50 Interesting & Fun Facts About Maine State

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A group of stone buildings lined by trees on either side and a body of water
Maine is known for its natural beauty and many other things, like Augusta

Maine is widely known for its blueberries, lobsters, and author Stephen King. Mainers, the people who call this northeast US state home, know there's a whole lot more that makes this state special. They'll be able to tell you that it was once the toothpick capital of the world, that it's home to an unlikely desert, and that donuts with holes originated here.

Maine is also famous for its breathtaking natural beauty. From the stony Acadia National Park on the coast to the vast expanses of uninterrupted forests in its interior, there is a lot to see and learn about this East Coast gem.

And while no one knows how Maine got its name, you'll learn a lot of the region's history with these 50 interesting and fun facts about Maine state. Continue reading to start your journey through the Pine Tree State!

50 Maine State Facts

  1. Maine Fun Facts
    1. Maine became the 23rd US state in 1820
    2. It has the highest moose population among the lower 48 states
    3. Maine is one of the New England states
    4. The nickname for Maine is the Pine Tree State
    5. The official state insect of Maine is the honey bee
    6. The state capital of Maine is Augusta
    7. Maine is 30,843 square miles in size
    8. The state animal of Maine is the moose
    9. The Maine state seal shows off their history and wildlife
    10. The Maine state population is 1.3 million
    11. The Maine state flower isn't a flower
    12. The chickadee is the Maine state bird
    13. Maine lobster was once used as fertilizer
    14. The coastline of Maine is either 228 miles long or 3,478 miles long
    15. There are roughly 6,000 lakes and ponds in Maine
  2. Funny Facts About Maine
    1. There's a desert in Maine
    2. "Maine" is the only monosyllabic state name in the country
    3. Maine is the easternmost US state
    4. Maine is the only state to border one other state
    5. Donut holes were born in Maine, probably
    6. Residents of Maine are called "Mainers" or "Down Easters"
    7. Mainers have a tricky accent and vocabulary
    8. There's a size 410 boot in front of the flagship L.L. Bean store
    9. Millions of toothpicks were produced in Maine everyday
    10. Maine fought a "war" against British North America
  3. Interesting Facts About Maine
    1. Acadia National Park is the oldest national park in the eastern US
    2. Cadillac Mountain is the tallest US mountain on the Atlantic Coast
    3. Mount Desert Island is the second-largest East Coast island
    4. Baxter State Park marks the end of the Appalachian Trail
    5. Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth was commissioned by George Washington
    6. West Quoddy Head Lighthouse is in the National Register of Historic Places
    7. Maine produces the most blueberries of any US state
    8. There are 65 lighthouse stations in Maine
    9. There is a Valentine's Day town in Maine
    10. Mainers take New Year polar plunges to combat climate change
  4. Maine History Facts
    1. Vikings most likely came to Maine
    2. Wabanaki tribes controlled much of Maine and Eastern Canada
    3. Maine was home to the Revolutionary War's first naval battle
    4. It gained statehood as part of the Missouri Compromise
    5. Maine sent the most soldiers per capita to fight in the Civil War
  5. Weird Facts About Maine
    1. There is an umbrella cover museum in Maine
    2. Maine's Wild Blueberry Land preserves a history of preserves
    3. Perry's Nut House in Belfast, Maine, is superbly zany
    4. Fantasy becomes reality at the International Cryptozoology Museum
    5. Maine has a lot of reported UFO activity
  6. Cool Facts About Maine
    1. Maine Coon cats are gentle giants
    2. Allagash Brewing uses a million pounds of Maine-grown grain per year
    3. Author Stephen King's house in Bangor is a creepy Victorian mansion
    4. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland before it was Maine
    5. Maine is equidistant from the equator and the North Pole

Show all

Maine Facts Video

Check out our highlights video of Maine facts.

Maine Fun Facts

A river with buildings and trees along it
Maine's state capital is Augusta

Maine became the 23rd US state in 1820

Maine was one of the first areas settled by British colonists but was sparsely populated and used for logging enterprises by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. By 1819, the population had increased enough to vote on statehood, and it officially entered the Union on March 15, 1820.

