What is Your Hidden Corner of Maine?
This July Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Maine Public celebrated the importance and beauty of Maine’s natural wonders. We asked Maine Public’s viewers, listeners, and members to let us know what place in Maine's great outdoors meant something very special to each of them. And they responded!
Take a look at the gallery of submissions below. We encourage you to get inspired by some of the great work being done by our sponsoring partner, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, by visiting them at mcht.org. To find your local land trust, go to mltn.org.
HIDDEN CORNER GALLERY
See what hidden corners are out there as submitted by Maine Public's members, viewers and listeners.
My favorite "Hidden Corner of Maine" is Quoddy Head State Park out by Lubec. I first visited Quoddy Head on my honeymoon in 2009. My husband and I had just moved back to Pennsylvania from Arkansas and gotten married within a two week period. We knew it was going to be stressful and hectic so we planned a honeymoon with the goal of being where people weren't. I had always wanted to visit Maine, so when we found the little remote town of Lubec we knew that was where we would go. We now live in Maine and have gone back to Quoddy Head for many of our subsequent anniversaries and we are now looking forward to taking our daughter there and sharing it with her.
Quoddy Head is such a magical place. The woods there are so thick – it's the kind of "deep, dark" woods from fairytales. The fog and shade feed a beautiful, thick layer of moss under the trees, there are cliffs and little hidden rocky beaches. It's just so peaceful. When it's clear you can look across the shining blue water and see Grand Manan and when the fog rolls in it's like you're the only person in the world, just you and the water and the trees and rocks. It's not only my little "Hidden Corner" of the state, it's my favorite place in the world.
I'm a Maine transplant, from quite seriously, all over. A few years ago, after having decided for the last time to put down roots and just stay somewhere, I convinced my sweet parents to move to Maine too. It had been their dream to live on the water, and we had just emerged from a few really hard years as a family. They had earned a rest.
This hidden corner on Little Sebago has been our haven. Each year my three brothers and their families all come home from various states and countries, and we spend a whole week together, sharing meals, swimming, boating, chatting, and playing. It feels sweetly stolen, a truly happy break, and I spend the whole year looking forward to that one week.
My father has taken up a job as the safety boat driver and my mother found her sea-legs again sailing on her little white sailboat around the coves. We watch and listen for loons, point out gliding bald eagles and sunbathing turtles, and have a good laugh at my fiancé as he fails to catch yet another shiny small mouth bass. In the winter we traverse the hardened ice, count innumerable cold stars, and return home to stoke the coziest wood fire stove.
My parents have been married for 40 years this July, and have lived all over this beautiful globe, but moving to this little house on the lake, has truly meant coming home.
Each morning my military-trained dad wakes with the sun to raise the colors over his little slice of paradise, and snaps a photo for all of us to enjoy. In this way, no matter where we are, we are always together, marveling at our own little hidden Maine corner.
My corner is a view of Seavey Island from the Kittery side of the Back Channel of the Piscataqua River.
This little channel with its leisure and fishing boars, docks, pilings, and lobster trap markings is partially held by the curvilinear cove and framed by large, old conifers. Its serenity can be transformed into ferocious storms with hysteric tree limbs, and rocking clanging rigs. Its tides rise and fall on their eternal schedule and, from time to time, patiently tolerate the blast of fog horns. It inspired me to write the lines below:
The conifers dumb and strong
Hold tight the sea from winds' storm
Never changing course.
My hidden corner picture is from Scarborough’s Higgins Beach - taken just after Labor Day 2012, when the dogs were once again free to roam. I usually try to take the camera out on my birthday, and found these two silhouetted against the early light down near the tidal pools.
This hidden corner of Maine is pretty well-known for its loon population, but these young humans were doing their version of flying off the Lazy Loon on Great Pond in 2018. The Belgrade Lakes 4th of July Parade of Boats was over, and everyone was trying to cool off. I captured them in mid-leap.
A different view of Higgins Beach in Scarborough in May 2018. The clouds told the story that a storm was coming, with the high tide and fading light, it made for a dramatic wide-angle view of the beach and the rocks.
Special Guest Contributor Senator Angus King (I-ME)
Perfect beach day in Maine. This is the south end of Reid State Park in Georgetown. Like Baxter, this magnificent place represents an extraordinary act of personal philanthropy, in this case by Walter E. Reid of Georgetown, who gave the 770-acre parcel to the people of Maine in 1946. What a day; what a gift!
The General Chamberlain statue in Brunswick. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is the greatest citizen Maine has yet produced. Here, he stands guard in Brunswick as the first snow quietly steals up the coast. A man of immense courage, indomitable spirit and towering intellect (he spoke 10 languages), Chamberlain left an indelible mark on our state—and, with his heroics at Gettysburg, on the nation as well. First Parish Church, lighted in the background, has seen its share of history as well — including parishioner Harriet Beecher Stowe in the 1850s and guest preacher Martin Luther King Jr. a little more than 100 years later. We all need heroes; the old General is mine.
My hidden (though not really in this case) corner of Maine is Scarborough Beach. My family and I live in Scarborough and visit Scarborough Beach often. It is where we go to relax, reconnect with nature, and refill our reserves of calm. We bring visitors and out-of-state family to the beach with us and everyone comments on how lovely it is. Scarborough Beach State Park was acquired by Land for Maine's Future to ensure future access to this resource in our community. I really appreciate the ability to visit the beach year round and the services provided during the summer. I am so grateful to groups that work to protect access to Maine's natural places. This is one of the things that makes Maine wonderful and enrich my life (for example just this past week I hiked Mount Katahdin (Friday), then visited Scarborough Beach and walked the Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in Lewiston on Sunday).
The attached photo is of the beach access in the off season (no boardwalk) and just seeing it makes me take a deep breath and sigh.
This is my Hidden Corner in Maine. It is looking north on the west branch of the Cathance River, Bowdoinham Maine. The little hill is woodchuck island. We have put our land including this island into a conservation easement to keep this hidden corner as beautiful as it is now, forever.
