Photo by Cara Dolan

The Ultimate Maine Summer Guide

Your region-by-region preview of the traditions, activities, and events that make summer in the Pine Tree State unforgettable. Time to start planning your vacation.

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GREATER PORTLAND

By Mira Ptacin and Brian Kevin
Paddling Casco Bay. Photo by Michael D. Wilson.

The Feat

Sea kayaking among the Casco Bay Islands is an unforgettable intro to the Maine coast, and if you take the ferry from Portland to Peaks Island to join a tour with the Maine Island Kayak Co., you skip the biggest open-water crossing and the most trafficked stretch of the bay. Plus, you’re paddling with accomplished guides — founder Tom Bergh also started the Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors and has joined unsupported teams circumnavigating Antarctic islands. Reservations are a must, and instructors meet paddlers with everything they need right at the ferry terminal. ▸ Half-day, full-day, and sunset cruises $65–$115. 207-766-2373.

The Treat

Mascot Slugger, with a Sea Dog Biscuit. Photo courtesy of Gifford’s.

Arguably, no Maine ice-cream producer is more committed to vanilla than Gifford’s, which churns out not just regular vanilla but also vanilla bean, old-fashioned vanilla, and French-vanilla flavors (all of which have, at one time or another, taken top honors at the World Dairy Expo). So it was fitting last year when the Portland Sea Dogs double-A baseball team named Gifford’s the official scoop supplier for Hadlock Field, where the ballpark’s iconic Sea Dog Biscuit now comprises a slab of a whole new Gifford’s vanilla pressed between two chocolate-chip cookies. Technically, you don’t have to go to a ballgame to get one — Falmouth’s Rivalries sports pub has Sea Dog Biscuits on the dessert menu — but it’s not the same as eating one in the stands.

The Beach

The view from Mackworth Island. Photo by Ben Clay.

Connected by a causeway at the mouth of the Presumpscot River, Mackworth Island is ringed with small beaches. Some are sandy, others rocky; some face a scatter of green Casco Bay islands, others the smokestacks of the B&M baked-bean factory. Deeded to the state nearly 80 years ago, the island once belonged to the dynastic Baxter family. Today, the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is at its heart, and a trail encircling the island gives access to about a mile and a half of shoreline, with a trail preserved by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. Great for tide-pooling, stone skipping, bird-watching, and swimming (though you’ll want some protection for your feet). ▸ $3 residents, $4 nonresidents. Andrews Ave., just north of Martin’s Point Bridge, Falmouth. 207-781-6279.

The Show

Brunswick’s Maine State Music Theatre returns this summer for its first full season since 2019, and among the highlights is the Tony-winning musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer-winning novel The Color Purple, which features a Grammy-winning score of ragtime, blues, gospel, and more. A year before producers Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Quincy Jones bring the much-awarded musical to movie screens, MSMT gives it its debut at Bowdoin’s Pickard Theater. ▸ Tickets $59–$100. July 20–Aug. 6. 1 Bath Rd., Brunswick. 207-725-8769.

The Trail

Googins Island, where ospreys roost, at Wolfe’s Neck Woods. Photo by Karen Kurkjian.

Not a 10-minute drive from Freeport’s busy shopping district, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park feels a world away, a 200-acre oasis of salt-marsh estuary and cool forests of birch, white pine, hemlock, and oak. Its most famous regular visitors are the ospreys that nest each summer on Googins Island, just offshore. An interpretive display on a viewing platform along the wheelchair-accessible, half-mile White Pine Trail describes their habits and migration. Call to ask about observation programs with park naturalists. ▸ $4 residents, $6 nonresidents. 426 Wolfe’s Neck Rd., Freeport. 207-865-4465.

The Fest

Dancing at the Festival of Nations, in Portland. Photo courtesy of Festival of Nations.

