ENTER THE 2021 DOWN EAST READER PHOTO CONTEST!

Maine’s stay-at-home orders have been lifted, the state is gradually reopening, and Maine businesses and organizations are adapting to a summer like no other. We couldn’t be happier to get back out there and take advantage of what a Maine summer has to offer — even in this unusual time.

And so, the Mini-Maine Scavenger Hunt! We’ve pared back this year’s Great Maine Scavenger Hunt in light of cancellations and distancing requirements, keeping community health in mind. From now through September, there’s still plenty of time to check out some favorite summer sites and activities — from trails to tide pools, historic landmarks to roadside attractions.

What's the Mini Maine Scavenger Hunt?

It’s a miniature version of the 2020 Great Maine Scavenger Hunt, which we published in print this spring and subsequently put on hold. The mini-hunt consists of about half of the tasks, big on outdoor destinations and activities and without any events or sites where you’re likely to encounter a crowd. Read all of the tasks here!

How To Win This Year's Mini-Hunt

As always, the scavenger hunt is about finding new favorite summer activities and exploring corners of Maine you might not otherwise. This summer especially, anyone who finds some Maine summer joy from the tasks on this list is a winner in our book.

But if you’re looking to secure bragging rights, it’s easier than ever this year. The Mini Maine Scavenger Hunt has 20 tasks. Complete any 15 of them and you’ll earn a matted souvenir photomosaic of your selfies and a shout-out in a forthcoming issue of Down East. How to show us you’ve completed these undertakings? Each entry includes an explanation of a corresponding selfie request. Grab your phone and shoot a picture of yourself as the entry describes. Then, create a profile on our Mini Maine Scavenger Hunt upload portal and submit your photos to show us what you’ve accomplished. We will confirm with everyone who’s uploaded 15 selfies in mid-September, two weeks before the scavenger hunt ends at the end of the month. Complete more than 15 tasks and we will admire you that much more, although the “prize” is the same.

Ready to upload some selfies?

Enter the Scavenger Hunt Portal


If you run into any issues email [email protected]


Multiple people (familes, friends) can participate using just one profile on our upload portal, but any particpant hoping to receive his or her own award print must create his or her own profile and upload his or her own selfies.


Join our Great Maine Scavenger Hunt Facebook group for updates and to meet other scavenger hunters!

A Few Important Details

Selfies: “Selfie,” for our purposes, means a photo that has you in it. If you’d like to squeeze others into your selfies, please be our guest. If someone else takes a photo of you, that’s okay too. But please read the description of the selfie requirement for each item — each pic should show an attempt to include what we’ve asked for in the background. If it’s imperfect — a sign is out of focus, a mountain gets cut off — don’t panic. We’re only taking this so seriously. No selfie requirements ask you to prove a purchase — that is, you’ll not be asked for evidence that you bought something or paid an entry fee (of course, each task involves travel). If an unforeseen disaster or closure prevents the execution of a selfie requirement as described (say, a sign we’ve asked you to photograph has been destroyed), use your best judgment and take a photo that somehow shows you’ve completed an activity — you can include a note with your photo uploads.

Important Dates: There’s only one, really, and that’s Wednesday, September 30, at 8 p.m. Eastern time. That’s the hard cutoff by which you must have all your selfies uploaded in order to be eligible for a prize.

Your Health and Safety (and Everybody Else’s): This summer’s travels require extra prudence: staying informed of health advisories and closures, observing respectful distancing, being willing to adapt your plans. Carry a mask and wear it in public places where distancing is difficult. Maine businesses are adapting their plans as the summer progresses — call or check the web before you show up. As of July 3, travel in Maine is open without restriction to residents of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Visitors from any other state must follow quarantine and/or testing guidelines and complete a Certificate of Compliance form. Read up on the state’s Keep Maine Healthy plan for details.

For further updates and helpful hints, join our Facebook group for scavenger hunters. For more details, read the full official rules and disclaimers. Most importantly, get out there and have a great Maine summer!