Most of Maine’s large rivers rise in the mountains in the northern and western parts of the state. The Penobscot River rises in the lakes of north central Maine and flows to the east and south to empty into Penobscot Bay south of Bangor. The main tributary of the Penobscot River is the Piscataquis River, which joins the main stream just south of Howland in central Maine. The Kennebec River is the outlet of Moosehead Lake in central Maine and flows south into the Atlantic Ocean near Bath. The Androscoggin River rises at the New Hampshire border and flows southward. It joins the Kennebec River at Merrymeeting Bay about 30 km (about 20 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean.
In the northern part of the state the most important river is the Saint John, which flows through northwestern Maine and along Maine’s northern border with New Brunswick before entering the Canadian province. The Allagash River is the principal tributary of the St. John in Maine, and the Aroostook River joins the St. John soon after leaving the state. The Saint Croix River forms a significant part of Maine’s eastern boundary with New Brunswick.
The largest lake in Maine is Moosehead Lake, an irregularly shaped lake that covers 300 sq km (116 sq mi) in the central part of the state. Other large lakes are Sebago, Chesuncook, Chamberlain, Grand, and Spednic lakes. The Rangeley Lakes in southwestern Maine are a popular vacation area.
The coastline of Maine extends for 367 km (228 mi).
However, it is deeply indented with bays, inlets, and river estuaries, and when all these are taken into account, the shoreline is 5,597 km (3,478 mi) long. Many of the larger inlets were formed when the ocean flooded the river valleys after the glaciers melted. The largest harbor is at Portland, on the southwestern coast. Other important harbors include Boothbay, Rockland, Bar Harbor, and Eastsport.
The coast is generally rocky, but there are many miles of beaches on the southwestern coast. More than 1,300 rocky islands lie just off the coast. The largest is Mount Desert Island, much of which forms part of Acadia National Park. Other large islands are Vinalhaven Island, Islesboro, Swans Island, Deer Island, and Isle au Haut. Monhegan Island is also well known. "Maine" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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