Celebrating its 20th year, Portland’s Festival of Nations fills Deering Oaks park with vendors and band-shell performances representing dozens of traditions of Mainers from every corner of the world. Listen to Zimbabwean marimba music and Irish fiddlers while perusing Cambodian basketry or Jamaican beaded jewelry. Most importantly, come hungry for global street food: from kabobs to empanadas to gyros to samosas, there are seemingly as many options as flags lining Forest Avenue. ▸ July 30. 61 Park Ave., Portland.

Il Leone pie with heirloom cherry tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozz. Photo courtesy of Il Leone.

The Chow

Launching its second season in early May, Il Leone pizzeria, on Peaks Island, gives new meaning to “rustic pizza.” The whole operation is outdoors, serving lunch and dinner in a clearing in the woods set up with picnic tables, a trailer, and an Italian wood-fired oven, just steps from the ocean and all of a quarter-mile walk from the ferry dock. The Neapolitan pies are as pretty as they are tasty, with toppings are largely sourced from Maine organic farms on crusts made from naturally leavened dough (no commercial yeasts here). If lobster pizza is your thing, try the delightfuly simple Aragosta: wood-fired Maine lobster, basil, lemon, garlic, olive oil, and chili flakes. BYOB, and finish with a little treat from Gelato Fiasco. ▸ 2 Garden Pl., Peaks Island. 207- 370-1471.

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SOUTHERN MAINE

By Adrienne Perron

The Feat

Enjoying the views at the Seashore Trolley Museum. Photo by Mark Fleming.

When Kennebunkport’s seasonal Seashore Trolley Museum opens its doors, visitors can check out hundreds of restored trolley cars and other vehicles — even learn to operate a vintage street car on a two-mile rail line. Schedule a “Be a Motorman” session at least two weeks out, and the museum’s instructors will put you behind the levers. Yes, family can ride along, and yes, you get to wear a conductor’s cap. ▸ $100. 195 Log Cabin Rd., Kennebunkport. 207-967-2800.

The Beach

A peaceful stretch of sand at Wells Harbor. Photo courtesy of Harbor House Country Cottages.

The pretty stretch of sand at Wells Harbor Beach offers that rarest of southern Maine beach amenities: free parking. There’s also a pavilion and playground, and the sheltered water is calmer than at nearby Wells Beach, so it’s a great place to swim with kids. Plus, Webhannet River Kayak Rentals is right there, and paddlers can explore the marsh at high tide. The cute Hope Hobbs Gazebo hosts free outdoor concerts on Saturday evenings. ▸ Harbor Rd., Wells.

The Chow

The main course at Kittery’s Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier. Photo by Jean-Marie Detcher.

The Spinney family is in its eighth decade of serving lobsters at Kittery’s no-frills Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier — an actual pier, with picnic tables overlooking the creek in the covered, BYOB outdoor dining space. That Kittery’s become a dining destination of late, with many a buzzy restaurant, is all the more reason not to overlook this classic. ▸ 16 Chauncey Creek Rd., Kittery Point. 207-439-1030.

The Show

Ogunquit’s nearly century-old Leavitt Theatre hosts movies and concerts almost nightly in the summer, and each August, bands and musicians from all over New England gather for the marathon run of shows known as LeavittFest. This year’s lineup is still in the works, but last year’s fest packed 31 bands into four nights — everything from bluegrass and swing to funk and grunge rock. ▸ Four-day pass $20, single day $10. Aug. 12–15. 259 Main St., Ogunquit. 207-646-3123.

The Fest

At the Oddity by the Ocean beer festival, Cape Neddick’s Odd by Nature Brewing celebrates a year of living up to its name, churning out high-octane stunt beers (potent fruited sours, thick and sweet “milkshake” IPAs, stouts conditioned on breakfast cereal, and the like). More than 20 craft breweries from around the country converge on Berwick’s bucolic Dunn Farm, where the pours are unlimited and food vendors include Ogunquit’s similarly over-the-top Food for Thought — so you can wash down a candied-bacon lobster roll with your milkshake beer. ▸ May 7. $55. 4 Circuit Rd., Berwick. 207-606-0050.

