In Maine, spring can be a tricky season for outdoor activities. The weather can be cold, wet and unpredictable but also glorious if you get lucky. Spring in Maine is a perfect time to visit some of our beautiful natural attractions when traffic is low and you can find peace and quiet while communing with nature. Here are a few of our lesser-known favorite destinations:
Grafton Notch State Park
Image via http://www.newenglandwaterfalls.com/me-screwaugerfalls-grafton.html
Grafton Notch State park lies in the Mahoosuc mountain range in western Maine. One of the most popular features here is Screw Auger Falls, a series of waterfalls that were formed by glaciers more than 12,000 years ago during the last ice age. Glaciers created a huge split in the Earth’s surface near the mountains, causing a lot of the melting snow to run through Bear River and ultimately through the falls. The roaring falls in the spring are an amazing place to go to get a better idea of just how much snow the mountains in Maine can get.
The Desert of Maine
Yes, Maine does indeed have a desert. During the 1700s in Freeport, Maine there used to be a vast number of potato farms that covered the land. However, due to overuse, these soils eventually dried up and the sand from beneath soon made its way to the surface. This created what is now called the Desert of Maine and is one of the most unique places Maine has to offer. The many acres of desert sand surrounded by thick pine is an interesting and beautiful sight not seen anywhere else in New England. Visiting in spring before the height of tourist season can be a peaceful and relaxing experience.
Image via http://www.newenglandwaterfalls.com/me-cooscanyon.html
Coos Canyon is an amazing stop for a short swim or a casual outdoor lunch. It is surprisingly located at a rest area on Route 17 in Byron, Maine, not a typical spot for a series of waterfalls and hiking trails. The waterfalls that run through this park are stunning and the trails that surround it make for a nice casual hike through the woods. This is one of our favorite, low key, spots to visit in the spring as the snow melts off the mountains and runs through the Swift River. Don’t be afraid to take a dip, however, this time of year the water might be a little chilly.
If you thought Mainers would stop their winter fun when winter was over, think again. Sugarloaf keeps the mountain open to skiers well into May. The deep snowpack provides great coverage throughout the mountain even as the temps rise into the 60's. If you have never been skiing in shorts and a t-shirt, it may be time to make a trip up to the resort in the spring. And for you non-skiers out there, there are plenty of trails along the mountain to see some of the most beautiful spring views. Just be careful, it can be a little slippery.