Maine’s scenic beauty attracts artists, writers, and photographers, and its many lakes, rivers, wooded areas, and mountains lure sports enthusiasts the year round. Its long coastline is noted for its picturesque coves, harbors, and islands. Numerous sheltered sandy beaches alternate with imposing rocky headlands where breakers crash against the shore. Maine’s coastal waters attract a steadily increasing number of saltwater sports fishing enthusiasts. Thousands of pleasure craft, from tiny sailboats to large yachts explore the coast. Camping, canoeing, mountain climbing, hunting, golf, and skiing are also available to vacationists.
The state’s only national park is Acadia National Park, which occupies most of Mount Desert Island, just off the coast. A small section of the park lies on Schoodic Peninsula, on the mainland, and another part is on Isle au Haut, 40 km (25 mi) out in the Atlantic Ocean. In the park, on the shore of Mount Desert Island, is Thunder Hole, a deep crevice where the crashing waves cause the water rushing into it to rise as high as 12 m (40 ft). One of the attractions of the park is Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island, the highest mountain on the eastern coast of North America. Also on Mount Desert Island is Bar Harbor, one of New England’s most famous summer resorts.
Saint Croix Island International Historical Site marks the site of the first European settlement on the Atlantic coast north of Florida.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Bridge connects Lubec with Campobello Island in New Brunswick, on which is situated the Roosevelt Campobello International Park. The park contains the summer cottage of the former United States president and is jointly administered by the United States and Canada.
Near Mount Katahdin is the beginning of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which follows the Appalachian Mountains for 3,473 km (2,158 mi) from Maine to its terminus at Mount Oglethorpe, Georgia.
The largest alpine area east of the Rocky Mountains and south of Canada is found in White Mountain National Forest, a portion of which lies in Maine. Campgrounds, hiking and biking trails, scenic drives, and historic places can be found in the forest. In 1970, the Allagash Wilderness State Waterway, 148 km (92 mi) long, in northern Maine became a state-administered recreation area to be added to the National Wild and Scenic River System. The 30 developed state parks in Maine boast extensive trails and year-round outdoor recreation. Grafton Notch State Park has unique roadside hikes and vistas, including Screw Auger Falls Gorge.
Many areas in this park offer views of natural stone bridges and extensive cave systems composed of rock slabs. Many of the state parks in the interior are located on lakes.
Maine has a number of state parks located on the seacoast. These include the Two Lights State Park, at Cape Elizabeth; Reid State Park, near Popham Beach; Camden Hills State Park, near Camden; Moose Point State Park, at Searsport; Crescent Beach State Park, near Portland; Lamoine State Park, south of Ellsworth; Warren Island, at Islesboro; and Cobscook Bay, at Dennysville.
Baxter State Park, covering 81,000 hectares (200,000 acres) in north central Maine, is the state’s largest park. The land, given to the state by former governor Percival P. Baxter, is maintained as a wilderness area and wildlife sanctuary. Mount Katahdin’s highest peak, Baxter Peak (1,605 m/5,267 ft), is the highest point in the state, and lies in the southern section of the park. "Maine" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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