The Trail

Starlight over York’s Wiggly Bridge. Photo by Dean Bugaj | Wanderland Photographic.

Southern Maine is big on short, accessible seaside walks, and the path over York’s Wiggly Bridge is one of the best. The tiny, often-photographed suspension bridge connects a mill-pond dam along the York River to the Steedman Woods preserve, where a gentle, wood-chipped loop trail of just under a mile offers some nice views of the York River and Barrells Millpond. (And yes, the bridge lives up to its name.) ▸ Trailhead on Lilac Ln., off Rte. 1A, York.

The Treat

Treats from Aubrey’s Coffeehouse and Bakeshop. Photo courtesy of Aubrey’s
Coffeehouse
.

Aubrey’s Coffeehouse and Bakeshop, in South Berwick, has your cold brew covered (and your iced matcha latte, Thai iced tea, and a bunch more summer-friendly drinks), and Aubrey Blanchette’s cupcakes are a decadent delight. The 23-year-old started a home-baking biz at 14, and her lavishly topped (read: Instagram-friendly) cupcakes are moist, fluffy, and fun. New flavors in the case daily (we’re partial to maple pop-tart). ▸ 2 Punkin Town Rd., South Berwick. 207-704-0174.

DOWN EAST & MOUNT DESERT ISLAND

By Joyce Kryszak
Biking the carriage roads in Acadia National Park. Photo by Chris Shane.

The Feat

Biking the carriage roads of Acadia National Park is a bucket-list Maine summer experience. Do it in the company of an interpretive expert on one of Acadia Bike’s ranger-led tours, which cover roughly six miles of the broken-stone roads that Rockefeller built, taking in wildlife-rich Witch Hole Pond, glimpses of Frenchman Bay from Paradise Hill, and the tallest and grandest of the park’s famed stone bridges. It’s a 2½-hour trip, with regular stops to hear about the park’s natural and human history. ▸ $65, reservations required. 207-288-9605.

The Treat

Classic chocolate from Morton’s Moo. Photo by Lily Salfi.

“In these trying times, people really need ice cream,” Morton’s Moo owner Molly Harding declares. Hear, hear! For nearly 20 years, the wraparound porch at this small-batch creamery off Ellsworth’s Maine drag has been among eastern Maine’s best places to get it. On the board on any given day are nearly 30 flavors, and few are boring — for the full Vacationland experience, try the super-creamy Maine Blueberry or the Black Fly, a pastiche of raspberry and chocolate chip. Specialty coffees and teas are on the menu too, but if it’s caffeine, the classic order is the Mad Cow, a sort-of milkshake made with coffee ice cream, iced joe, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream. Gluten- and dairy-free options too. ▸ 9 School St., Ellsworth. 207-266-9671.

The Beach

The Lamoine peninsula, where a town beach and state park o­ffer rocky, pebbly, and sandy stretches of coast. Photo by David McCarthy

Mount Desert Island has some pretty little beaches, but the pro move is to find a beach with a view of MDI. From the long stretch of pebbles and sand at Lamoine Beach Park, beachgoers admire the Acadia skyline and lobsterboats in Frenchman Bay. Good swimming and tide pools, plus there’s more coast to explore (bathrooms and picnic tables) around the corner at Lamoine State Park. ▸ Rte. 184, 8½ miles south of Rte. 1.

The Chow

When former high-school teachers Kathryn Toppan and Sean Lent rehabbed a striking 1868 Italianate Victorian mansion, the Clark Perry House, to open Bad Little Brewing last year, they knew they wanted the menu to be as interesting and sumptuous as the setting. Pickled quail eggs, savory crêpes, and beef ragu with pappardelle are among the from-scratch options that transcend pub grub — though you can also get a taco on a house-made tortilla and a damn-good seafood chowder, to say nothing of a flight of house beers (wine and cocktails too). The new deck is the place to be on warm summer evenings. ▸ 101 Court St., Machias. 207-578-7800.

