50 Things to Do In Maine Before You Die|
Down East Books, 2017, HC $16.95
With summer around the corner a lot of vacationers will be visiting the beautiful state of Maine. Nancy Griffen's book is a fun introduction to all things Maine, from white water rafting, panning for gold or drinking Moxie, Maine's "official soft drink".
Maine is New England's largest state with a huge coastline, over 3000 islands, and is full of lakes, rivers and streams. Known for its delicious lobster and seafood as well as sailing and whale watching Griffin's book also points out some of the lesser known adventures visitors may enjoy. People may not know that aside from the rugged coast line, Maine is mostly forest, with plenty of opportunities for camping, horseback riding, and hiking.
Griffin notes that Acadia National Park is the "ninth most visited national park in the United States". Acadia National Park is 47,000 acres. It boasts scenic views, Cadillac Mountain, a beach and even a restaurant. Maine also offers hiking and camping in the "Grand Canyon of Maine", also known as Gulf Hagas, where one will encounter an old growth forest. Maine also is part of the famous Appalachian Trail.
Most everyone is aware of the Maine wild blueberry. Picking blueberries is a wonderful way to spend a few hours, and enjoyable for the whole family. However many may not be aware that Maine also is host to gold mining and hunting for gem stones. Griffin points out these two pastimes are also fun for the family. In Paris, Maine, one can hunt for tourmaline, Maine's "official mineral". The mine is the first gemstone mine in the United States, and Griffin points out that a necklace made of Maine tourmalines is housed at the Harvard University Mineralogical Museum.
Maine is home to many Native American tribes, and nineteen petroglyph sites. In Machias the petroglyphs date as old as 10,000 years. Many of the sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To protect the integrity of these historical sights one may visit by guided kayak tours.
A few other fun and perhaps not as notable adventures Griffin points out are visiting Maine from the air. Hot air ballooning or riding a seaplane may be something for the brave of heart. The international Seaplane Fly-In, is a non-profit in Greenville. In September the Fly-In attracts all sorts of seaplanes and is held for an entire weekend.
Griffin also describes many of the usual Maine attractions, such as going lobster fishing, sailing in a Windjammer and visiting many of the Maine islands. She also notes some of the more touristy attractions such as a few particular dining points. One chapter is based around Maine's unofficial liquor of choice Allen's Coffee Brandy.
50 Things is laid out in easy chapters full of beautiful photographs. It is a well rounded description of Maine's highlights. Each chapter also includes inside tips and websites to visit if one is interested in more in-depth information. A very well written and fun read, I would recommend to anyone interested in Maine.