The photo was taken by my husband Joe Rehmeyer. Joe enjoyed walking along Lake St. George in Liberty, Maine. His walks mostly followed the road beside the southwest corner of the lake past Marshall Shores. Joe started his walks as exercise and as therapy for his clinical depression. Dismayed by all the trash along the road, he started carrying a bag to "pick up garbage." He soon became a local legend walking along Marshall Shores Road with his grabber in hand. He began taking photographs in 2013.
Joe learned that he had peritoneal mesothelioma cancer last summer. He continued walking and taking photographs throughout the fall and early winter, with his walks gradually becoming shorter through December. He used his walks and photographs to gauge his health and to mark the passage of time. It was a "good day" when he could walk down to see the lake. Joe died on January 18, 2018.
Lake St. George, and especially Marshall Shores, is my family's "Hidden Corner of Maine," from swimming on the 4th of July to ice-out in April to the searching for the loons' well being as we pass by. The lake's mood constantly changes and is always fascinating … and it will always serve as a joyful memory of Joe.
This is my cabin on Mudd Pond in Palermo. When I'm seeking solitude or just to get away, I come here. At dusk, the fireflies are prevalent with their constant flashing. I can hear the beaver slapping their tails, and occasionally Bambi wanders down for a drink. Yes, Maine the way life should be? The way life is.
Little Sebago Lake is my happy place in Maine. The water is clean and clear, warm and shimmering. The beautiful blue sky and clouds reflect off the water and the songs of the loons lull me to sleep every night...
Ruth and Dan Doughty
Nearly 40 years ago as a recently married couple, we crossed the Deer Isle Bridge onto the island for the first time. Little did we know how this gorgeous place and the wonderful people who occupy it would change our lives.
There is a small island on the east side of Deer Isle called Sunshine. This is where we found a home and the most beautiful spot in the state. We were immediately taken into the life of the community and soon were sharing Sunday dinners, boat rides, picnics and island activities with our new friends.
Sadly, we eventually had to move from the island, but have returned nearly every summer for the last four decades and are always welcomed home. Our photo albums are full of pictures of our growing family and our summer visits to Sunshine. Our sons looked forward to our yearly visit to the island as they grew into young men and would often say that the summer was not complete without a trip to Sunshine.
Once our sons became engaged, their fiancees were introduced to Sunshine during those summer vacations and now our grandchildren join us there each year where they delight in this incredible place.
The sunrises are the most spectacular we have ever seen. The cloud formations that rise above the horizon are heavenly and make us feel a part of the landscape.
We love boating and paddling, swimming and beach combing. Yet there is nothing more peaceful than sitting and taking in the beauty of this little piece of heaven.
This is a photo taken at Eastport Breakwater just at sunrise as lobstermen start loading up heading out.
I used to amble along the springy, fir-blanketed paths, following my mother like the faithful duckling I was. The trails were a portal, away from the stuffiness of life and into a world of crashing sea, salty air, and gnarled shoreline trees. I learned young how to keep my balance on rocky shores, how to avoid the slippery spots of algae at the water's edge. I developed a zealous tolerance for the biting cold water that ached my bones. We giggled together and skipped stones.
No boats rumbled by there. No highway noise. We were the only crowd, my mother and I. Sometimes, a seal might pop its head above the water and watch us, but save for seals and a few sea gulls, it was gloriously lonesome.
I still go there, at least once each year. Sometimes with my mother. Sometimes with my husband. I hope one day, with my own children. There is a place at the back of the island where the pink granite cliffs fall to the sea and all there is between you and the far horizon are crashing waves and wheeling seabirds. I stand there, near the edge, and I can imagine my ancestors, sailing up the coast to that place long ago, before electricity or combustion engines or Verizon wireless. I can be with them in that moment, and feel the dividing years fall away and crash around my ankles.
Great Wass embraces me with an eerie, empty, lonely beauty. A stark, exhilarating vividness. With memories and a sense of home. It is a place out of time.
I am particularly fond of Winslow Park and the Harraseeket basin area of Casco Bay because it is near my home. From the shore I can watch as a gull hovers above the rocky shoreline. The shelled creature held in its beak makes a sharp, clear sound as it hits the ground. In a moment the sea bird swoops down to dine upon the contents of the cracked shell. I also can watch an osprey fold its wings and drop from the sky. It recovers from the free fall to scoop up a fish. If I launch my kayak I can discover the osprey's three-foot-high nest of sticks.
It's a short paddle to Lanes Island where I can watch horseshoe crabs go ashore to lay their eggs. Whenever I'm in my kayak I look for dark, round objects bobbing on the surface. If I am lucky and the water conditions are right I will catch a glimpse of one. When I see one I begin to sing, hoping my voice, so different from the deeper, loud noises of a boat's engine will attract them. Sometimes as I paddle closer, I laugh at my silliness especially when I realize as I near the object that instead of a harbor seal I have been serenading a buoy.
I am happiest at low tide because then rocky islets are exposed. These are the haul out areas for groups of seals. I try not to approach too closely as I do not wish to spook them. But some, probably the younger ones, nervously slide off their rocky islets into the water. They will surround me at a distance, rising up so I am able to see their whiskered faces and thick necks. We are both curious creatures. I float in my kayak; they bob on the water, disappear underneath, and resurface in a different spot. Slowly, they make their way back to the rocky perch they had recently vacated and I head back to the park.
The park and the water may be near my home in terms of mileage but the distance I travel when I go there is immeasurable. I always am transported and my spirit lifted.
Experiences like these are why I started the Women Mind the Water digital stories project. Women Mind the Water invites women and girls from across Maine to talk about their personal experiences with water. The project celebrates two of Maine's indispensable resources women and water. Whether it's a story like Nancy's about learning to swim in Wilson's Pond in Wayne or Dorothy's story about getting water from a brook behind her home in Marshfield, Women Mind the Water wants to share these stories. Why? Because life is inextricably entwined with water and because women have long been stewards of this most precious of Maine's natural resources. Stories offer everyone a chance to reflect on the importance of water. Stories are posted on a special Facebook page I created wmwdigitalstoriesproject and by the Maine Historical Society's Maine Memory Network.
Living on a Maine river is a gift that keeps on giving. My "hidden corner" is in my own back yard.
Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth. There is always something going on there. The walking paths, the new indigenous gardens, the children's areas, Family Fun Day with orchestra and fireworks, little league, frisbee playing, dog walking, sledding, or just sitting and watching the activity from Portland out to sea. This morning, a lobster boat was just returning to port, followed by a cruise ship.