The Fest

Oh, you came to Maine for “The Way Life Should Be”? Well, the annual Puckerbrush Primitive Gathering is all about the way life used to be. The three-day rendezvous on the bank of the Pleasant River gathers traditional-skills enthusiasts from across Maine and the Northeast, offering workshops on knife making, canoe craftsmanship, blacksmithing, animal tracking, ax throwing, cast-iron cooking, timber framing, and a lot more. The diehards stay all weekend, but curious daytrippers can come for the day, cruise the demos and vendors, maybe leave with a longbow. It’s a family-friendly event (read: no booze), and there’s good fishing, paddling, swimming, and hiking onsite too. ▸ July 15–17. Day passes $5–$15, weekend passes $25, 12 and under free. Pleasant River Fish and Game Club, 1597 Tibbettstown Rd., Columbia Falls.

The Trail

The dramatic coastline of the Great Wass Island Preserve. Photo by Ian Patterson.

A gentle 4½-mile loop leads hikers through wetlands and moss-carpeted forests at the Nature Conservancy’s Great Wass Island Preserve, which juts farther out to sea than any other land mass on the down east coast. Where the trail follows the shoreline, gnarled jack pines cling to granite ledges that, here and there, plunge steeply into the ocean. Spruce grouse, ospreys, loons, eiders, and scoters are all common sights, and birders come seeking all manner of warblers. Rare plants proliferate too, among them beach-head iris, bird’s-eye primrose, and carnivorous plants in the bogs. Set aside a full day to have plenty of time to explore. Picnic necessities are in short supply around neighboring Beals and Jonesport, so stock up on the way, maybe at the new Paisley Loon café, in nearby Cherryfield, which has good sandwiches and wraps. ▸ Trailhead on Black Duck Cove Rd., 4 miles south of Beals Island Bridge. 207-729-5182.

The Show

Vermont harpist Rachel Clemente, one of the performers at Lubec’s SummerKeys concert series. Photo by Bryan Ghiloni.

Virtuoso classical musicians gather in Lubec every summer for the SummerKeys workshop series, and while they’re in town, resident faculty members take turns playing intimate Wednesday-night concerts at the historic Congregational Christian Church, a three-block walk from the restaurants and taverns on the waterfront. Highlights this summer include the Philadelphia-based flute-and-piano twosome the Halcyon Duo, award-winning pianist Charles Jones, and Celtic harpist Rachel Clemente paired up with Grammy-nominated fiddler Andrea Hoag. ▸ Mid-June–Aug. 49 Main St., Lubec. 207-733-2316.

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CENTRAL & WESTERN MAINE

By Amber Kapiloff
Mountain-bike trails at Kingfield’s Freeman Ridge Bike Park. Photo by Jamie Walter.

The Trail

Mountain bikers take to some five miles of professionally built, immaculately maintained trails at Freeman Ridge Bike Park, in the shadow of Sugarloaf. Single- and double-track beginners’ trails are kid friendly; more challenging trails include rock gardens and jumps. The closest bike rentals (half days and full days) are at Carrabassett Valley Bike, 10 miles up Route 27. ▸ Day passes $10 adults, $5 riders under 18. Freeman Ridge Rd., off Rte. 27, a mile south of downtown Kingfield. 207-749-9570.

The Chow

Berry pie at Nezinscot Farm Cafe, in Turner. Photo courtesy of Nezinscot Farm.

Most of what’s on the menu at Nezinscot Farm Cafe is made with ingredients raised or grown on-site — meat, produce, dairy, and more. Breakfasts are especially good, with farm-fresh eggs and thick buckwheat-flour pancakes and waffles. Don’t mind the occasional goat visiting diners on the wood-chipped patio in front of the farm store. ▸ 284 Turner Center Rd., Turner. 207-225-3231.

