voyage of the Great White Fleet. The 3rd USS Maine BB-60 was to be a Montana-class battleship, but she was cancelled before her keel was laid down. The 4th USS Maine (SSBN-741) is an Ohio-class Trident ballistic missile nuclear submarine. The Schooner Bowdoin is the State Vessel.
Evidence of VOLCANOES is found in Maine, but there have not been any active volcanoes since the mesozoic era. Volcanic rocks and fossil shells show that some of the rocks in Maine were formed on volcanic islands in an ocean that no longer exists. Rhyolite, a light-colored volcanic rock lies beneath much of the northern part of Baxter State Park. A variety of volcanic rocks are under Lobster Mountain on the westside of Lobster Lake and Big Island and are called Lobster Mountain volcanics. There are volcanic rocks around the western part of Seboomook Lake.
The WEATHER in Maine can be severe. The winters are long, snow blankets western mountains, and lakes freeze over. Northern Maine may get up to 100" of snow in one season. The coldest day ever recorded was -48 degrees in 1925 at Van Buren. Summers are mild. The record high of 105 degrees was recorded in 1911 at North Bridgton. Spring brings a torrent of melted snow and ice. Fall sets the woods ablaze in color and it is a peak time for Hurricanes. The shores of Maine are usually cool because of the Arctic air and coastal wind from the Labrador Current. Strong storms are called Nor'easters, and heavy fog and flooding occur along the coast. Maine Emergency Management, the Maine State Climate Office, and NOAA provide weather information. Information is available about Global Warming in the state.
Maine has a variety of WILDLIFE Large animals include moose, lynxes, bobcats, white-tail deer, and over 2,000 black bears. Small animals include red squirrels, chipmunks, pine martens, beaver, snoshoe hare, red fox, mink, and porcupine. The New England Cottontail is the only endangered speciesin Maine. The Maine Wildlife Park is in Gray Center. Maine has many Wildlife Rehabilitors. The AE Howell Wildlife Conservation Center is one of the largest and most successful wildlife rehabilitation facilities in the northeast. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats. Maine has several National Wildlife Refuges. The State animal is the Moose and the State Cat is the Maine Coon Cat.
Maine has several ZOOS including Yorks Wild Kingdom in York Beach, Acadia Zoological Park on Mt. Desert Island in the Acadia National Park. The Gulf of Main Research Institute teaches residents and visitors about the Gulf of Maine and its watershed. The main gallery of the State Aquarium resembles the rocky coast of Maine. The Maine Research Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor has educational programs and a walking tour.