My hidden corner of Maine is a place nestled in the Kennebec Valley where the lupines grow in groves. The wildflowers grow rapidly and deer feed on wild strawberry's daily. Overlooking Barker Pond in a cabin up on the hill my father and grandfather built and has been passed down. The beauty is simple and the raw landscape is something to be reckoned with.
I rent the same cabin in the spring and fall every year at Spencer Pond Camps. I had just returned from a hike in the late afternoon in the fall and put the rocking chair on the dock to relax and read for a while. I went back to the cabin to get my book when I turned around and saw this scene it begged for a photo! The mountain is Little Spencer which offers a very challenging hike through a chimney to get to the summit.
Blue Horizons is our quiet go to spot for our family to get away from the summer hustle and bustle of Bar Harbor. We spend hours skipping stones, exploring the aquatic life lining the shoreline and just enjoying the best that Maine has to offer thanks to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
About 12 miles out in the ocean sits a lovely rock named Monhegan. On it one can find peace and tranquility by walking the "Red Ribbon Trail" into a beautiful and enchanting forest. I long for the day I will return and bask in its sacred wonder.
My Hidden Corner of Maine is Monhegan, well known as The Artists' Island, but perhaps less visited by locals than some other Maine islands. Even though I am "from away," my connection to the island goes back to 1925 when my great-aunt built a cottage there. My sister, several cousins and I worked summers on the island over a number of years. I eventually made Maine my year round home. My husband took these photos of me in 1980. We were married on the island that summer, and have lived in Spruce Head since then.
When my friend, who teaches yoga, recently suggested recalling or imagining a calming image for an exercise of Compassionate Breath (as an antidote to too much distressing political news) this was the first image that came to mind.
The natural "chair" is hidden in the trailing yew, not far off a path at the southern end of the island. It was a great place to read in the early fall, when there were not so many people on the island to discover the spot, and it is my special Hidden Corner of Maine.
This photo was taken from the Boot Head trail in Lubec, as a storm passed by far out to sea.
The coast from Lubec to Cutler is beyond words and always spectacular. It makes me feel so privileged to have this as my backyard. Trescott Twp., Maine.
Barbara Joy Hare
It was almost 50 years ago that we traveled to the coast of Maine from Connecticut for a camping vacation at Small Point. We backpacked our three month young son and hiked the Morse mountain trail that leads to Popham Beach, the most beautiful coastal area I had ever seen! The view from the trail of miles of luscious light-colored sand flats and striking summer-blue water with white-laced waves took my breath away!
It still does. In the 50 years that have followed, I have lived in various places along the Maine coast that have captured my heart as a hiker, kayaker, artist, poet and therapist. Now ironically, I have come full circle to live in Bath, Maine overlooking the Kennebec River that flows eventually to this beautiful Popham Beach area. It is just as beautiful 50 years later. I cherish walking on this beach for miles, two or three times a week. The landscape changes slightly every year and sometimes every week with the changing tides. My poetry, artwork and meditational walks are richly inspired. It is a treasured piece of Maine's natural world that I would be lost without! It is difficult to express my gratitude for the gift of this area and everything and everyone that helps to preserve it for years and generations to come.
Kelly's Cove in Northport is my Hidden Corner of Maine, especially in the early morning before sunrise when the dawn chorus of bird calls is in high gear and the light slowly changes. Thanks to the kindness of neighbors, I can walk with our dog from the house across dewy grass straight down to the shore in 8-10 minutes to see loons, cormorants, occasional American pipets, Great Herons, and where "peace comes dropping slow."
This is my hidden corner of Maine in Cape Porpoise which I am fortunate to call home. This is a little fishing village in southern Maine where local fisherman wake up early to take their boats out for the day's catch. Many of us who live and work here enjoy the sense of community and friendship in this special place.
Thank you for the opportunity to show a bit of my lovely corner of Maine.
Do a low pass first. Check for rocks, make sure there aren't any boats that you didn't see from higher up. Count seconds as you go past, make sure it's long enough to land and take off again when it's time.
Touch down on the mirror-glass reflection of sky, ease the throttle back, glide for shore. Push the floats gently into the give of bay and blueberry bushes at the edge. Tie off, set up the tent before it gets too dark. Build a fire, cook dinner and watch the stars as the loons break the silence in the quietest, place you could possibly imagine.
There are hundreds of these small lakes in our state, each full of memories — those past and those yet to come.
Birch Point State Park in Owl's Head.
This photo was taken on March 17 when my husband and I were spending the weekend in nearby Rockland.
The only other foot prints on the beach when we were there were horsetracks.
Maine in winter, gorgeous.
Where the River Meets the Bay
I once had a delightful life and a successful career as a musician, in Honolulu, Hawaii. It lasted for over 40 years but I now live where the Penobscot River and the Penobscot Bay converge.
On the east side of Stockton Springs, Maine is a spit of land known as Cape Jellison. It is home to Fort Point State Park, as well as home to my wife and me. Along the coastline of the park is, a lighthouse! However, it's not necessarily the lighthouse that strikes my fancy; it is the mile-and-a-quarter walk from my house to said lighthouse. That is the true blessing.
I like lighthouses...don't get me wrong. But as a wise person once wrote, "Life is a journey and not a destination." It's the journey down Lighthouse Road that is truly a tonic for my soul. As I stop and look, I can see across the river from West Penobscot to West Castine. On a clear day, if I cast my eyes farther to the right and look southwest, I see the island of Islesboro, some six miles or so across the bay.
Occasionally, I am fortunate enough to see a handsome schooner with billowed sails moving from the bay to the river. From Lighthouse Road I have seen two eagles soaring above the cape performing what appeared to be an airborne mating dance. I have encountered fellow walkers along this road. We don't waste precious walking time with a bunch of yakin'. A nod of the head and a cordial, "How ya doin'?" usually works just fine for both of us.
As I wander down to the beach within the park, I can look up the river to the northeast about five miles and see the Verona Narrows Bridge. It's the tallest person made structure in Maine and is tastefully designed to quietly complement the natural beauty of this hidden corner of Maine.
