Maine, United States

About Maine

Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, New Hampshire to the southwest, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is the northernmost portion of New England and is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States. It is known for its scenery—its jagged, mostly rocky coastline, its low, rolling mountains, and its heavily forested interior—as well as for its seafood cuisine, especially lobsters and clams. To the south and east is the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and northeast is New Brunswick, a province of Canada. The Canadian province of Quebec is to the northwest. Maine is both the northernmost state in New England and the largest, accounting for nearly half the region's entire land area. Maine also has the distinction of being the only state to border just one other state (New Hampshire to the west). Maine is the easternmost state in the United States both in terms of its extreme points and its geographic center. The municipalities of Eastport and Lubec are, respectively, the easternmost city and town in the United States.

Maine Tourism and Recreation

Sightseeing and outdoor activities are the primary tourist attractions. In the summer, the southern coast offers sandy beaches, icy surf, and several small harbors for sailing and saltwater fishing. Northeastward, the scenery becomes more rugged and spectacular, and sailing and hiking are the primary activities. Hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams offer opportunities for freshwater bathing, boating, and fishing. Whitewater canoeing lures the adventurous along the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in northern Maine. Maine has always attracted hunters, especially during the fall deer season. Wintertime recreation facilities include nearly 60 ski areas and countless opportunities for cross-country skiing.

There are 12 state parks and beaches. Baxter State Park, in central Maine, includes Mount Katahdino. Acadia National Park is a popular attraction, along with other wildlife areas, refuges, and forests. The state fair is held at Bangor.

Maine Climate

Maine has a continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. Winter temperatures drop between 20°F and 30°F (about -4°C), while summer temperatures range between 80°F and 90°F (30°C and up). The northern part of the state tends to be drier and colder in comparison to the southern and coastal areas, while the sea keeps the coastal temperatures moderate. Snowfall occurs in winter.

Maine is generally safe from hurricanes and tropical storms. By the time they reach the state, many have become extratropical and few hurricanes have made landfall in Maine. Maine has fewer days of thunderstorms than any other state east of the Rockies, with most of the state averaging less than 20 days of thunderstorms a year. Tornadoes are rare in Maine with the state averaging fewer than two per year, mostly occurring in the southern part of the state.

Maine Transportaion

Maine receives passenger jet service at its two largest airports, the Portland International Jetport in Portland, and the Bangor International Airport in Bangor. Both are served daily by many major airlines to destinations such as New York, Atlanta, and Orlando. Essential Air Service also subsidizes service to a number of smaller airports in Maine, bringing small turboprop aircraft to regional airports such as the Augusta State Airport, Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, Knox County Regional Airport, and the Northern Maine Regional Airport at Presque Isle. These airports are served by US Airways Express with small 19 to 30 seat planes. Many smaller airports are scattered throughout Maine, only serving general aviation traffic.

Interstate 95 runs through Maine, as well as its easterly branch I-295. In addition, U.S. Route 1 starts in Fort Kent and runs to Florida. The eastern terminus of the eastern section of U.S. Route 2 starts in Houlton, near the New Brunswick, Canada border to Rouses Point, New York, at US 11.