By Jen Richardson
As the semester wraps up, most students are focused on projects, papers, and finals. But just beyond that stressful week lies summer. Students will return home, move to new places, or remain in their college town. For those of you in and around Maine, here are some things to do this summer. Some of these may be a given for you, but some are much more unique.
- (Jen Richardson Photo- Great Pond Mountain)
Go hiking! Former Husson University student and current resident of Bangor, Travis Waterman has seen his fair share of summits throughout the years. “I always love a challenge, and I love being outdoors with my friends and my dog. There’s such a variety of mountains right around here so whether you want an easy walk or a strenuous hike there’s always something to do.” Although some parks charge a parking or entry fee, many parks or singular mountains do not. “If I get up in the morning and it’s nice out, I just want to be outside. Hiking not only provides a good workout, but there’s nothing like the feeling of reaching the summit. I’m hiking Katahdin this summer with some friends, and I can’t wait.” Although Maine is home to Mount Katahdin which has an elevation of 5,267 feet, it’s certainly no place to start so here are some mountains for those of you looking to get outdoors and get a decent workout! Keep in mind that there are many, many places to go, and a great hike is never far away!
Bradbury Mountain– Located in Pownal, Maine between Freeport and Gray, Bradbury State Park covers 730 acres, and has many trails through the woods. The summit is only 469 feet, but offers an incredible view (pictured above).
Great Pond Mountain– Located in Orland, Maine with an elevation of 1,029 feet, this is quite the hike. This mountain has many spots along the way to stop and take in the views, but the top of the mountain spawls in every direction, allowing for a variety of incredible views, and some people even camp at the top.
Chick Hill– Located in Clifton, Maine the summit is 1,160 feet and On a clear day, you can see the mountains of Mt. Desert Island to the south, Katahdin to the north, several clear water lakes, and a glimpse of the Penobscot River.
- Along with the many mountains in Maine, possibly the most notable feature of Maine is it’s incredible coast line. Maine has almost 230 miles of coastline, and along the coast are thousands of beautiful and interesting communities. Acadia National Park sits on the coast as well as Kennebunk/Kennebunkport, Camden, and many other notable places. Senior NESCom student Olivia McCrillis grew up in Scarborough, Maine near the beach and loves the chance to get back to it. “I grew up basically on Pine Point Beach, so for me the beach just feels like home.” She admits that growing up on the coast had it’s downsides, but there are much more positives. “After a long day or week at work, it’s nice to have a night or day off and just get some sun and relax.” The coast not only has gorgeous beaches for swimming, tanning, and other fun activities, they often have museums and other historical features to check out.
- On the topic of historical coastlines, The Kennebunks are putting on “Launch! A Maritime Festival” June 17-19th. This is a weekend full of family friendly maritime themed events. There will be a “Sailors & Sirens 5k,” a boat launch, historical tours, and a lobster bake with live music along with many other events.
- The 41st Annual Wild Blueberry Festival August 19-21st is happening in Machias. There is entertainment, music, crafts, contents, raffles, shopping, and food all weekend. The event is put on by Centre Street Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. Machias native and former Husson Student Michaela Girard has been to the festival almost every year since she was born, and recommends other check it out, “I think it’s a great festival-the whole community comes together to create this really fun environment for everyone. There’s everything from craft booths to pie eating contests. I’d highly recommend anyone to go there if they haven’t been yet.”
- Art Walks. Many towns and cities throughout the state do art walks. Portland has theirs every first friday of the month. They include vendors as well as performers who flood the streets, some sell products, others just go to show off their talent. Brunswick hosts their art walks on the second friday of each month, and even features a variety of changing shows at seven galleries, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and supporting local businesses. Check out this site to see when and where there are art walks near you!
- Another great festival in Maine is the Maine Potato Blossom Festival. Founded in 1937 to celebrate the state’s supreme commodity, the potato, it has grown into a huge 9-day event. This year it will go from July 9-17. The festival includes a Potato Blossom Queen Pageant, a Tractor Pull, Fireworks over the Aroostook River, a pet show, food, dancing, mashed potato wrestling, and much more. It’s known as the state’s oldest and most established festival. Check out their Facebook page here to get more details!
- For those of you that like to be outside, but want something new to try, Maine has countless locations to kayak, canoe, go white water rafting, skydive, and camp. Whether you have a weekend, or a few weeks to getaway, Maine is perfect to pack in all kinds of activities. From relaxing beachside, to jumping out of airplanes, Maine delivers. One popular place is the Penobscot River Outpost in Millinocket. They provide lodging and access to live entertainment, bonfires, white water rafting, skydiving, and is close to Mount Katahdin as well as many small Maine communities with delicious food and tons of family friendly activities.
Whether you’re into art, the outdoors, live music, thrill seeking, or anything in between, Maine has something to offer. Whether you’ve lived in Maine your whole life, or are visiting for the first time, you’re bound to find something you’ll enjoy this summer.