True Confession: I am one of those "snow birds" who packs up and skedaddles to warm weather ahead of the first snowfall in October. When I sheepishly tell my hardy neighbors here on Cape Jellison that I'm going back to Hawaii for the winter, they playfully chide me with something like, "Lucky you. You're returning to Paradise."
"No," I tell them, "I'm leaving Paradise but I will return."
And I always do return to where the river meets the bay. Now that's Paradise.
A little corner of Maine I'd like to highlight is Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area and Seawall Beach in Phippsburg, a privately owned beach and conservation area that is open for public use, with caveats. 1) Visitors must hike two miles to the beach (my favorite part, since this automatically eliminates over-crowding and over-use); 2) Visitors are not permitted to bring pets or common beach items such as umbrellas, beach balls, toys, etc.; 3) Visitors are not permitted to have fires or camp overnight; 4) Once the small parking lot is full, no one else is allowed past the gate until a vehicle vacates the lot (of course, you can hike up sans car if you so choose, but you can't park along Route 216 or anywhere along the Morse Mountain Road); 5) No amenities are provided (i.e. snack booth, restrooms, picnic areas).
The restrictions and two-mile walk are well worth it. Hikers walk to the marshland conservation area where seabirds may be spotted, through coastal coniferous forest, up to the viewpoint of Morse Mountain overlooking the Sprague River and its outlet. What awaits is a clean, quiet and pristine seascape that feels like it's only for you, especially in winter. The first time I went, it was the Summer Equinox and I was eaten alive by bugs, until I got to the safety of the ocean's breeze. I hiked in, selected a spot, and read my book for a while, enjoying the bright, warm day. The next few times, I went in winter and it was even more magical. Not a soul in sight, mild weather and colors that absolutely popped in the crisp winter light. This photo was shot in January.
Seawall is a treat. One that should be respected, preserved and enjoyed. I have shared with close friends how Seawall is a must visit and it is a wonderful place for people who want to get away from the crowds of common beach tourists, enjoy a nature walk, and revel in the beauty that is the Maine coast. I'm sure mine will not be the only essay highlighting Seawall and all it has to offer. A hidden treasure it is no longer, but to be shared with those who will appreciate it.
So, was stacking wood for fall here in Bridgton and this outlier appeared. He stared and told me "hold off for awhile. This is my spot in the sun!"
So I did.
Maybe not hidden so much as often commercialized, and so overlooked for its beauty. I run along Long Sands Beach, often in the very early morning, and see the most beautiful sights.
Here are my kids looking for the woodchuck family in our hidden corner of Maine in Newcastle.
Center Pond, Lincoln Maine...my hidden corner of Maine is where I grew up. Being on this pond is a chance to unwind from the work week and to spend time with family and friends.
To choose only one hidden corner would be difficult, so I decided to choose the one that has harbored in my heart for this summer of 2018. My hidden corner of Maine this summer is Cobscook Bay State Park in Dennysville. Upon running a road race in the area, in June, with my younger brother, we decided to explore this state park. We discovered a spruce-tipped and bird-filled hiking trail, which upon a short ascent, led us to a viewpoint boasting turquoise waters lined with green trees along the shore in the ravine-like feature below us. When we completed the hike, we decided to venture to the community picnic area where we were again greeted with a beautiful view, but this time of the bay. We tried to clomp through the mudflats to get closer to the ocean water until we decided that the mud had more power over us. The view was like breathing in clean, refreshing, and rejuvenating air. After making small talk with the few people that were also enjoying this spot, we said goodbye with the utmost content.
I noticed in your wonderful gallery that almost all of the photos included water and mine is no exception. Although I now live in York near the ocean, I grew up in Old Town on the Stillwater River and my family has a camp on Big Lake in Washington County, so Maine waters run in my blood. My father built our family camp in the 1960s and we, his grown children, still treasure visiting every year. Last month, my dad passed away after many years of ill health in which he wasn't able to visit this peaceful place. So, going there last week with my mom and family was even more special. There's something about looking out at Stone Island, hearing the water lapping against the beach (and maybe catching the call of a distant loon) and feeling the gentle breeze off the water that clears away any stress. The little boat you see out there contains my two sons, learning to fish with my brother, their uncle. They caught enough fish for a wonderful fish chowder the next day. And the Maine cycle continues.
From Southern Maine's soft, sandy beaches, up our rough, rugged shoreline to the Bold Coast, over to The County's farms and pastures; from Katahdin and down the interior through Western Maine's Appalachian Mountains, it is near to impossible a choice of a favorite corner of Maine. Although, I do love this little gem. A small, hard scrabble town with a dramatic history. The home of Fly Rod Crosby, and spring/fall residence of Norman Mailer. The location of one of the largest glacial erratics in New England. Few know this town except skiers in the winter, who don't blink on their way up Rte 4, treasure hunters looking for an unusual antique and of course, Narrow Gauge Railway enthusiasts. With natural attractions galore and a persevering attitude, I am proud to be, however small, a part of this community.
Long Pond is a part of Ferry Beach State Park in Saco. While the beach itself is lovely and popular with local residents as well as day camps in the summer months, the pond is enough off the beaten track to provide a setting for quiet meditation. In the spring and fall, it is especially peaceful, and as the picture demonstrates, quite colorful also. I find I can look for long stretches not only at the trees, but their reflection in the water, disturbed only by ripples of frogs and insects.
For the past two decades we have been fortunate to live on the bluff overlooking the much improved Androscoggin River in East Livermore, ME. (great for paddling). We are also fortunate to be on the crossroads of the Kennebec Land Trust (preserves) and the Androscoggin Land Trust (preserves). Every day and every season offers a multitude of wild flora and fauna species and changing sunsets.
My hidden corner of Maine is the Allagash. This is a photo of my dad, who was born in Allagash, fishing on the St. John River with my daughter, Abby. The Allagash and the St. John River feed my soul and have been a constant in my life. I grew up swimming and fishing in this river, I was baptized in this river, and driving from Fort Kent to Allagash along this river is one of my favorite things to do. This spot on the river is my hidden corner of Maine.