A couple of moose in a lake with mountains and trees in the distance
Maine has close to an estimated 60,000-70,000 moose

It has the highest moose population among the lower 48 states

The vast, undeveloped forests and cold winters in Maine create ideal conditions for their estimated 60,000-70,000 moose. This gives them the highest moose population in the lower 48 states. Only Alaska has more, with as many as 200,000 roaming the wild.

Maine is one of the New England states

New England is found in the northeasternmost reach of the United States, taking its name from the British colonists who began to settle there in the early 1600s. Since then, it has been separated into six different states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

A body of water with pine trees around it on a cloudy day
Maine's nickname is the 'Pine Tree State' due to its abundance of eastern white pines

The nickname for Maine is the Pine Tree State

The Maine state nickname is the Pine Tree State due to its abundance of eastern white pines. This tree is also the official Maine state tree.

The official state insect of Maine is the honey bee

TheMaine state insect is the honey bee, though it is not native to the Americas. And though British colonists brought them in, they are not native to Europe, either. Instead, these prolific pollinators originate from sub-Saharan Africa.

The state capital of Maine is Augusta

When Maine became a state in 1920, the capital was Portland, which was temporary by design. A new, grander statehouse was built in the more centrally located capital of Augusta, which held its first legislative session in 1832.

Maine is 30,843 square miles in size

The state of Maine consists of 30,843 square miles of territory within its borders. This makes it significant compared with its New England neighbors but minor in the United States overall, ranking only 39th out of 50 in state size.

The state animal of Maine is the moose

Maine's state animal is the moose, and it's the only eastern state where these gigantic creatures thrive. Their long legs allow them to easily navigate through deep snow, and plenty of tree bark, balsam fir, and twigs get them through the winter.

The Maine state seal shows off their history and wildlife

The state seal of Maine shows a farmer and a seaman standing with their weight rested on a scythe and an anchor, respectively. Between them is a shield with a moose sitting at the base of a white pine. Written above is the Maine state motto, "Dirigo" ("I lead" in Latin), and this whole scene is displayed on Maine's state flag.

The Maine state population is 1.3 million

About 1.3 million people call Maine their home. Additionally, its mere 41.3 people per square mile give it a population density lower than any other state east of the Mississippi River.

The Maine state flower isn't a flower

Among the fun facts about Maine is that its state "flower" isn't a flower. Because of the importance of the eastern white pine tree, the white pine cone and tassel combine to hold the honor of representing Maine's state flower. The bloom of needles that make the tassel is soft, blue-green, and strongly scented.

A small black and white bird on a branch up close
Maine's state bird is the black-capped chickadee

The chickadee is the Maine state bird

The black-capped chickadee has been Maine's state bird since its adoption by the legislature in 1927. It's common to spot this stubby little bird in Maine at backyard feeders and deep in the piny wilderness.

Maine lobster was once used as fertilizer

Before it was the state crustacean of Maine, lobsters were far from being regarded as the delicacy they are today. Because they were so abundant, lobsters were used to feed prisoners and servants, as fertilizer for crops, or as bait for catching larger fish.

A rocky beach with trees and blue sky and water around
Maine has a longer coastline than California, depending on how you calculate it

The coastline of Maine is either 228 miles long or 3,478 miles long

The length of the Maine coastline varies drastically depending on how you measure it. The general coastline covers about 228 miles, but when all of its inlets and more than 4,000 islands are accounted for, this number explodes to nearly 3,500 miles. By this measure, Maine has a longer coastline than California.

There are roughly 6,000 lakes and ponds in Maine

The last of the fun Maine facts is that it has 5,785 lakes covering about a million acres within its borders. The state's sparse population has kept most of these lakes clean, allowing for healthy fish and wildlife and providing residents with abundant, accessible drinking water.

