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Maine travel guide

About Maine

Moose the size of mammoths, lobster so fresh you could revive them, sweeping sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, verdant pine forests, and mountains as far as the eye can see: welcome to Maine.

Suffice to say natural wonders abound, but the jewel in Maine’s crown has to be Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, where cyclists and horses pootle along historic carriage roads, climbers tackle lofty sea cliffs and hikers follow forest trails tramped by American Indians.

Between October and March, you can snap the sunrise before anyone else in the country from Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the US Atlantic coast. After dark, gaze at the star-speckled sky above Bar Harbor, which resembles an out-of-reception TV set. Extraordinary.

Further south, Maine’s coast delivers the quintessential New England seaside experience, complete with historic lighthouses, hidden coves, lobster shacks and giant sweeps of sand.

Inland, hardcore hikers complete the 3,510km (2,181 miles) Appalachian Trail at Katahdin. Maine’s section is no walk in the park: the toughest stretch of the entire trail covers 452km (281 miles) of gnarly tree roots, squelchy bogs, treacherous stream crossings and precipitous climbs.

The activities don’t stop there. Leaf peepers scale the lookout tower on Bald Mountain to gaze at a Jackson Pollock-esque splatter of autumnal colours. Canoeists paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, connecting the waterways of New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire and Maine. Rafters bounce through class 4 rapids in the Kennebec Gorge. And golfers tee off at Sugarloaf Mountain, then trade places with skiers in winter.

If you’re craving city life, head to Portland, a neat coastal metropolis buzzing with refreshing microbreweries, alfresco eateries and terrific arts performances. ‘Life’s good here,’ reads the city slogan. It’s hard to disagree.

Key facts

Area:

87,381 sq km (33,738 sq miles).

Population:

1.3 million (2015).

Population density:

15.2 per sq km.

Capital:

Augusta.