My corner of Maine is Sand Beach, Deer Isle, which is not so hidden. As of last year, there is an actual parking lot and there are generally one to six cars. The day my grandson was digging there, another grandmother was setting up a volleyball net for her granddaughter's sixth birthday. I love that my island community of Deer Isle shares and appreciates this treasure of a place.
Sea smoke — one of my favorite parts of winter in Maine.
A 'hidden corner' of Maine that's in full view from Canada is the little town of Calais, on the border with New Brunswick's St. Stephen!
This town, with its red-bricked buildings facing the St. Croix river is what we residents of St. Stephen look across at every day, and visit on a regular basis for shopping, to visit the theatre, or just to fill up with cheaper gas! The two towns have a close bond, have a joint festival in summer, and even share their emergency fire and ambulance services. This photo was taken at sunset in May.
Kanoeing on the Kennebec!
I recently found my hidden corner of Maine on a canoe trip from Waterville to Augusta on the Kennebec River. My friend, Dale Peabody and I had wanted to do this trip for a while and so we picked a date last Winter and we set out on June 23rd! It was incredible. It felt like 17 miles of Maine wilderness while all the while Routes 202 and 104 flanked the river on each side of us and are fairly densely populated. Both Dale and I are engineers and had been Bridge Designers so seeing the two large bridges that bookend the trip (Donald Carter in Winslow/Waterville and the Third Bridge in Augusta) up close wasn't as much of a deal to us as it would have been for other adventurers, but coming across the view in this picture was a great surprise! It was a beautiful spot just downstream from Sidney. I had no idea that these structures were on the river and was very surprised at the size of them as others I had seen below Augusta were only half as big. We figured these must have been there for more than one hundred years! What was really impressive with this spot was how they looked like a lost fleet of ships. If you look very closely, you can see Dale taking his place among the other "Ships of the Line!"
I'm a new Mainer, and I live a few minutes drive from Mackworth Island. It was the first nature spot I visited when I first moved to Maine this past January. The grounds were covered ankle deep in snow and there was barely anyone else there, it was like finding my own magical spot. Coming back to Mackworth in the summer is a different kind of magic. Being able to see this place transform from a frozen, hushed hidden spot to a lush and lively place is such a privilege for someone who grew up and lived in big cities, away from nature. In the short time I've spent here, this place is starting to feel like home.
My hidden corner of Maine is a place new and dear to me and my family. It is Gay Island, a place we reach by boat from Port Clyde, Maine. My mother spent many summers there as a child and she passed this wonderful place onto me as well. This remains my place of solace. My childhood dog is buried there too because he was the best dog when he went to the island. I am passing this wonderful place to my daughter as well. She does not use her phone when she goes out there.
Our camp is owned by a family trust and is now kept sacred and has been and will continue to be a place for family members to go in many years to come. We almost lost it a few years ago because of financial issues, but by the grace of god we were able to piece together money to keep it. This place is priceless to me. We hope to keep this land for many years to come. The island will always be a treasure to me and a home away from home.
This photo was taken by my late dear wife, Christine Anderson Maclin a number of years ago. We have lived in Cushing for many years at Pleasant Point Gut across the harbor from Gay Island.
I call, Cushing "my soul place" where we have created an apple and peach orchard (Pastor Chuck's Orchard), vegetable and flower gardens. This photo and rainbow so captures the peace and hope that one feels when there. That this is a working harbor makes it even more special to us who live there.
I will always be so grateful to Christine's parents, Lars and Irma Anderson who found this very special spot in the early 1960s.
This is in Lebanon, looking out across the Northeast Pond on the border with New Hampshire. This spot means beautiful scenery year round along with peace and quiet.
14 years ago on July 31 under a Blue Moon in front of a barn built by family and friends Kimberly and I got married at her 14 acre peninsula in Long Cove, Saint George. Every year since we've gathered with our wedding party, family and friends for a camping week on 'The Point.' We now have more kids than dogs, and some new pups to replace old dogs. We fish for stripers chasing pogies, watch seals, osprey, eagles, swim, boat, cook, eat, tell stories and live the Maine way.
Peter S. Morgan, Jr.
I retired three years ago. A native of Worcester, Massachusetts; I was familiar with and enjoyed lakes in southern New England. My wife's family has a storied history in Maine and her summers were spent in the Acadia sea coast area. To maintain convenient proximity to family in Massachusetts and New Hampshire we decided to explore the Portland vicinity (having driven through the state for decades ) and discovered so much to experience in the city and the off season peace and quiet that Sebago has to offer (summer is not so bad either).
This year we have seen wildlife in our yard in abundance (a moose, coyote, fox, raccoon, eagles, a turkey vulture (has taken up a perch nearby), evidence of a beaver and an infestation of 19 flying squirrels among the more common creatures.)
This shot of the lake (Squaw Island) was taken May 15th at 6:54 pm.
My Hidden Corner of Maine is the portion of Georges Highland Path that is on Ragged Mountain. I live a short walk from the Thorndyke Brook trailhead and hike this trail as often as possible. Many people come for the panoramic views of Penobscot Bay and the surrounding terrain from ledges toward the summit. While that is impressive, I feel more in my element while hiking the forested portions of the trail. There are stately red oaks and white pines that are easily older than any person now alive. There is a granite obelisk a little more than half my height just off the trail that marks where the towns of Camden, Rockport, and Hope meet; it is old and weathered enough not to seem out of place. Walking in the dappled sunlight one can appreciate the wide variety of flora and fauna in this part of our region where the touch of the human hand is light. The photo is of a part of a rock fall on the portion of the trail near Rt. 17. It consists of hundreds of boulders in a jumble that provides perfect habitat for porcupines and bats. The lichen that grows on some of the rocks here is about as flamboyant as lichen can get.
High Tide Cottage has been in the family since the 1960s. Originally a fishing shack, my father-in-law Constantine Tsiros added a second floor in the 1970s and we've made other improvements since. We are a US Foreign Service family, meaning we spend a lot of time posted overseas, and for us the cottage is an important link to home and a place to rest and recharge. We are now embarking on our 11th move since 1995, to our 7th overseas post — Toronto, the 6th move for our 15 year-old twins and where they will graduate high school in 2021 — their 4th overseas posting after Paraguay, Romania, and Mexico. The good news is that Toronto is the same distance from Hills Beach as Washington, our home for the past few years, so we can continue to enjoy the marvelous bounty of our little corner of Maine.