Funny Facts About Maine

Faina Gurevich/Shutterstock.com
A sandy area with trees and blue sky at the back, and a camel statue on the right
One of the facts about Maine state is that it has a place with 40 acres of desert

There's a desert in Maine

The Desert of Maine is the result of poor farming practices in the 1800s that led to the loss of vegetation and topsoil. It's not a climactic desert and gets plenty of rain, but its 40 acres of sandy dunes look the part.

"Maine" is the only monosyllabic state name in the country

Did you know that Maine is the only US state with one syllable? While Iowa, Ohio, and Utah may all be shorter words, Maine is the easiest state to say.

Maine is the easternmost US state

The full territory of the United States spans across oceans, and states like Hawaii and Alaska are not directly connected to the mainland.

In the contiguous United States, though, the easternmost point is at West Quoddy Head, Maine. This makes Maine the closest US state to Africa and the first place the sun rises in the country each morning.

A body of water with rocks around and a city with clouds above in the background
Maine borders only one US state but two Canadian provinces

Maine is the only state to border one other state

A surprising fact about Maine is that it borders only one state. Every other state in the US borders at least one other state, but Maine shares a border with New Hampshire to its east. However, It borders two Canadian provincesuebec and New Brunswick.

Donut holes were born in Maine, probably

The origin of fried dough with a hole in the middle can be traced back to a Maine sea captain named Hanson Crocket Gregory. In one colorful story, he allegedly smashed his fried dough cake over the handle of his ship's wheel to free up his hands while steering through a storm, creating a hole. The most likely explanation is he realized he could avoid an undercooked center if he removed the middle.

Residents of Maine are called "Mainers" or "Down Easters"

It's always interesting to hear how groups of people refer to themselves. In Maine, they typically call themselves "Mainers" or "Down Easters" though the latter is also shared with some Canadian provinces. Sadly, they are not called "Maine-iacs."

Mainers have a tricky accent and vocabulary

In keeping with one of the names for people from Maine, their manner of speaking is called the "Downeast Accent." It can be confusing for non-Mainers when they drop the "r" out of words, call lobsters "bugs," or refer to a large, clumsy visitor as a "gawmy honkin flatlandah."

Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock.com
A light-colored building with the sign "L.L. Bean" and a large boot in front of it
A giant 410 boot stands in front of Maine's flagship L.L. Bean store

There's a size 410 boot in front of the flagship L.L. Bean store

One of the sillier facts about Maine the state is the size 410 boot standing in front of its flagship L.L. Bean store. The outdoor company is most famous for its iconic boots, so it makes sense that an enormous piece of footwear is the first thing visitors see.

Millions of toothpicks were produced in Maine everyday

The town of Strong, Maine, used to produce more than 15 million toothpicks per day. This accomplishment is even more impressive when you consider that Strong only had a population of around 1,000, yet was the toothpick capital of the world for a brief time.

Maine fought a "war" against British North America

In 1839, Maine resolved a longstanding border conflict with a British North American territory now part of Canada. The Aroostook War saw four Maine militia regiments march to the border, but no violence broke out. A treaty that gave Maine most of the logging territory and Britain a strategic military position was signed.

Interesting Facts About Maine

A landscape of rocks and trees with clouds, fog, and water in the distance
Acadia National Park was the first park established east of the Mississippi River

Acadia National Park is the oldest national park in the eastern US

The mountainous coastal region called Acadia National Park was established in 1919 and was called Lafayette National Park until 1929.

In a time when most national parks were being created in the west, Acadia was the first one established east of the Mississippi River and is still considered one of the best parks in the Eastern United States.

A view of a body of water with islets from a mountain with colorful trees
Cadillac Mountain is the highest peak within 25 miles of the Atlantic Ocean in the US

Cadillac Mountain is the tallest US mountain on the Atlantic Coast

Most of Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, and Cadillac Mountain is the island's highest peak. Its summit of 1,536 feet is not just tall locally but is also the United States' highest peak within 25 miles of the Atlantic Ocean.

One of the facts about Maine state is that is has the 2nd largest East Coast island
Bar Harbor is a happening resort town on Mount Desert Island

Mount Desert Island is the second-largest East Coast island

There's much more to Mount Desert Island than Cadillac Mountain. It's the contiguous United States' sixth largest island and second most prominent on the East Coast only to Long Island, New York. Not all of it is part of Acadia, and Bar Harbor is a thriving resort town.

