62 Interesting Facts About Maine

Last updated on June 21st, 2022

Maine is the 42nd most populous and the 39th most extensive of the 50 states of the United States. It lies in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area. The state attained statehood on March 15, 1820, becoming the 23rd state to join the union. It shares its border with only one state – New Hampshire. Maine (nicknamed: Pine Tree State, Vacation land) has 16 counties. The state’s capital is Augusta. The postal abbreviation for Maine is ME.

Facts about Maine


1. Native American Tribes

Before Europeans came, Maine was already inhabited by Native American tribes from the Wabanaki Confederacy. Among them were the Abenaki, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Passamaquoddy peoples. Wabanaki means “People of the Dawn”.

2. Vikings in Maine

Maine historians found a Viking coin from the reign of Olaf the Peaceful (1065-1093), but they aren’t sure how it got there. The prevailing theory is that it was left by a party led by Norse explorer Leif Erikson, also known as Leif the Lucky.

3. European Colonialists Arrive

In 1525, Spanish sailors found Maine and explored the coast. However, it was the French who created the first settlements in 1604, followed by the British and the Dutch, resulting in a power struggle. Led by the French explorer Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, the first Europeans arrived in Maine in 1604 in Saint Croix Island.[1]

4. American Revolution

Patriotism was high in Maine. In 1775, the first naval battle of the revolution happened here in Machias. The British ship HMS Margaretta came to get wood so they could build barracks in Boston, but locals refused and seized the ship using homemade weapons.

5. Admission into the Union

Maine used to be a district of Massachusetts, but the state couldn’t protect it from foreign invaders. Residents pushed for statehood so they could protect themselves instead. In 1820, Maine was admitted as the 23rd state. Missouri followed the year after.

Maine on map


6. It is the only state bordered on three sides by Canada.

7. Densely forested

Maine has the most forest cover of any U.S. state (about 90% of Maine is forested). It is nicknamed the “Pine Tree State.” New Hampshire holds the second spot on the list.[1]

8. Easternmost point

West Quoddy Head, in Lubec, Maine is the easternmost point of land in the 48 contiguous states.[1]

9. Easternmost city

The easternmost city in the US is aptly called “Eastport” in Maine, located near the border with Canada. It is the first area in the country to see the sun each day. Eastport is also known for whale sightings, as the surrounding water is great for feeding and raising their young.

10. Plenty of lakes and rivers

Maine has over 2500 lakes and 5000 rivers and streams. Maine has a wide river system that stretches for over 32,000 miles. The longest of these is the 418-mile Saint John River that effectively separates Maine from Canada. The native Maliseet call it the “Wolastoq” which means “bountiful and good”.

11. The highest mountain

Mount Katahdin is the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Maine. The name means “The Greatest Mountain.” At 5,268 feet above sea level, it is well-known in the hiking and mountaineering community as the northern end of the Appalachian Trail — a welcome sight at the end of the 2,180-mile journey.

Aerial view of island south of Acadia National Park, Maine
Aerial view of island south of Acadia National Park, Maine. Photo © Joe Sohm

12. Miles long coastline

If we include the inlets and islands, then Maine has 3,478 miles of coastline. That’s the fourth highest total in the US, behind Florida, Louisiana, and Alaska. All the naval fleets in the world could fit into Maine’s deep harbors.

13. Islands

Maine has over 4,000 islands, although most of these small at under an acre. Only 15 of them have permanent residents, while the rest get occasional visitors.  

A beautiful day at Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine
A beautiful day at Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park, Maine. Photo © Bill Kennedy

14. A popular National Park

Acadia National Park in Maine is one of the top ten most visited parks in the U.S. In 2018, more than 3.5 million people visited the park. Cadillac Mountains in the Acadia National Park is the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6. The mountain was named after the French explorer and adventurer, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac in 1918. The car company, Cadillac, is named after the legendary explorer. It covers 49,075 acres including Cadillac Mountain, forests, lakes, and cobble beaches. A carriage road system financed by the Rockefellers makes it easy to go around.

Maine on the map with its bordering state.
Maine (in red) on the map with its bordering state.