Dorell V. Migliano
Following Cape Road in Raymond on a summer's twilight evening remains one of life's simple pleasures. As the sun descends on the crystal clear shores of Sebago Lake, I realize each time I meander along this winding road, how fortunate I am to have a home on one of Maine's pristine lakes. Raymond, home of the landlocked salmon, is truly a hidden gem. Swimming, boating, hiking and biking envelops me in this state of repose.
This is my life, the way it should be!
Lynn and Mike Lynch
My husband and I love to walk our tandem kayak down the street less than a quarter of a mile and put into the Presumpscot River just above the dam in Westbrook. We paddle upriver about 5 miles seeing fewer than a half dozen houses clumped together on one shore. The colors change with the seasons and the shores are often decorated with various water flowers. Turtles sunning on the downed logs, and great herons racing to stay ahead of us entertain us as we meander up and back a total of nine miles. A picnic lunch just below the next dam gives us a break before returning. We come away feeling a bit like we have been in the great northern backwoods.
Three years ago, we were fortunate to move to a very special home on Maquoit Bay in Brunswick. Our property is part of a special corner of Maine that is set aside to allow birds to have a place to live in peace and rest as they travel to and from their seasonal homes. It is my special place to sit and listen, look and share my gratitude for all that Maine offers. I travel down my 58 stairs to a whole new world filled with wonder and joy. I am serenaded by a concert of gulls, terns, cormorants, majestic great blue herons, soaring ospreys on the hunt, and a plethora of other birds that I am still learning about. I had heard eagles and was never able to get a photograph. The first time I saw one it was brown and white; and I only learned later that it was a young bald eagle. One of my favorite times of the day is sunset for obvious reasons. I take my camera and have a wonderful record proving how every day is different and special. One evening after a storm, the sky was alive with clouds and colors that changed every few minutes. To my surprise and delight, a bald eagle flew by and I was able to get my first photograph of my absolutely favorite bird. It said America, Maine and demonstrated the beauty of this marvelous resident of our great state and country.
I am a Mainer. Although I have lived in several cities. I can easily say that fast pace of a city beats in my heart, but I just may be a conundrum, for the ocean's tide of Maine governs my blood.
Recently returning home from an 8 year stint in Jersey City left me burnt and spent. So finding a place like Little John Island Preserve where I can walk my 3 year old pittie mix and breathe again is cathartic and therapeutic to say the very least. Most mornings we walk in silence through the woods, feeling as though we are the only ones there, to get to the pinnacle of the island. That quiet broken only by birdsong. Tripp has learned to swim here. I have learned to breathe deep and laugh again. We soak in the sun, drink in the breeze, and just be...it is truly the way life should be. It's good to be home.
Ellen J. Della Torre
This is Stonington, Maine May 2018
I visit here with friends in late May. It is rural coastal Maine at its best.
A working harbor with lobster and fishermen heading out to sea before the sun rises.
Deer Isle is a photographer's heaven.
I am very fortunate to have been born in Maine and have lived here my whole life.
There is endless beauty here.
We started vacationing at Ocean Point Inn, East Boothbay, over 20 years ago. We fell in love with Maine and moved to the State last year. One of the best decisions we ever made! This picture is of Grimes Cove.
My hidden corner is actually rather hidden. This is Little Concord Pond, in Woodstock. About a mile from the winding back road - I often have the whole pond to myself. It's a deep pond, at the base of Bald Mountain, and perfect for swimming after a hike.
Eagle Lake, Maine. Riding on a pontoon boat on a beautiful summer day. So very beautiful.
The Sunset Vista Trail in Castle Hill, is my hidden corner of Maine. From the trail, you can look out over a bend in the Aroostook River and see mountains in the North Maine Woods. The view is gorgeous anytime of year and is so peaceful, it is guaranteed to calm the most restless mind.
There's a trail on Mt. Desert Island that leads to this door. When you go through the door, you are in Thuya Garden. It's a magical moment when that door opens and you step from the beautiful wildness of the forest into the beautiful manicured flower garden. Ditto when you go back out. I spent summers on MDI for many years. I discovered this walk between two worlds in my teens. It was my must- do hike after that. Decades passed and the trail became overgrown and disappeared. But today, I discovered that it's been restored, to my great delight.
Dora Anne Mills
My favorite hidden corner of Maine is not so hidden. It is Portland's Back Cove and the path around it. Like thousands of others, I frequently walk this 3.6 mile route. Those walks have been therapy, to discuss and solve personal challenges with close friends and family. Those walks have kept my heart physically healthy as well. Those walks have given me solitude and solace. And those walks have lifted and inspired me.
Although this tidal basin sits prominently in Maine's largest city, it often showcases many natural wonders, such as stunning sunsets, sunrises, and full moons; a plethora of birds at any time of year including egrets, buffleheads, Canada geese, and even occasional snowy owls and bald eagles; dramatic thunderstorms and blizzards that sweep across the cove; and flowering aromatic linden trees that grace its edges.
This photo was taken in early January of 2018 during a sunrise walk. Much of the cove is frozen over, and the shoreline covered in snow. A reward for enduring extreme subzero temperatures was witnessing ice fog rising over the cove, partially shrouding the city skyline. Needless to say, my friend and I were about the only ones walking around Back Cove that morning!
Mayor John Phinney Baxter, a Republican politician, businessman, and philanthropist (and father of Governor Percival Baxter, who founded Baxter State Park) led the effort to turn the once polluted and foul-smelling tidal area into Back Cove and what is now Baxter Boulevard. How wonderful that over 100 years after its founding as a public park and trail, Back Cove continues to be enjoyed by thousands every day, often unveiling many hidden treasures.
My hidden corner of Maine is almost literally that: a corner. At the far eastern corner of Maine is Cobscook Bay State Park, not far from Lubec. We discovered it last year, the weekend following the Fourth of July - during the "busy season" - and there were still spots available.
This photo is taken from our campsite right on the water (Whiting Bay) where we could not see any signs of humanity in any direction. It was the first time I'd experienced paradise. It was classic Maine: tidal water, rocks and pine trees. And no cell service.