The Show

Ossipee Valley Music Festival headliner Yasmin Williams. Photo by Kim Atkins.

Strings are the thing at the Ossipee Valley Music Festival, with three nights and multiple stages of roots, Americana, bluegrass, and world music — plus campfire jams, beer, a yoga barn, and more on the bank of the Ossipee. Dozens of performers include ascendant acts like twangy, genre-bending chanteuse Sierra Ferrell and virtuosic fingerstyle guitarist Yasmin Williams. ▸ July 28–31. Single- and multi-day tickets, $35–$130. Ossipee Valley Fairgrounds, 291 S. Hiram Rd., Hiram. 207-468-3952.

The Fest

The lineup and schedule for the 25th anniversary of the Maine International Film Festival won’t be announced until June, but the annual fest brings thousands of film buffs to Waterville for a program of 100 or so films — shorts to indie features to foreign and domestic classics — along with conversations with the people behind them. Hollywood heavyweights like Peter Fonda, John Turturro, Glenn Close, and Jonathan Demme have shown up to receive achievement awards. Films are screened at Waterville’s Railroad Square Cinema, the Skowhegan Drive-In, and the elegantly restored Waterville Opera House. ▸ July 8–17.

The Feat

Prospectors have been coming to sift gold from the Swift River gravel since 1849, and though you’re unlikely to strike it rich these days, it’s a good excuse to wade into a cool river on a hot day. Coos Canyon Rock and Gift sells and rents pans, trowels, and other equipment and offers short demos on how to use it — plus directions to good nearby panning sites. Check out the case full of notable nuggets. ▸ 472 Swift River Rd., Byron. 207-364-4900.

The Treat

In downtown Belgrade Lakes, the cute cottage-style bakery Hello Good Pie turns out perfectly flaky fruit and cream pies, along with made-to-order breakfasts, sandwiches, savory tarts and quiches, and a kaleidoscope of sweet and pretty pastries (we recommend the salted pistachio triangles). Lovely garden seating out front. ▸ 39 Main St., Belgrade Lakes. 207-485-2323.

The Beach

Newry’s Step Falls, where smooth rocks double as slides. Photo by Dave Waddell.

You’ll be laying your towel on boulders at Newry’s Step Falls Preserve, but while the Mahoosuc Land Trust property isn’t a beach, per se, it’s one of Maine’s prettiest spots for a summertime dip. A gentle, half-mile trail leads to a tumbling stretch of Wight Brook, full of pools and slick rocks for sliding. ▸ Trailhead on Rte. 26, 8 miles northwest of Rte. 2. 207-824-3806.

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MIDCOAST

By Will Grunewald
Camden Shakespeare Festival production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo by Scott Anthony Smith.

The Show

After two years of performing non-Shakespeare comedies, the Camden Shakespeare Festival returns to the Bard this summer with contemporary(-ish) panache, with a production of As You Like It set during the 1967 Summer of Love. Credibly playing the part of the Forest of Arden is the troupe’s usual venue, the garden amphitheater at the Camden Public Library. With its stone terrace walls, stately old trees, and a clear view of the harbor, it’s an awfully fine place to take in a play, though the show will also travel this summer for one-off dates in Bowdoinham, Bath, and Monson. ▸ July 13–Aug. 7. $28, under 18 $5. 207-464-0008. 55 Main St., Camden.

On the trail at Thorne Head Preserve. Photo Benjamin Williamson.

The Trail

Don’t judge the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve by its trailhead, which is right next to Bath’s city landfill. From there, several miles of looping trails wind through mixed woods and wetlands on a point that juts into the Kennebec River. Bald eagles are frequent flyers high above, and rocky outcrops make for fine viewing platforms (and picnic spots). The grade is mostly gentle, with some occasional ups and downs. For longer excursions, the Whiskeag Trail leaves the preserve and tracks five miles back into town, ending at the Bath YMCA. ▸ Trailhead on the north end of High St., less than a mile north of Whiskeag Rd.

