ENTER THE 2021 DOWN EAST READER PHOTO CONTEST!

Can You Name This Maine Mapping Marvel?

Its eastern and western termini are about equidistant from this spot, in two towns synonymous with Maine’s wild-blueberry industry.

Photo by John Lane, Evening Tide Photography
Photo by John Lane, Evening Tide Photography

In the mid–19th century, as part of an ambitious federal effort to map the Atlantic seaboard, farmers and lumberjacks graded a 5.4-mile dirt path through a swath of Maine’s blueberry country. From this measured baseline — one of six fundamental baselines cut in six different states, between Alabama and Maine — surveyors from the U.S. Coast Survey began mapping the East through a process known as triangulation. Only Maine’s baseline road still exists, long maintained by the blueberry-processing companies that own the surrounding barrens. It crosses the verdant ridge near where this photo was taken, and its eastern and western termini are about equidistant from this spot, in two towns synonymous with Maine’s wild-blueberry industry. Today, the baseline road is a popular spot for locals to ride bikes and ATVs, and walking along it is a rite of passage for middle schoolers, who learn about the survey in their history class.

This month’s Where in Maine is sponsored by

If you can name this venerable survey feature and either of the two towns where it begins and ends, submit your answer below. We’ll feature our favorite letter in an upcoming issue — and send the winner a Down East wall calendar.