In these days of political tensions, we need to hold on to what the government does right, and maintaining Cobscook Bay State Park is one of those things that the State does very well for all of us.
Wendy Berry Wren
This is Beech Nut, the hut atop Beech Hill in Rockport. It's at the top of an easy and scenic walking path up the hill. The views of Penobscot Bay are spectacular. I've been told sailors use Beech Nut as a navigation tool to enter Rockport Harbor because it's easily visible and very recognizable. Just steer toward Beech Nut and you'll make it to safe harbor.
For me it holds special appeal because it was designed and built by my Great-Grandfather, Hans Heistad, an immigrant from Norway. The sod roof, the slate floors, the stonework, the archways, the 1914 cornerstone all remind me of my family's roots in the community as well as my immigrant roots.
Kristen & James Gould
My favorite hidden corner of Maine is Aziscohos Lake. Located northwest of Rangeley, along the New Hampshire border, Aziscohos Lake is a pristine gem of natural, unspoiled beauty. This is one of my favorite photos from our numerous family camping trips to Aziscohos over the years. The image is of Aziscohos Dam, at the southern tips of the 15 mile (approx.) long lake. The dam was completed in 1911 to provide hydro power into the Androscoggin Resovoir. A major undertaking in its day, the dam is actually the structure which created Aziscohos Lake by capturing the flow of the east and west branches of the Magalloway River.
A historical synopsis of the construction, complete with photos, drawings and plans can be viewed at berlinnhhistoricalsociety.org. The tremendous undertaking in the early 1900s amazes me. Additionally, Native American encampments have been discovered through archeological digs along the shoreline of the lake.
History aside, the beauty of place is beyond words. Mountains cradle the long, narrow waterway in all directions. Miles of shoreline exist without a structure to be seen. Sandy beaches and clear water provide some of the best swimming a Maine lake has to offer. Because of the remote, natural beauty, the historical interest and my unforgettable memories of family tent camping on its' shore, Aziscohos Lake is my favorite place in Maine.
My late father in law planted native lilies in the ditch so people wouldn't miss the driveway. I have added a few plants now and again. I think of him often as I weed and tend my flowers.
My hidden corner of Maine is actually a corner; Camp Phoenix, a former sporting camp which is now a camp owners association, is just outside a corner of the western boundary of Baxter State Park (our cabin is the second from the left, next to the water). The mountain behind Camp Phoenix is Strickland Mountain in Baxter S.P. The park land also extends just to the left of the cabins to the shore of Nesowadnehunk Lake, a pristine native brook trout lake. The other picture is our view when we go fishing on the Lake. The mountains to the left of my wife are in Baxter. The opposite shore of the lake is in a conservation easement, called Katahdin Forest Easement, which allows sustainable forest management, established by the Nature Conservancy with funding assistance from the Fund for Maine's Future and now held by the State of Maine. The vision of people like Percival Baxter and hard work from conservation organizations allows the best places in Maine like these to be saved for future generations. We are proud long-term members of the Kennebec Land Trust, to help continue the work of conservation.
I love the Western Mountains of Maine. This view from the top of Bald Mountain between Wilton and Weld. The views are always spectacular and you are only a few minutes from other excellent hikes on Mount Blue, Tumbledown, The Jacksons and Blueberry Mountain. Beautiful lakes all around as well.
There are many hidden corners of Maine but I chose Schoodic, the part of Acadia not visited as much and pretty much deserted in winter. It is so satisfying and calming to sit and watch the waves crash, again and again in a unique place on earth.
Camden Hills Is my little corner of heaven in Maine. I enjoy every aspect of this area, hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, in addition Camden Hills has availability areas for horseback riding, hunting and camping at Camden Hills State Park. The hike up to the top of Camden Hills is majestic. The restaurants in the surrounding area offers Maine Lobsters, Clams, Mussels, and more. This is my heavenly place in Maine.
Betty J. White
I discovered my special place in Maine during the summer of 1966 when I worked as a camp counselor at Camp Natarswi, a Girl Scout camp located in Millinocket near the base of Mt Katahdin. During August when several of us counselors had a few days off, we climbed the mountain. The climb to the top was the ultimate reward as we could see forever; or, at least it seemed that way then.
And now, in this photograph taken more than fifty years later, I admired the mountain from the Monument Loop Road with a slightly new perspective where I could almost reach out and touch the majestic peak… This is my hidden corner of Maine.
In northern Maine
There is a piece of wilderness
That lays claim to my soul.
I'm a long ago resident of Greenville, presently living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I am back in Maine for vacation, and visited Greenville, Shirley Mills, and Monson on this trip. I've always felt the Wilson Ponds are a hidden gem, because larger Moosehead Lake gets most of the promotion. That allows for a calmer, relaxing location on the Wilsons. Beautiful hills all around the water ( I used to say mountains, not hills, but then I moved to the Tetons). Wonderful kayaking spot, Wilson pond doesn't get as breezy in the afternoons, like Moosehead can get. This is a morning photo when the mist was riding up out of the water and dissipating into the sunshine.
Sunset over the Narrows, Lower Sysladobsis Lake, Lakeville, Maine. My grandparents, along with their two sons (one of whom was my father) and a host of their teenage friends, built a camp here in the "Adirondack" style in 1929. I was born in 1938, but didn't get to the camp until 1946 because gas rationing during the Second World War made is impossible to make the two-day drive from our home in Washington DC. In any case both my grandfather and father, both federal employees, were too busy with the war effort to take the time off. But from 1946 until I was in college, I and my siblings spent most of every summer there.
Since 1946 I have only missed one summer visit, when I was stationed in Alaska with the US Coast Guard in the early sixties. Although our camp has grown to accommodate the steady growth of our extended family—there are now four cabins on the property—little else has changed. Propane refrigeration took the place of ice-boxes in the early fifties, and we grudgingly gave up kerosene lamps a couple of decades ago and installed solar lighting, but we still cook on wood stoves and pump our water from the lake. We have no road access, and reach the camp by boat from the head of the lake; the original Old Town wood and canvas boat was reluctantly retired in the early nineties, having served us for over fifty years.
"Camp" continues to be a place of peace and restoration for three successive generations of my grandparents' family; we couldn't live without it.
