Maine, the largest of the New England states (it contains more than ball the area of all Ncw England). fills the north• cast corner of the United States below Canada. Among the United States, it is ninth in size. With about a mileoplc, most of whom live in small towns and villages, it is third in size among the New England states and thirty-sixth in population among the states of the Union. The shape of Maine is immensely irregular. On the north-east and north is the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
On the north and west the Canadian province of Quebec. south of which is the only straight-line border, with New Hampshire opposite. The whole southeast coast of Maine is cut with deep bays and inlets, fringed with hundreds of islands. Though the total straight-line length of Maine from northeast to southwest is three hundred and fifteen miles, the actual shore line is nearly twenty-four hundred miles, all immensely rugged and picturesque. Along the Maine Atlantic Coast is the easternmost point in the continental United States, Quoddy Head. The farthest cast town in the United States, Lubec, is also on the Maine coast.
Maine’s state tree is the pine. the state bird the chickadee, the state flower (not really a flower at all) is the pint cone. The name of the state is a corruption in spelling of the French province of Mayne. The nickname, the “Pine Tree State,” is appropriate as there are more pine trees there than anywhere else in New England.
The surface of Maine is a dramatic contrast between land and water. The land is mostly mountains, low granite peaks toward the coast, rising higher toward the west, where the ranges are an extension of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Among the mountains arc hundreds of lakes. some of them, like Moosehead. quite large. The highest mountain in the state is Mount Katahdin (5,268 feet). in Maine’s great north-central wilderness. a vast mountain region of primitive forests, set with hundreds of lakes, many of them connected by channels.
There are no roads through it, and the only access to it is by plane or boat. Most of the people in Maine live in towns and villages on or close to the coast. Along the shore are more thousand islands;
the largest, Mount Desert, contains New England’s only national park, Acadia, and has the high-est point on the eastern coast. Maine’s longest river, flowing south into the Atlantic, is the Penobscot. Others are Androscoggin, the Kennebec, the Saco, and in the far north the big, beautiful St. John that divides Maine from New Brunswick.
Much of the state is in forest, more than sixteen million acres, with more than twenty-five hundred lakes, a wilderness resource which makes the state a paradise for sportsmen.
Maine’s climate is humid, with an annual precipitation of be-tween thirty-five and forty-five inches, much of it falling as snow during winter months. Summers are short, relatively cool, winters cold and long. The coastal areas are more temperate, with Port-land having an average January temperature of 23 degrees, an average July temperature of 68 degrees.
Weather changes are often sudden and severe. Northern forest areas have winter periods with temperatures below zero. The best time for a visit to Maine, except for winter sports, is during the summer months, from mid-June to mid-September.