A body of water with trees and mountains in the background on a clear blue day
Baxter State Park makes up part of the Appalachian Trail

Baxter State Park marks the end of the Appalachian Trail

The entrance to Baxter State Park marks the northern end of the Appalachian Trail (AT), a 2,200-mile hiking path that extends south to Georgia. Though technically not part of the trail, many AT through-hikers finish their trek by climbing Baxter's Mount Katahdin, Maine's highest peak.

Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth was commissioned by George Washington

Portland Head Light was completed in 1791, making it the state's oldest lighthouse and a famous landmark in Maine. A bit of interesting information is that this beacon was commissioned by George Washington. He did this before the US government was even formed, and today the lighthouse is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

A red and white lighthouse and building on a grassy hill by the water
The Quoddy Head Lighthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places

West Quoddy Head Lighthouse is in the National Register of Historic Places

The lighthouse in Quoddy Head State Park marks the easternmost point of the contiguous United States. Its iconic red-and-white stripes were part of its original construction in 1858, and it has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1980.

Maine produces the most blueberries of any US state

Agriculture is an important industry for Maine, and one of its most well-known exports is its blueberries. That's because Maine produces nearly 100 million pounds of blueberries per year, more than any other state in the country.

There are 65 lighthouse stations in Maine

Maine's rocky coastal topography extends beneath the Atlantic Ocean, making it a historically hazardous area for ships. For this reason, Maine has 65 lighthouses dotting its shoreline, with many open to the public and doubling as museums or works of art.

There is a Valentine's Day town in Maine

The townspeople of Kennebunkport (called Kennebunks) go all out to celebrate Valentine's Day each February. This quaint town, numbering just over 3,000 residents, decks its buildings in red and white lights for its romantic "Paint the Town Red" events and attractions.

Mainers take New Year polar plunges to combat climate change

Making a fun challenge out of the state's frigid winter weather, it's become common for many coastal Maine towns and cities to host New Year "polar plunges" in the Atlantic. One of the most popular since 2009 is organized by the Natural Resources Council of Maine to support clean energy programs.

Maine History Facts

Vikings most likely came to Maine

The first of these Maine historical facts is that around the year 1000 CE, it's likely that the Vikings reached the coast of Maine and attempted to build a settlement.

This has a shaky truth as it's based on inconclusive Viking artifacts found in New England and stories from Leif Ericson of Vinland--his name for the land he explored west of Greenland.

Wabanaki tribes controlled much of Maine and Eastern Canada

"Wabanaki" means Dawnland and refers to the Algonquin tribes from the region now occupied by Maine and several Eastern Canadian provinces.

Four of these nations (Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot) combined to form the Wabanaki Confederacy by the late 1600s to confront the growing numbers of English and French settlers.

Maine was home to the Revolutionary War's first naval battle

The first naval engagement of the Revolutionary War was fought in Machias Bay, Maine. In June 1775, townspeople discovered a British plan to resupply their besieged troops stuck in Boston. They used local ships to pursue and engage British Midshipman James Moore, killing him and capturing his crew and ship, the HMS Margaretta.

It gained statehood as part of the Missouri Compromise

In 1819, tensions were high regarding the continued enslavement of Black people in the US South. Admitting Maine threatened to shift the balance of power toward abolishing slavery.

In a deal known as the Missouri Compromise, southern states agreed to Maine's entry only if the Missouri Territory entered simultaneously as a slave state.

Maine sent the most soldiers per capita to fight in the Civil War

Maine facts and history from the American Civil War are fascinating. When the war broke out in 1861, Maine responded enthusiastically to defend the Union. Proportionate to its population, Maine sent the most soldiers of any state involved in the bloody conflict.

