The directory is a resource for ice cream lovers traveling around the state.
By Will Grunewald
Congratulations are in order for Bar Harbor, the ice-cream capital of Maine, a state where frozen dairy is a bit of an obsession. The Maine Ice Cream Trail, a new online directory, shows some 300 creameries, parlors, and stands on its interactive map, and Bar Harbor boasts 11 of the listings. That’s one fewer than Portland but way more per capita: an ice-cream shop for every 500 Bar Harborites (who, of course, share them with millions of tourists every year). On the other end of the spectrum, all of rural Piscataquis County has just three dots on the map, although one is Butterfield’s, slinging some of the most decadent and loyally consumed ice cream in Maine. The directory is a resource for scoops lovers traveling around the state (making sure drivers on Route 1’s upper reaches, for example, don’t miss the Madawaska Tastee Freez, Maine’s northern-most ice-cream counter), but it’s also fun to plumb as a sort of ice-cream census. Cumberland is Maine’s most densely ice-creamed county, with 70 listings. There are 24 Dairy Queen locations throughout Maine. By comparison, Skowhegan-based ice-cream maker Gifford’s has five of its own retail outposts. The map’s creators, four ice-cream aficionados from a Portland marketing firm, also publish directories of Maine wedding vendors and restaurants. With this one, though, they’ve found a sweet spot.