The Great Maine Scavenger Hunt

Ragged Mountain
Photographed by Benjamin Williamson.

Climb Ragged Mountain

Camden’s Coastal Mountain Land Trust breaks ground this summer on a trail-building project years in the making, laying 5½ miles of the eventual 9-mile Round the Mountain Trail, a non-motorized recreational pathway encircling 1,280-foot Ragged Mountain. The fourth-highest peak on the eastern seaboard is already a trail junkie’s playground, crisscrossed by mountain-biking trails and the Georges Highland Path, which extends to several of the neighboring Camden Hills. Last fall, Coastal Mountains Land Trust bought an easement protecting the watershed surrounding Mirror Lake, which glitters below Ragged’s dramatic western face. The first phase of the Round the Mountain Trail wraps this fall. In the meantime, climb the peak that’s already the hub of the midcoast’s best little trail network. ► Make a moderate 3-mile loop from Camden Snow Bowl ski area along the Red Diamond and Hosmer Brook Trails. Find trailheads for the Georges Highland Path on Rte. 17 (more strenuous) and on Hope Rd. and Barnestown Rd. (more moderate).


The actual summit is unmarked, so we’ll settle for any selfie from atop Ragged Mountain with the ocean visible in the background.


Catch a Sunset at Coastal Prime

If you happen to like sunsets, the trouble with the Maine coast is that it generally faces east. But thanks to the orientation of lovely Boothbay Harbor and the foresight of a 1960s lobster purveyor, the seaside deck at Coastal Prime faces due west, so patrons enjoy some of the finest sunset views you can get in Maine while also being served top-shelf cocktails. The restaurant and bar of the Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort does everything from negronis to smoothies, lobster rolls to sushi. The property is a Boothbay Harbor classic — it opened as the Rocktide lobster shack in ’68, spent decades as an inn, and got an elegant facelift before reopening as a resort in 2017. Luckily for diners, you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the view. ► 35 Atlantic Ave., Boothbay Harbor. 207-633-4455.


Hit the deck and get a shot with a sunset backdrop. You don’t have to order, but there are half-price wines and $3 oysters on Wednesdays. Just sayin’.

Boothbay Harbor
Courtesy of Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort.
Photographed by Andre Albert.

Watch the Windjammers

The Maine Windjammer Association represents the country’s largest fleet of working tall-masted ships. Half are National Historic Landmarks, and two of the fleet’s eight schooners — the Stephen Taber and Lewis R. French, both built in 1871 — are the country’s oldest. Get a bunch in one spot, and it’s a sight to behold. Catch the fleet on parade at a few different events throughout the summer: at Boothbay Harbor’s Windjammer Days (June 26), during the Great Schooner Race from Islesboro to Rockland(July 5), at Rockland’s Maine Windjammer Parade (July 12), and at the Camden Windjammer Festival (August 30–31). ► Find detailed event descriptions at


Choose any gathering of the fleet and get a shot with some billowing sails in the background.


Frolic at Houston Brook Falls

The effort-to-payoff ratio to reach this 32-foot falls is delightfully lopsided — it’s just a quarter of a mile from the trailhead on a flat, wooded path. The falls can look a little anemic when the water level is low, so better to catch this one earlier in the season, when the cascade is wider than it is tall (and so loud you can hear it from the trailhead). The pools at the base are great for wading, but be careful on those slippery rocks. Even a ½-mile walk justifies one of the much-loved homemade doughnuts from Thompson’s Restaurant in Bingham, just across the Kennebec and celebrating 90 years in business. ► From Rte. 201 in Bingham, take Bridge St. across the Kennebec River and turn right on Pleasant Ridge Rd. Some 3 miles later, park at the lot near the Pleasant Ridge Transfer Station and look for the trailhead sign.


Pose with the falls in the background and try to keep the spray off your lens.

Houston Brook Falls
Photographed by Andrew King, Creative Commons, color corrected,
Jump off a dock
Photographed by Cara Dolan.

Jump Off a Dock

Since long before it was stock-photo shorthand for summer — since before the advent of the hashtag, even! — Mainers have been jumping off docks. On the islands, the tradition is to wait until the ferry departs, then leap into the water in its wake. For many a Maine camp owner, the sunrise plunge off the dock preempts even coffee. Possibly people do this in other states too?


Technically not a selfie, because you’ll need a friend to shoot you as you leap off a dock (any dock) into a body of water (any body). And lest anyone try to pull one over on us, we’re going to need to see both feet off the dock.

Photographed by Dave Conley.

Paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail

It’s been two decades since former Mad River Canoe execs Kay Henry and Rob Center, now of Harpswell, sold their Vermont-based canoe company and devoted themselves to laying out a 740-mile paddling-and-portaging route from the Adirondacks to the Allagash. The result of their efforts, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, winds through Maine for nearly half its length and takes in some of the state’s most breathtaking, unspoiled waterways — including some two dozen lakes between Umbagog at the New Hampshire border and the mouth of the Fish River at Fort Kent — with plenty of good camping along the way. „► Use the invaluable Trip Planner tool at for details on access, camping, outfitters, portages, and more.


Pick a river or lake along Maine’s share of the NFCT and shoot your selfie while sitting in a human-powered watercraft.

Learn More About the Great Maine Scavenger Hunt
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