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The Maine attraction


It’s a common inclusion on fall foliage tours, but New England’s northernmost state deserves a longer look, discovers Nick Savage


DESTINATIONS MAINE | THE US


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Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Acadia National Park PICTURE: Veer/Visit Maine


travelweekly.co.uk


ith my back on the forward hatch, I watched the jib sheet catch the air, inflate, then swiftly shift to the starboard side of the 35-foot Hinckley pilot boat, clearing my face by just six inches.


Right at that moment, a snuffling, puffing sound cut over the flapping of the sail. Peering over the gunwale, I was delighted to discover a pod of harbour porpoises cavorting in the bow wave. Miniature dorsal fins marked out two infants in the cold, navy waters between Mount Desert Island and Little Cranberry Island, on the coast of Downeast Maine. Maine in general, and Mount Desert Island in particular, was one of the first destinations in the US to


receive tourists in the mid-19th century, when ‘rusticators’ – artists and free spirits unafraid of rugged living – would board with local farmers and fishermen, inspired by the beautiful scenery and pastoral lifestyle. Wealth soon followed, and by the 1880s, tycoon families such as the Carnegies, Fords and Rockefellers all owned summer estates. Nicknamed Vacationland, Maine was one of the most popular states to visit


² 29 APRIL 2021 29


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