The Treat

Blueberry bread pudding from McLoons Lobster Shack. Photo courtesy of McLoons.

Though it feels like it is, McLoons Lobster Shack isn’t far from the summer bustle of the Camden–Rockland area. The superlative lobster rolls and idyllic setting, on a little island connected to Spruce Head via bridge, have long been the chief draw, but the family-run operation has lately upped their desserts game too, with offerings from pies to whoopies to brownies to shortcakes to crumbles. Then, there are the big slabs of McLoons’s blueberry bread pudding, made with white-chocolate chips and vanilla custard, for decadence’s sake. The blueberries are, naturally, the Maine lowbush variety, raked 45 minutes up the road, in Appleton. Not saying go easy on the lobster, but save room for dessert. ▸ 315 Island Rd., South Thomaston. 207-593-1382.

The Beach

Big, sandy beaches draw crowds, so it’s lucky that Surry’s Carrying Place Beach is all pebbles and cobbles. Lucky too that it’s not exactly on the way to anywhere else, tucked away down quiet Newbury Neck, a skinny spit of land that dangles off the Blue Hill Peninsula. But locals and longtime summer people know that the town beach is a perfect little crescent strand for whiling away summer days, swimming in the sheltered cove, and soaking in the incredible view, from just across the water, of Acadia National Park’s mountainous skyline. ▸ Newbury Neck Rd., 1½ miles south of Cross Rd., Surry.

The Sarah Mead under sail. Photo courtesy of Sail Muscongus.

The Feat

Among lobsterboats, the Sarah Mead is a horse-drawn buggy and a Tesla rolled into one. The only Maine lobsterboat still operating under sail, it’s also the first to run, when a motor is required, entirely on electricity rather than diesel. Several times a day throughout the summer, Captain Nate Jones and private groups of up to six embark on a sailing lobsterboat tour, complete with the hauling of an old-fashioned wooden trap (plus lighthouse views and other lovely coastal scenery). Along the way, Jones dispenses a wealth of knowledge about maritime Maine and about his boat, which is a fine example of the Friendship sloop, a sleek design from the 1800s named after one of the Maine lobstering and boatbuilding communities where it originated. ▸ $150–$300. 88 Grandview Ave., Boothbay Harbor. 207-380-5460.

The Fest

Belfast’s Harbor Fest on the bay. Photo by Chris Siefken.

The usual trappings of a proper summer shindig are all there — live music, good food, family-friendly activities — but the Belfast Harbor Fest stands out for its often-quirky embrace of the city’s maritime ways. The winner of the 5K fun run gets 20 pounds of lobsters. There’s a wooden-boatbuilding contest and a four-mile regatta for boats powered only by oars or paddles. The marquee event, no doubt, is the cardboard-boat race: people paddling around the harbor in anything-but-watertight homemade boats painted to look like Viking ships, ducks, giant bananas, and more. ▸ Aug. 19–21.

Glidden Point oysters. Photo by Mat Trogner.

The Chow

Glidden Point Oyster Farms has been selling its sweet and briny Damariscotta River oysters to restaurants and seafood retailers for 35 years. A few years ago, the aquaculture operation added a pay-on-the-honor-system, shuck-your-own oyster stand above its docks in Edgecomb, and that’s since evolved into Glidden Point’s farm store, with beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as tinned-fish platters that come with cheese, pickles, crackers, and mustard. Oysters, of course, are still the main attraction, and they’re still shuck-your-own, although staff is happy to show newbie shuckers the finer points. ▸ 637 River Rd., Edgecomb. 207–315-7066.

NORTHERN MAINE

By Brian Kevin

The Fest

Jimmy Buffet plays Bangor. Photo by Mickey Bedell.