Interesting facts

15. Maine’s original state capital was Portland until it was moved to Augusta in 1832.[1]

16. Maine is also the most rural state in the union.[1]

17. Maine was a district of the state of Massachusetts until 1820.

18. Maine is home of the Jackson Laboratory, the world’s largest supplier of genetically purebred mice and the world’s largest non-profit mammalian genetic research facility.[1]

19. The University of Maine is the oldest, largest and only research university in the state.

20. Samantha Smith, an American schoolgirl from Manchester, Maine was known as “America’s Youngest Ambassador” in the United States and the “Goodwill Ambassador” in the Soviet Union. During the Cold war, the ten year old Samantha wrote a letter to the leader of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, asking his viewpoint of war with America and what efforts was he taking to avoid the war. Surprisingly, the Soviet leader read her letter and replied to her as well. He also invited her with her family to visit the Soviet Union. However, unfortunately, this bright kid died on 25 August 1985 in an airplane crash in Auburn, Maine.[2]

21. Maine has more than 60 lighthouses. The Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in the state and was the first lighthouse completed after independence from the British. It was completed in 1791 and was automated in 1989.[3,4] 

Sunset by West Quoddy Head lighthouse
Sunset by West Quoddy Head lighthouse, with its red and white stripes, referred to as the “candy cane” lighthouse, in down east Maine, in New England. It is located in the easternmost point in USA.

22. Lubec, Maine, is home to America’s only candy cane-striped lighthouse. West Quoddy Head Light stands on the easternmost point of land in the U.S. The first light house was built on this place in 1808.

23. The state has the lowest population of any state east of the Mississippi River.

Brown fuzzy winter ear muff.
Brown fuzzy winter ear muff.

24. In 1873, Chester Greenwood, a 15 year old resident of Farmington, Maine invented earmuffs when he was looking for a solution to chilly ears. He patented the first design of his earmuffs in 1877 and later went on to make improvements. He eventually ended up setting a factory for the production of his invention and employed people for the next 60 years.[6]

25. Milton Bradley, the producer of board games, was born in Vienna, Maine.

26. The Maine coon is the official state cat and one of the oldest natural breeds in the U.S.[11]

27. Eartha – the world’s largest rotating and revolving globe is in the town of Yarmouth, Maine. The globe has a diameter of over 41 feet and weighs nearly 5600 pounds. It took two years to build the giant globe. And it surpasses the 33-foot-wide rotating globe in Italy.[10]

28. The Seashore Trolley Museum located in Kennebunkport, Maine is the world’s largest and oldest museum of mass transit in the world.[7]

29. Joan Benoit Samuelson from Cape Elizabeth, Maine was the first-ever women’s Olympic Games marathon winner. She won the Gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 2000. At the age of 61 years, she returned to the circuit at the Boston Marathon in April 2019, and completed the race in 3:04.[8,9]

30. Robert Benjamin Lewis from Gardiner, Maine, was one of the few African-Americans in the nineteenth century to patent their inventions or improvements to the existing manufacturing processes. He developed and marketed a concoction he called “Lewis’ Arabian Hair Oil.” He contested that the use of his oil can make the hair grow long, make it healthy and extend its life while giving it a lively experience. In total he held three United States patents.[12]

31. Did you know that the machine used to produce flat-bottomed paper bags that we use today for shopping and various other purposes was invented by Margaret Knight born in York, Maine? 

32. With the aid of the data gathered from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics on income and expenses, a study conducted by theseniorlist.com, has found that Maine is one of the least affordable states in the U.S. The expenses in Maine take up 91% of the total income. However, the national average is 81%.[13]

Maine Lobster Cooked. For facts about Maine
Maine Lobster Cooked. Photo © Dejavu Designs

33. Recently, a two-toned rare lobster was found in the icy waters off Stonington, Maine. According to the scientists, it is a one-in-50 million find. From head to toe, the lobster is split into halves of black and orange.[14]

34. Did you know that the largest lobster that was caught in Maine in 1926 is considered to be more than a 100 years old? The lobster weighs more than 50 pounds and  because its age was not calculated at the time when it was captured, we can just estimate its age. In 2018, Maine lobstermen brought more than 119 million pounds of the state’s signature seafood. The color of the blood of a lobster can vary between grey, blue, orange, green and light pink.[15,16,17]

A moose eating plants
Moose eating plants from a pond in Maine.

35. Outside of Alaska, Maine has the largest population of Moose in the United States.[18]

36. Maine is the only state in the United States whose name has one syllable. 

37. Maine has one of the oldest state constitutions in the country, effective since 1819.[20]

38. In 2016, Maine became the first state to enact ranked-choice voting for statewide elections for governor, state legislature, and Congress.[21]

Windscreen wipers on a car.
Man is changing windscreen wipers on a car.

