Official Tourism Site for the Greater Portland Region of Maine


follow us on Twitter follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube Follow us on Instantgram Follow us on Pinterest
Official Tourism Site of Greater Portland Maine
Slide backgroundVisit Portland Parks & Wildlife
207-772-5800 |

State Parks

Camp, Hike & Enjoy Maine’s Outdoors: Parks are the Perfect Family Vacation

Part of what equates Maine with "the way life should be” is its wealth of natural landscapes and outdoor activities. Whether it’s hiking a mountain, exploring an isolated forest, or biking along the edge of the ocean or on a wooded lakeside path, this state is the perfect destination for folks who adore the outdoors. And while summer is peak season for State Parks, during the winter they are alive with snowshoeing, ice skating, and fishing derbies for the whole family.

The state's most famous park is Acadia National Park, located in Mt. Desert Island, about a three and a half hour drive from Portland. This idyllic park is home to the tallest mountain on the U.S. coast of the Atlantic, and visitors come from everywhere (primarily during the warmer months) to camp, rock-climb, hike, bike, boat or simply rent a seaside cottage and enjoy the serenity of the landscape and 125 miles of hiking trails. Baxter State Park in Millinocket is another well-known destination for hikers, offering over 200 miles of trails and opportunities for fishing, kayaking or picnicking on the beaches. Bradbury Mountain State Park is known for its foliage viewing in the early months of fall, though the park welcomes visitors all year. Besides its namesake mountain, it boasts 800 acres of land and trails. In Freeport, Wolfe's Neck State Park is five-minute drive from the busy downtown where visitors can engage in bird-watching, as ospreys dwell close by on Googins Island during the summer months before making the trek to South America in the fall.

No matter the time of year, visitors can stamp their "passports” as part of the interactive Maine State Passport Program as they make their way around the state’s parks, and discover the geocaches at select areas, a fun way to authenticate their Maine park experience.

You May also like

Sebago Lake State Park opened to the public in 1938 as one of the five original state parks. This forested lakeside park is situated on the shore of Maine's deepest and second largest lake which provides year-round recreation for thousands of visitors each year. Near the foothills of the While Mountains, the park's 1,400 acres features sandy beaches, extensive woodlands, ponds, bogs a river and diverse habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal life.

Swimming, sport fishing, camping and boating are some of the summer activities enjoyed by visitors. The park's 250-site campground is a popular destination for family vacationers and provides lasting memories season after season. Wooded areas offer a respite from the sun and activity on the beaches. Whether hiking on marked trails or bicycling on park roads, visitors find many way to enjoy the park.

Carved by ancient rivers and scoured by Ice Age glaciers, Sebago Lake fills a basin made of granite that has been weathered for millions of year. Thanks to those glaciers, visitors today an enjoy an array of water sports on Maine's 45 square mile lake.

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1966 in cooperation with the State of Maine to protect valuable salt marshes and estuaries for migratory birds. Scattered along 50 miles of coastline in York and Cumberland counties, the refuge consists of ten divisions between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth. It will contain approximately 7,600 acres when land acquisition is complete.

Rachel Carson, was a world-renowned marine biologist, author and environmentalist. She served as an aquatic biologist and Editor-in-Chief for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. During her tenure, she composed a series of articles on Atlantic Coast wildlife refuges. Ms. Carson was born in Pennsylvania in 1907. Though the mystery of the sea and its creatures captivated her at an early age, the Maine coast particularly inspired her. Beginning in 1952, she summered on Southport Island, where she studied its beach and tide pools to research The Edge of the Sea (1955).

Through tireless investigation for her greatest work, Silent Spring (1962), she linked the unrestrained use of post-World War II chemical pesticides with fearsome, biological consequences. Overcoming industry and government pressure to abandon her research, she persevered. Carson simply and convincingly explained the connections between humans and all creatures of the Earth. She alerted generations to use chemicals with utmost caution, warning that their improper use has dreadful effects on public health and the environment.

Rachel Carson died in 1964, a victim of cancer. As fitting recognition of her tireless work, this refuge, first known as the Coastal Maine National Wildlife Refuge, was renamed in her honor on October 28, 1969 and formally dedicated June 27, 1970.

Printed from
207-772-5800 |