Launching its 13th season, the 16,000-seat amphitheater in Bangor’s Waterfront Park has a new name, the Maine Savings Amphitheater, plus newly terraced seating, permanent bathrooms (bye, porta-johns!), and enhanced sightlines, thanks to a multi-year construction effort now nearing completion. What hasn’t changed: the perfect riverside setting and a summer’s worth of impressive national touring acts. Jimmy Buffet’s coming, as are Phish, Keith Urban, and more. ▸ 1 Railroad St., Bangor. 207-358-9327.

Doughnuts at the Appalachian Trail Cafe. Photo courtesy of Appalachian Trail Cafe.

The Treat

You’ve got an active day ahead of you in the Katahdin Region: you need carbs from the legendary doughnuts at the Appalachian Trail Cafe. Show up early for molasses or squash (which taste a little pumpkin-spice-ish), as they’re the longtime favorites. Former server Leah Malcolm has updated menus since reopening the pandemic-shuttered diner last summer, but she’s not messing with the classics. ▸ 210 Penobscot Ave., Millinocket. 207-723-6720.

The Feat

Presque Isle’s Nordic Trails Festival. Photo by Amanda Estey.

It’s pretty committed runners and mountain bikers who race at the Nordic Trail Festival, but there’s a friendly, freewheeling vibe among the die-hards biking or running (solo or relay) the singletrack trails at Presque Isle’s Nordic Heritage Center for six hours straight. For the rest of us, it’s a party watching them make the rounds, with lawn and carnival games, food and beer, mellower kids’ races, and live music at night. You won’t get sore quads sipping pilsners and playing cornhole. ▸ 450 Fort Fairfield Rd., Presque Isle.

The Trail

Overlooking Grand Pitch on the Seboeis River Trail. Photo by James Donald.

You can’t miss the brand-new trailhead facilities for the Seboeis River Trail, on the road to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’s north entrance. Recently built by the same nonprofit that runs Penobscot River Trails, south of the monument, it’s a mildly taxing, 6-mile one-way hike along a wilderness stream, with dramatic overlooks of the Grand Pitch falls, a brand-new and lovely warming hut, and plenty of moose-spotting potential. Free campsite too. ▸ Trailhead on Grand Lake Rd., 6 miles northwest of Shin Pond.

The Beach

Moosehead Lake feels only slightly warmer than the ocean in summertime, but there’s no beating the view from the beach at Dunn Point at Lily Bay State Park: picturesque islands before the imposing backdrop of Big Moose Mountain and the more distant peaks. Plus, good bathrooms, a playground, and a shoreline trail. ▸ $4 resident, $6 nonresident. Off Lily Bay Rd., 8½ miles north of downtown Greenville. 207-695-2700.

The Show

Trunk Bench by John Wentworth, from The Art of Monson.

Monson’s turning 200, and to grasp the impact the north woods town has had on Maine art, consider more than 40 works exhibited in The Art of Monson: A Bicentennial Celebration. Painter Carl Sprinchorn, photographer Berenice Abbott, and landscape artist Alan Bray are among the biggies, but the exhibit also considers the one-time furniture-hub’s legacy of craftsmanship and more, revealing what curator Carl Little calls “the range of creativity manifested in this town on the edge of the wilderness.” ▸ June 1–Oct. 30. Monson Arts Gallery, 8 Greenville Rd., Monson. 207-997-2070.

The Chow

The YumBus. Photo courtesy of Billie Barker.

Farmers’ markets and food trucks — name a more iconic summer duo. At the Orono and Bangor markets (on Saturday and Sunday mornings, respectively), the can’t-miss eats are farm-to-bus crepes from the electric-green YumBus, where many of the fillings come from proprietor Billie Barker’s organic St. Albans farm. For savory, go for the smoked-chicken, kale, and horseradish cream. For sweet, try the blueberries, ricotta, and maple syrup — all Maine-sourced, naturally.


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