July 4th in Maine; Where Patriots Battled and Natural Beauty Abounds
AUGUSTA, Maine -- This Fourth of July, spend time at Maine's state parks and
historic sites, which preserve the state's role in the American Revolution and
offer recreation at coastal and inland locations.
"Our friendly staff at more than 50 properties are looking forward to people
'taking it outside' on our national holiday," said Will Harris, director of Maine's
Bureau of Parks and Lands. "It's the perfect time to come picnic, hike, swim,
relax or explore our state's history and unique natural areas."
Fort O'Brien Historic Site overlooks Machias Bay where Captain Jeremiah
O'Brien led local Patriots in the first naval battle of the American Revolution on
June 12, 1775. Credit: Maine Department of Conservation At Fort O'Brien
overlooking Machias Bay on the downeast coast, visitors can imagine the scene
when local Patriots captured the armed British schooner Margaretta on June 12,
1775 to win the first naval battle of the Revolution. Roque Bluffs State Park is a
short drive south from the fort and offers fresh and saltwater swimming, picnic
tables with grills, and seven miles of walking trails along the ocean. North of the
fort, the island city of Eastport throws Maine's largest Fourth of July festival
Along Penobscot Bay, Fort Point State Park in Stockton Springs has a boat
launch and fishing pier, and is the starting point for a seven-mile bicycle loop
around Cape Jellison. The park also contains the remnants of 1759 Fort Pownal
and the active Fort Point Lighthouse. Moose Point State Park in Searsport has
tidal pools to explore, three walking trails and a picnic area in a grove of
In southern Maine, Vaughn Woods State Park is a 250-acre forested getaway
along the Salmon Falls River. The South Berwick park is an ideal spot for
playing catch, hide and seek or relaxing by the riverside. For the feel of soft
sand underfoot, head to Ferry Beach State Park in Saco. Enjoy the ocean beach
and don't miss the unique tupelo swamp and wooded walking trails. For a
beach without sand, head to Rangeley Lake State park where a comfortable
grass "beach" slopes down to rock steps leading into the lake.
"We want everyone to take full advantage of the opportunities available at
Maine's state parks and historic sites each summer," said Patrick K. McGowan,
Commissioner of Maine's Department of Conservation. "From beaches and boat
launches to hiking trails and historic sites, there's something to appeal to all
Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal has multiple short trails ideal for
family hikes. Five trails lead to the clear mountain summit with views to Casco
Bay. Credit: Maine Department of Conservation For hiking trails with great
views visit Camden Hills State Park in Camden, Bradbury Mountain State Park
in Pownal or Aroostook State Park in Presque Isle. Camden Hills has 30 miles of
trails over six mountain peaks with ocean views. Bradbury has shorter, less
strenuous trails that make it a favorite day trip for families. And, Aroostook has
two trails to the summit of Quaggy Jo Mountain - home to hawks, owls, moose
Patricia Eltman, director of the Maine Office of Tourism, agrees with McGowan.
"There are so many natural treasures that speak of Maine's history," she said.
"Celebrating Independence Day in Maine is a treat for all ages that is sure to
educate and entertain."
To learn more about Maine's unique state park destinations go to
www.maine.gov/doc/parks or call 207-287-3821. For information about Maine's
summer events and attractions log on to www.visitmaine.com or call
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