Weird Facts About Maine

Jaclyn Vernace/Shutterstock.com
A white building with a flag and signs on the wall and small staircase
The Umbrella Cover Museum's mission- encourage people to find beauty in the mundane

There is an umbrella cover museum in Maine

This baffling (yet charming) museum only contains and displays over 2,000 umbrella covers. The museum's mission is admirable, encouraging people to find beauty in the mundane.

Maine's Wild Blueberry Land preserves a history of preserves

Looking like a massive berry half submerged in the ground, the blue dome of Wild Blueberry Land in Columbia Falls beckons travelers from near and far. Since 2001, its proprietors have sold jams and built exhibits to showcase the region's long history of canning and preserving blueberries.

Perry's Nut House in Belfast, Maine, is superbly zany

In 1927, Perry's Nut House primarily sold pecans and only became nuttier. Founder I.L. Perry slowly introduced curios from his travels, culminating in a bizarre roadside attraction that included trick mirrors, a man-eating clam, and a stuffed water buffalo shot by former US President Teddy Roosevelt.

Jaclyn Vernace/Shutterstock.com
A blue sign on a building that says "International Cryptozoology Museum"
The Cryptozoology Museum provides evidence for the existence of "cryptids"

Fantasy becomes reality at the International Cryptozoology Museum

Cryptozoology is the study of intriguing but scientifically unverified mythical and legendary creatures, such as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

This museum provides exhibits, evidence, and arguments for the existence, current or historical, of sea serpents, mermaids, and other undiscovered "cryptids" allegedly roaming the world.

Maine has a lot of reported UFO activity

Some weird information on the state of Maine is that since 1946 there have been approximately 1,000 reported UFO sightings here. Perhaps it's because the night sky is clearer without the light pollution of more urban areas, but this number ranks the Pine Tree state fourth in the country in total sightings.

Cool Facts About Maine

A brown Maine Coon cat lying on a white floor
A Maine Coon cat can reach almost four feet in length

Maine Coon cats are gentle giants

The Maine Coon is the state cat of Maine and is one of the largest and oldest breeds of domestic cats in the US. These shaggy, social creatures can reach lengths of nearly four feet, making the largest of the breed roughly the size of a bobcat.

Allagash Brewing uses a million pounds of Maine-grown grain per year

In 2016, Maine's Allagash Brewing pledged to raise its usage of locally sourced grains from 200,000 to over 1,000,000 pounds per year. In 2021, they succeeded in their mission, making it one of the most sustainable brewing companies in the country.

Pinkcandy/Shutterstock.com
A large red victorian mansion with white shutters and a balcony and trees around
Stephen King's house in Bangor, Maine, is a Victorian Mansion

Author Stephen King's house in Bangor is a creepy Victorian mansion

Looking at Stephen King's house in Bangor, Maine, it's easy to imagine any of his tales of horror unfolding within. The Victorian Mansion has a brick facade with white trim and is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence that twists into sculptures of spiders and bats.

Building with a blue steeple, and other buildings, roads, trees, and water around
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in the city of Portland, Maine

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland before it was Maine

The long, lyrical poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow made him the country's most famous and popular poet in the 19th century. He was born in Portland while it was still part of the Massachusetts colony, though modern Mainers claim him as their own.

Maine is equidistant from the equator and the North Pole

Maine is a northern state with long, cold winters, but it's worth remembering that it's just as close to the equator as it is to the North Pole. The equator is found at 0 degrees latitude, and the North Pole is located at 90 degrees latitude, with the 45th parallel cutting through much of Maine's landscape.

Conclusion

In the far northeast of the United States, Maine awaits curious and adventurous visitors to come here and learn more about the state. Its rich history goes back well before it was a state to the territory of the Wabanaki Confederacy and its later inclusion in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The more you learn about Maine, the more you realize what an interesting, curious, and cool place it is. Even in neighboring New England states, there's nothing quite like it. If you make it out to the Pine Tree state, let this list of facts be your guide to its wonders!

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Written by Andrew Sayles

atsayles FORMER WRITER A traveler, teacher, and blogger currently based in Oregon. Andrew has lived in 5 countries, traveled to 60, and crisscrossed the continental US an unhealthy number of times.


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