11 Amazing Experiences While Visiting Maine

The beauty of the mountains while visiting Maine

I had wanted to spend some time visiting Maine. I had visited briefly once and instantly knew I wanted to go back and explore more. Some friends had built a cabin in the forests of Maine and I looked forward to what they had built and the raw beauty surrounding it. From the forests to the coastline, come along as I explore the beautiful state of Maine.

John and Carla’s Cabin

John and Carla’s Cabin

My first destination on my tour was a friend’s cabin deep in the forests of Maine. I was so looking forward to seeing what they built as well as the raw beauty of the place they built it in. On the way there, I got a little lost. Carla was in town and directed me to her and said, “Follow me.” I had no idea that I would be following her down a dirt road to one of the most beautiful and laughable weekends I have had in a long time.

Carla leading me to a most enjoyable weekend

After a few turns and twists and a few bumps down the road, we pulled into this beautiful clearing in the woods with an amazing log cabin. Greeted by John and his son Jason, his girlfriend, Kelli, his brother David, and his wife Tracey, I knew this was going to be a great weekend. The cabin is a pretty two-story log cabin that gives a warmth of coziness as soon as you walk in the door.

After a fun evening and a wonderful morning listening to birds as we sipped our coffee and chatted. They asked me if I wanted to go on an ATV ride. Haha! I am not much of a rider, but John said if I went, we would take the side-by-side. Ok, I am in!

Get in! It will be fun they said

Some ATV Fun to be had While Visiting Maine

I was ready for some beautiful sights and a hang-on-tight ride. I was not disappointed. Beautiful forests with elegant views with a few whoa hang on tight curves. What I did not expect was the laughter. We had taken a turn up and around a hill to get a beautiful view. As we rode away, they realized that the side-by-side had a flat. Oh, that’s not good. We were miles from anywhere.

John had this great idea that they could attach the winch system at the front of one of the ATVs to the back of the side-by-side. Getting real close and essentially lifting the back of the side by side to take the pressure off the back tires. David was driving the other ATV and was, like everyone else, a little skeptical.

The Road Back to the Cabin

Off we went with David so close at times he was touching the side-by-side. If we stopped and did not tell him, he would bang into the back of us. Turn without his knowledge, and his machine would hit ours. To say this erupted into laughter was an understatement. David has an infectious laugh. Every time we hit, the laughter would ensue. Soon, we were all laughing so hard we had to stop. We could not even see for the tears of laughter.

We traveled for six miles, down hills and twists of the ATV trail like that. I laughed so hard for so long that my sides hurt. Finally, we arrived back at the cabin. Everybody, including the ATV’s intact.

The next day, the ladies went out on the ATVs while the boys cut trees. I tried to get some work done but just listening to them working in the woods with those strong east coasts accents sent me into another day of laughter and few looks to see if they all still had all their limbs.

It was so nice meeting all of them, and thank you for a most laughable and enjoyable weekend. 

Stephen King’s House, Bangor, Maine

Stephen King's home

Stephen King is the famous writer of such horror novels as Pet Sematary, Carrie, and Cujo, to name a few. Some of his famous writings are based in Maine. It is well known he has a residence in Maine. I had to take advantage while visiting Maine to see the house of the creator of stories that are hard to forget.

The house is on a quiet residential street in Bangor. Large gates guard the drive and the walkway, decorated with bats and spiders. Sitting on a large parcel of land, the house is a little eerie with a warm New England charm. Google says it is now a home to the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. The foundation gives back to the communities of Maine by way of support for community projects.

Wooden sculpture

A beautiful, intriguing wooden sculpture sits in the front yard. What looks to be a tree stump is now a magnificent piece of art. When you look closely at the sculpture, it has characters and notions from his books. Cats on the shelf (Pet Sematary), the owl looking from above (The Mist), and the other creatures are all sitting on a credenza with books on the shelf. A breathtaking work of art.

Colonel Buck’s Cursed Tomb, Bucksport, Maine

Colonel Buck's Memorial

When I saw on my Atlas Obscura app that there was a story of a cursed tomb, I had to go check it out.

In Bucksport, Maine, there is a story of the town’s founder, Johnathon Buck, and his fight with a “witch.” As the story goes, Johnathan Buck, in the early 1700s, ordered a witch to be burned at the stake. During sentencing, the woman cursed Johnathan and ended the curse with “so long shall my curse be upon thee and my sign upon thy tombstone.” As she burned, her leg rolled out of the fire.

