Tapping Into Spring
The enduring popularity of Maine roadside springs
Photograph ©istockphoto.com/Dimitris M. Stephanides
With all due respect to Fryeburg and Kingfield — winners of the last two competitions for best tap water in Maine — drivers heading down Route 26 in Woodstock believe they have something special. Jutting out from the side of the road is a spring that has built up somewhat of a cult following. This roadside water spot attracts everyone from those traveling hours from central Maine with gallon jugs, to skiers heading towards Sunday River looking to fill up their bottles for the day’s runs. The Bethel Citizen reports that people have sworn by the properties of this water for decades. As the snow melts, and it becomes easier to access certain forested spots, it’s clear this enthusiasm isn’t just limited to Woodstock.
As demonstrated by the massive popularity of Poland Spring, there is certain cache to the idea of drinking from a Maine spring. Although they no longer exist in the numbers they did a century ago when forty-four commercial springs existed in southern Maine alone, a quick visit to Find A Spring.Com makes it easier than ever to find a local spring.
“Clear, clean, cold, and tastes great,” writes one connoisseur on the site about Moxie Spring in West Forks. “This is super pure energized water. It flows through mountains of crystal mines (think about this). It’s amazing!” says another regarding the Cooper Spring in Buckfield. Wiley’s Corner Spring in St. George has even been lauded by the food blogosphere. “You will never taste water as sweet and pure and restorative as this,” writes From Away blogger Jillian Bedell.
A recent visit to this St. George spring uncovered a twenty-something wearing a plaid shirt and skinny jeans filling up a five-gallon bucket. As if answering a hipster-themed madlib, he said he was using the water to home-brew beer. Feel free to roll your eyes, but don’t be too alarmed that our sneaking suspicion of this trend may be coming true. Something tells us that, unlike your favorite bar or band, even hipsters can’t ruin water. — W.B.