If you’re like me, the thought of battling crowds of sale shoppers on Black Friday sends chills down your spine. It certainly isn’t my idea of “a good time.” I would rather be outside breathing fresh air, taking in the view and enjoying some peace and quiet. Maine is the perfect place for all of that, especially after tourist season. Here are some ideas of places to go across the state to get your nature on, and enjoy Black Friday outside.
Take a Scenic Road Trip
There are tons of roadside stops across the state that don’t require major hiking and are beautiful year-round. Some of my favorite roadside stops are Coos Canyon, Screw Auger Falls and Height of Land. All three stops are located on DeLorme map 18 and make for a great day trip. Coos Canyon, a beautiful 500-yard gorge located in Byron, is famous for gold panning. Screw Auger Falls Gorge is located in Grafton Notch State Park. The gorge is 40 yards long, 9 feet wide and 21 feet deep and has a small waterfall at the top. Height of Land is located in Township D near Rangeley and gives an amazing panoramic view of the White Mountains and Rangeley region. Another nice roadside stop is Smalls Falls in Township E, also near Rangeley, on DeLorme map 19. The two falls drop a total of 36 feet and are located just past a good sized parking area off Route 4.
Visit one of Maine’s 65 Lighthouses
Make your Black Friday a coastal adventure and explore the shores and hiking paths around a lighthouse. Some of my favorites are Portland Headlight, Pemaquid Point, Rockland Breakwater and West Quoddy Head Light. Portland Headlight is 80 feet tall and was built in 1791. Head to Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth to view the Headlight, Maine’s most famous lighthouse. Pemaquid Point lighthouse is located in Bristol at the end of Route 130. The lighthouse was built in 1827 and is 32 feet high. See what’s going on live with the Pemaquid Point lighthouse web cam. The Rockland Breakwater lighthouse was built around 1902 and has always been one of my favorite destinations not only because I grew up in the Midcoast area, but because you need to walk the breakwater to reach the lighthouse. The breakwater is constructed of granite, mostly quarried from Vinalhaven, and measures 8/10 of a mile long. Dress very warm if you plan to visit the Breakwater lighthouse this time of year, the wind is brutal! Check out the live Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse webcam here. West Quoddy Head Light is located in Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec and was constructed in 1808. The lighthouse measures 49 feet tall and is quite a sight, with the rocky cliffs of Canada’s Grand Manan Island easily visible on the opposite shore.
Take a Hike
Work off those extra helpings of turkey and gravy from Thanksgiving with a fun and scenic hike or brisk walk. My top hikes for this time of year include Fore River Sanctuary, Mount Battie, Ocean Path, Tumbledown Mountain, Burnt Meadow Mountain, and Pleasant Mountain. Fore River Sanctuary Trail in Portland is a moderate 3.3 mile loop trail. The trail offers water views, and dogs on a leash are allowed on the trail. Mount Battie Trail in Camden is a moderate 1.5 mile round-trip trail with views of downtown Camden and the bay below. Acadia National Park’s Ocean Path Trail is an easy 4.2 mile round-trip hike offering views of Otter Cliff and Thunder Hole, two of Acadia’s amazing natural features. Tumbledown Mountain Trail located in the Four Ponds Public Reserved Land in Weld is a moderate 5.6 mile loop trail. The trail offers beautiful views including a lake. Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail is a part of the White Mountain National Forest and is located in Brownville. It is a 3.6 mile moderate loop trail and is very scenic at the summit. Pleasant Mountain Trail in Denmark is a moderate 3.3 mile round-trip hike. The trail is about an hour away from Portland, and provides amazing views from the 1,455-foot summit.
Dress warm and go have some fun!
There are plenty of other Maine adventures to have on Black Friday aside from these. Maine has many covered bridges to visit, parks and public lands, and beaches that are free and clear of the busy summer traffic. And don’t forget Acadia National Park is still open, and free to visit during the off-season. Head out and find your adventure on Black Friday, to a place where there are no lines and no waiting!