Sixty years after he died in 1798, his successors built a monument of Blue Hill Granite. Over the years, the shape of a leg would begin to stain the monument. The family has tried to remove it, but it keeps reappearing. Could the legend be true?

Historians will tell you that the witchcraft era was over by the time Johnathan Buck was born. Also, note that there is no record of any witches executed in Maine. How true is the story? I guess we will never know, but the outline of a leg still stains his monument today.

Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Observatory, Prospect, Maine

Fort Knox and Penobscot Narrows Observatory

While driving through Bucksport, I noticed this beautiful bridge beside a large fort. I had to stop and take a picture. As I googled the name of the fort, I learned the bridge was also an Observatory.

Penobscot Narrows Observatory

Penobscot Narrows Observatory

The bridge that spans the Penobscot river in Maine is not only aesthetically beautiful but has a unique purpose. It is also an Observatory. There are only four bridge observatories in the world. At 420 feet high (42 stories), Penobscot Narrows Observatory is the highest bridge Observatory in the world. The top floor of the Observatory is made of granite from a quarry nearby. An ornate bronze compass is designed into the floor. Ride the fastest elevator in Maine (about a 1 minute ride) up 420 feet for a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of Maine.

Fort Knox

Fort Knox

This large (124 acres or 50 hectares) fort that sits quietly on the side of the Penobscot River is one of the best-preserved forts in New England. Fort Knox is built of granite, not wood or stone, in 1844 to stop the advance of the British. This formidable structure was sure to do its job. Take a tour through the narrow passages during the day or if you are so inclined, a ghost tour at night. An interesting piece of well-preserved history to explore that is also dog-friendly! Make Prospect, Maine, a definite travel destination while visiting Maine.

Old Fort Western, Augusta, Maine

Main garrison of Fort Western

Old Fort Western is a beautifully preserved wooden fort built downriver of Fort Halifax. Built with a unique purpose and an interesting history. The main garrison building is the original wooden building from its creation in 1754. The area was known as Cushnoc and began as a trading post in those early years. As I entered, Greeted at the large wooden gate, a lovely lady, Dorothy, dressed in a period costume, would take me on a walk through time.

Fort Western started as a trading post in 1628 until 1649, until it became a military fort in 1754. Specifically built to bring supplies to Fort Halifax due to the shallow conditions of the river. Supplies came in from the larger ports and taken off the larger boats, and when water levels were at their highest, those supplies were loaded onto flat-bottom boats to be floated and sometimes portaged to the troops at Fort Halifax.

Decommissioned in 1767, the fort went on to become a store, a home, and a tenement house. Today, it is a museum and an interesting piece of history and certainly deserves to be a feature travel blog. Stay tuned for more information on this most interesting piece of Maine history.

Peaks-Kenny State Park, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine

Peaks-Kenny State Park campsite

Traveling in Maine in August made it a little difficult to find a campsite in a state park. I had looked in the area I was in and called as their online reservation system did not allow for same day reservations. I found the parks closest to me were already full. About an hour north was Peaks-Kenny State Park. I called, and they told me they had two spots left but were first come, first serve.

When I arrived, there was a travel trailer in the park looking at the two sites. Would I like to go and look? I asked her which one of the two campsites she liked best, and she chose campsite number 19. I told her, “I would just take that one.” I drove to the site, and the people who were “looking” had already unhooked their trailer at the campsite. They told me that the procedure was to come back up to the office and tell the reservations which one they chose, and since I had registered the campsite, they would go down and tell them they had to move. No, I will just take the other site.

To say it was peaceful and beautiful is an understatement. Deep in the forests of Maine beside a small lake, this state park has a lot to offer. Miles of scenic trails as well as wonderful staff and great facilities made it a great stay while visiting Maine.

Acadia National Park and Thunder Hole

The rocky coast in Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park

I started out looking for Thunder Hole, which I had seen on my Atlas Obscura app and found a beautiful national park that would keep me there for a few days for more than just the sound of Thunder.

Acadia National Park

Driving on the Park Loop Rd
Driving Park Loop Road

Located on the Atlantic coast, on Mount Desert Island in Maine, this 47,000-acre national park has many beautiful attractions. Stunning cliffside views as well as summits you can climb. Climb to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the United States East Coast’s highest point, or sit with your feet in the ocean at the many beaches around the park. A $35 fee is required to get into Acadia National Park and is an active pass for seven days.

Hike on the mountain or along the coast, drive to the summit (there are vehicle limitations), and you need to make a reservation to do this or drive the Park Loop, which takes you along the coast. Stop at historic sites and bridges within the park, including the oldest bridge. Built in 1917, the Cobblestone Bridge, as the name suggests, is made with cobblestones.