39. The Maine DOT requires the people to clear the snow off the windshield before operating their car. However, the state’s legislature does not compel its people to clean the snow off their vehicle unless it is obstructing the operator’s clear view of the way or an intersecting way.[22]

40. People with deep roots in the state are called “Mainers”. Some residents also embrace the informal term “Mainiac”, while others despise it. Marketing-savvy organizations have begun using the word to get more attention for their events.

41. Visitors to the state will quickly notice that locals talk differently. They don’t pronounce their R’s, which makes them easy to identify. However, there is no single accent. It differs depending on which area you go to.

42. Thrill-seekers can satisfy their itch for excitement at the Funtown Splashtown theme park. It features the only wooden roller coaster in Maine called Excalibur. At 100 ft tall with an 82-ft drop, it’s the biggest in Northern New England.

43. The state receives millions of tourists each year, and many of them hit the Maine Wine Trail with more than two dozen wineries on the map. There’s also the Maine Beer Trail with over 100 breweries to choose from.


44. Almost 90% of the lobsters in the US come from Maine, which catches 40 million pounds each year. The industry provides work for thousands of people from the lobstermen to the seafood restaurants. There’s even an annual celebration dedicated to the state’s favorite crustacean.

45. Tourmaline has been a common funeral gift among Maine’s Native Americans for centuries. Large-scale mining began until 1822 when businessmen learned about the stone. Maine also has deposits of quarts, amethyst, citrine, mica, and feldspar.

46. Maine’s abundance of trees and harbors made it a logical base for boat builders since the time of the first settlers. Today, the best ship-building companies in the world have manufacturing facilities here and continue to prop up the economy.

47. Toothpick Capital of the World: at its peak, the town of Strong in Maine was producing 7 billion toothpicks each year. However, sales declined due to the influx of cheaper alternatives from Asia and the increasing popularity of floss.

48. Only 13% of the land in Maine is dedicated to farming, but it’s enough to make the state one of the leading producers of potatoes, grains, apples, sweet corn, and maple syrup in the country.

State Symbols

Bowl of blueberries
Blueberries. Photo © Adina Chiriliuc

49. State Fruit: Wild Blueberries

Maine is crazy for blueberries. They have a bigger harvest of wild blueberries than any other place in the world. Locals use it to make blueberry pies, pancakes, oatmeal scone, gelato, syrup, muffins, ketchup, cake, and more.

50. State Treat: Whoopie Pie

Get ready to shout for joy when you taste the whoopie pie: a confection made with two chocolate cakes and a creamy filling. Maine loves it so much that they hold an annual Whoopie Pie Festival featuring the best creations by local bakers.

51. State Bird: Black-capped Chickadee

Most birds fly away when they encounter humans, but the black-capped chickadee is an exception. This small songbird might even feed from an open hand and make a home in people’s backyards, becoming permanent residents.

52. State Cat: Maine Coon

The Maine coon is a fluffy gentle giant that can grow up to 48.5 inches. It behaves a lot like dogs: sociable, loyal, and affectionate. With above-average intelligence, Maine coons are easy to train as stress-free household companions.

53. State Tree: Eastern White Pine

“The Pine Tree State” leads the way in sustainable forestry. Over 80% of Maine remains covered in forests, and many of the trees here are Eastern White Pines that grow to an incredible height of 200 feet. 


54. Bette Davis, Actress

Two-time Oscar winner Bette Davis was a resident of Maine’s Cape Elizabeth. The fiery Hollywood icon is also known as “The Fourth Warner Brother” because she fought for the rights of actors and gained everyone’s respect, including the studio executives.

55. Stephen King, Novelist

Stephen King is known for writing novels that blend crime, suspense, fantasy, supernatural, and science fiction. The “King of Horror” has sold 350 million copies of his books. Born in Maine, he and his wife Tabitha run a charity organization in the state.

56. Nelson Rockefeller, Businessman/Politician

Nelson Rockefeller was born in Bar Harbor, Maine. After graduation, he worked in his family’s business empire and became an influential voice in politics. He was elected as New York governor in 1959 and was chosen as US vice president in 1974.

57. Erin Andrews, Sportscaster

Born in Lewiston, Maine, Erin Andrews went on to become a sportscaster for ESPN and Fox Sports. She covers hockey, football, baseball, basketball, and more. Andrews has been an endorser for Reebok, Kraft Foods, StubHub, Covergirl, and other companies.

. . . continue reading on the next page