Lunt Harbor, Frenchboro looking toward the Frenchboro Elementary School and Frenchboro Congregational Church. My hometown of Frenchboro is a year-round fishing village located on Long Island about eight miles from Bass Harbor. The island has a year-round population that typically hovers around 50 and features a one-room schoolhouse that will have four pupils in the fall of 2018. And on glorious summer or fall days the view of Blue Hill Bay with the mountains of Acadia looming in the distance is spectacular.
My corner of Maine is right in the middle. Whenever I walk down to my dock, I see this view and I often can't resist taking yet another photo. It's that white door on that boathouse on that island in Lake Onawa that never faIls to inspire me. When I bought our lot in 1986, the old camp on it had rotted to the ground and it was overgrown with young hemlock trees. I would canoe in and camp and work and always get an invite to the island for dinner. I was in my 30's and Bill and Edie were in their 60's and I kept asking myself: "How can old people be that much fun?"
I got so attached to the lake and to them that I built our camp in 2000 and have been rewarded with so many special times on that island, now being enjoyed by the 6th generation of the Allen family. Bill died in 2005, but Edie, who I have taken to calling my "other mother" left the lake today for likely the last time. She's 94 and and first came to the island as a baby. I'm now in my 60's. I'll try and pay the love forward to the 30-something Allens who now own the island.
I've worked on the ferry from New Harbor to Monhegan Island for 11 years and I never tire of the 10 mile trip. The farther from shore we get, the greater the sense of calm I have. It's a wonderful feeling to step off the boat and watch it turn back toward the mainland and leave us behind. My husband and daughter are pictured here walking down to Lobster Cove, one of the many quiet enclaves on Monhegan.
My hidden corner is Hacker's Hill in Casco. It is part of a 27-acre preserve managed by Loon Echo Land Trust. At the top, there are 360 degree views of the White Mountains and nearby lakes.
My love for the West Branch of the Narraguagus is purely circumstantial. I did not grow up on it, vacation near it, or specifically seek it out for any other reason. But I happened to move to the banks of this river in June 2016 and we made friends immediately.
My first friendly encounter with the Narraguagus was its invitation for a visit to escape the summer heat. I had been gardening in the blazing sun just far enough away from the water to miss its cooler breezes. When my work was done and I returned to the river bank, I paddled my canoe to its central channel and jumped in. The water was much cooler than I expected—and all the more refreshing for it. Before climbing hurriedly back into my canoe to escape the water that I realized was a little more refreshing than I desired, I treaded water briefly to appreciate its tannin-saturated color—so dark, I could not see from my knees down. Once back in the canoe, I let the slow current pull me downstream while the sun dried my skin. There weren’t even any blackflies to disturb my quiet journey, a trend that somehow persists throughout the summer whenever I paddle the Narraguagus.
Since our first refreshing visit, the Narraguagus has offered me more serenity than I could have imagined. In early summer, I watch snapping turtle and painted turtle moms emerge from the dark depths to lay eggs throughout the driveway. In late summer, I have watched muskrats and beavers busily transport and cache their winter foods and a bald eagle snatch a fish from the surface. In the fall, I saw a healthy cow moose grazing the opposite shore at dawn. In early winter, I watch weasel cousins, a family of river otters and a mink, lope gracefully in and out of the partially frozen water, eating, hunting, and playing. I have paddled, swum, skated, and snowshoed this vein of water, each time different and more rewarding than the last.
The Narraguagus may not have given me the childhood lessons of my hometown rivers, the Marsh Stream and the Penobscot, or the wilderness immersion experiences I have enjoyed along the length of the Allagash, but it is home right now and equally special in its own ways: muddy-banked, tannin-stained, friendly, and full of life.
Most days I walk across the street and down to the Kennebec River in Day's Ferry, where I live--upstream from Bath, downstream from Merrymeeting Bay. It is awe inspiring on a daily basis, and never the same. The river is deep and tidal here, with strong currents that go every which way.
Sometimes objects, like a tree limb, will be circling around out in the current for awhile due to the force of the water and the wind. I never know what I might see or hear — fish jumping, a turtle, with its head bobbing in the water, eagles and osprey, and in winter, ice and snow.
When I first moved here I would hurry down to the river because it was like an ever changing color and light show. I still love that about it, but I go now — how can I say it — for the existence, the being-ness of it, which is a comfort, and a joy in a time of great change. It's there, doing its river thing, day in and day out, and I can just be there with it, watching and listening.
My hidden corner picture is of the Kennebec River at sunset, in the winter, from Day's Ferry, Maine.
Early last year, I decided to go to rehab as I struggled with PTSD stemming from sexual abuse I endured early in life. In the year following, I walked over 2,500 miles of trails and open spaces here in Maine — taking photos to share the journey.
We are so fortunate to live in a place where beauty — and healing — is so accessible.
Here are a couple "hidden corners" I am grateful to know and experience.
I am comfortable sharing more information if you would be interested or you thought it might help listeners in their own pursuits of healing.
A small jetty at Hills Beach in Biddeford. No other place on this planet has brought me so much peace of mind.
If you scurry down the rocks at East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford Pool, the reflections in the tidal pools will take your breath away. There’s no better place to sit and watch the clouds.
Seavey’s Landing in Scarborough. I magical spot, year round.
Squirrel Point Light in Arrowsic. A beautiful walk and a thought provoking place.
My favorite corner of Maine is hidden in plain view almost any day on Little Sebago Lake. There are days when the beauty is so spectacular you can’t miss it.
Other days it's more subtle, all shades gray. Every day is an opportunity for the awakened eye.
My favorite destination when I go rowing is North Creek. It’s so pristine and peaceful. Accessible only around high tide.
Ron and Sally Bancroft
Our camp on Long Pond in the Belgrades is our special place in Maine. Once we are there it is like rolling the clock back to an earlier, more relaxed time. Gone are the anxieties of the city. The routine of a morning walk in the woods, a boat trip to Day’s store for the paper, provisions, and the latest on the Red Sox from owner Cary Oliver, a nice swim, a short read, and then the daily nap in the hammock. Maine summer at its best.
Schoodic Point after a storm — a great place to be reminded of how puny we are in the face of nature.