There are so many things to see and do in Acadia National Park. You will need all seven days of that pass.

Thunder Hole

Thunder Hole in Acdia National Park
Thunder Hole

I was intrigued by the idea that the crash of water against the jagged coastline could create a thunder sound. To get to Thunder Hole, you must take Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park. A path leads from the road to the rocks below. There, on an outcropping of rock, is small gorge cut out of the rock by thousands of years of erosion.

The path leads you beside the small gorge. As you watch the tide rise, the water coming into the gorge begins to arrive with a tremendous force. With a spray of water and a roll of thunder, the ocean comes inland. It was very neat to see and hear the beauty mother nature creates.

Timber Tina’s Great Lumberjack Show

The sign of the lumberjack show I went to while visiting Maine
Lumberjack Show sign

As I drove towards Acadia National Park on Bar Harbor Road, I noticed a sign. Timber Tina’s Great Lumberjack Show with nightly showings at 7 pm. Hmmmm I like lumberjacks. For the price of $15.95 for a 75-minute show, I had to check it out.

I was ushered into the parking lot by a nice young man with suspenders and a plaid shirt. It was one of the lumberjacks for the show. I knew this was going to be interesting. What I did not realize was how much fun it would be.

A picture of one of the lumberjacks
One of the lumberjacks

Four lumberjacks participated in the show. A demonstration of both talent and strength as they wielded chainsaws and long saws, cutting and sawing through large pieces of logs. Log rolling and chainsaw carving were not to be left out. Not only was it a great demonstration of the skill of a lumberjack, but also the types of competitions they have in lumberjack games.

working the long saw at the lumberjack show
Working the long saw
Running on logs at the lumberjack show.
Down he goes! Lol

Each side of the grandstand was given a team to cheer for. It was such fun watching the audience cheering on their team and very impressive with the skill these young men have. I highly recommend you stop for a very entertaining 75 minutes while visiting Maine.

Wood carving of an owl and a tower
Beautiful wood carvings

Thompson Island

View of the ocean at Thompson Island
The view from Thompson Island

Thompson Island is a small island on Bar Harbor Road leading into Acadia National Park. It is small, but I have to mention it because it was so peaceful. The visitors center for the park is here, as well as a picnic area across the road. With beautiful views and the soft sound of the waves hitting the shore, it is a great place to stop for a breather on a busy vacation.

A1 Relics, Ellsworth, Maine

A1 Relics store
A1 Relics

As I was driving, I noticed a display of beautiful antique cars. As I pulled over to get a picture and a closer look, I noticed this most unusual antique store.

Old car display beside A1 Relics
Collection of old cars

A1 Relics is not just any antique store. There were so many obscure as well as antique things to look at. The building itself is an unusual architecture as much as the antiques inside. It has three floors for you to wander through. Wandering through the store, I could hear people say, “Oh my stars, look at this,” or “I remember these.” A1 Relics have memorabilia and eclectic things from the past. A great stop along the way while visiting Maine.

A1 Relics storefront
The front of the store.

At the side of the store is an old train car that sold ice cream. The perfect item for a hot afternoon.

Ice cream trolley I stopped at while visiting Maine
Ice cream parlor

What a unique and interesting shopping experience. When you are passing by make sure to stop in. You will love it.

International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland, Maine

Bigfoot statue in front of museum
Bigfoot at the entrance to the museum

What is Cryptozoology? The study of hidden or unknown animals. Studying the stories of legends such as Bigfoot or the Dogman. Studying and exploring the creatures of lore.

Display of creatures such as bigfoot
Bigfoot display

What could you find in a museum of creatures that no one knows really exists? It is a fascinating collection of reports, plaster casts of footprints, and even hair found and thought to belong to Bigfoot.

Plaster casts of footprints
Plaster casts of footprints found in the forest

The museum also includes creatures from television like Harry from Harry and the Hendersons and the creature from the black lagoon. Providing a map of the US, you can discover state by state the Monsters that may be secretly residing near you. 

Monster map

For an admission fee of $10.00, it was an interesting and fun walk through of creatures that are maybe left better in the woods.

What monster lives near you? Have you ever seen or heard anything to make you think that a monster is near you? Let me hear your monster story in the comments.

Maine was a beautiful and fun place to visit. There was so much more to see that I am sure I will have to go back again and explore and enjoy the beauty of Maine.

Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure while visiting Maine. Check out my blog 14 Amazing Places and Experiences I Enjoyed on My Backroad Travels to Maine to see how much fun I had getting there.

See you next time.

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