Maine is largest state of all in New England, lighthouses are not in short supply.
It is over 90 percent wooded, making it the most forested state. And more than half the population lives 25 miles or less from the ocean. So when someone mentions Maine, it is awfully easily to only think of coastal, maritime Maine. Especially if on Maine vacations you just frequent the ocean front tourist traps… er I mean attractions. So things to do for fun in Maine, lighthouses.
Maine has over 60 lighthouses and bet you can not just visit one, a couple. Oh no, you get the bug with sea air, the isolation, the sense of importance the navigation beam of light and loud fog horn played in early Maine development. And lots of cruise ships visit Maine so your highway to the Pine Tree State is often a GPS guided watery one. Dodging rocks and reefs and seeking another water draw to allow the big floating hotel to glide in and out without scraping the harbor town sea bottom.
A Maine lighthouse experience hits you from different angles when you make the visit other than just in the summer months. Winter settings with cobalt blue sky, crisp air and the sharp contrasts of white, gray, blue shades only. The senses get a work out and without the mix of tourists and their camera shutter’s busily capturing staged photos. Or you are doing the same snipe of the landscape, the lighthouse but don’t want to wait for folks to clear out of the camera view finder. Or hear then tee hee and exchange banter chit chat. There is no distraction when only one or two are sampling the Maine lighthouse. Ever tried one on and walked around it in amazement in the winter months?
Winter fixes everything even if the lighthouse photo session is done wearing mittens, your weather tamer coat zipped as high as it goes. A hood sealing in the ears.
To protect from the sea breeze. No bugs. No humidity. No people or sounds that are man made to irritate. But amazing photos for the help yourself that are so different than others posted in the social media streams. Because they have white new snow, exposed gray rock, dark blue water, no green vegetation in the mix. It is on vacation, in hibernation. Like most of the tourists.
Maine has the runner up largest collection of lighthouses.
Long coast line, like Christmas lights strings, mean you need more sea going luminaries to dot the long coastline. Or to mark island rock reef out post far from the safe harbor inlets of Maine’s many coastal towns. Maine has lots of groups that adopt the lighthouses as the Coast Guard slowly transfers ownership. A private residence where you don’t want foot traffic, public stalkers and gawkers trying to get close enough to see the lighthouse you bought at auction with the residence, companion buildings that tags along side. Thank goodness for telephoto lens but nope, not going use it or one of the two drones out of respect for the lighthouse property owner. The drones are grounded and if lost at sea would be expensive to replace.
Downeast Maine, Lighthouses Are in Big Supply Like Other Areas Of Vacationland.The oldest lighthouse in Maine is the Portland Head Light that is actually in Cape Elizabeth. It seems to me this is the one that makes the most debuts on post cards, magazine covers, blog post imagery. Others will argue that Pemaquid Point gets the mirror mirror fairest of them all pick of the pack vote. The youngest Maine lighthouse is Whitlocks Mill Light which feels more like a river lighthouse than one protecting the ocean front. It is way up in the Downeast Region just south of the town of Calais. More on the Whitlocks Mill Lighthouse.
To me West Quoddy Head Light is the prettiest.
Maybe because she is far far north and takes more effort to see. Because she is less frequented or nestled in the real Maine where the economy is often the have and have nots. And not much of a middle filling in the population that is passionate about their surroundings. But struggle to make ends meet to stay in their home town. That is taking on water and slowly sinking as new revenue sources are sought to bilge pump the loss of labor intensive jobs that have gone overseas.
Some Captain’s homes along the Maine coast have their adaptions that make them look like lighthouse wannabees. Serving the purpose to lift the spy glass, to gaze out over the water for the return of the mortgage holder or grantor deed name on the title to the Victorian residence.
There are no lighthouses in Aroostook County. Maybe that is why the topic is so interesting to me. Because other than one or two vacations to the coast as a youngster, Maine lighthouse were not a mainstay showing up on vacations.
The smallest lighthouse is Echo Point Light. It is a six foot operating taller than it really is, an over achiever like the “spark plug” type lighthouse. It is located on Great Diamond Island and still registered by the Coast Guard.
I promise to revisit the topic of lighthouses, one of the most sought tourist activity on the long list of what to do for fun in Maine. Dining on lobster, mussels, clams or whatever deep sea delicacy with a Maine lighthouse back drop just intensifies the taste. That creates the addiction to have to have more Maine please.
Which ones have you looked up and tracked down? The visit to a Maine lighthouse like rapids have numbers of difficulty to experience. Some require sea kayaks or hitch hiking on a Maine lobster boat to sneak a peek. Like the lighthouse near Bar Harbor Maine that I floated out, visited not so long ago. Have you started your own collection of Maine lighthouses?
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