If you’re planning a Maine vacation, you’ve probably already included afternoons spent antiquing, sailing tours along the coast, and hikes through rugged Acadia National Park. But this New England destination also offers a range of agricultural attractions, from working farms to festivals celebrating local crops, pick-your-own orchards to old-time country fairs.
After all, along with its 3,500 miles of tidal coastline, 17 million acres of pristine evergreen and oak forests, and more than 6,000 lakes and ponds, Maine is also famous for its agricultural products, like apples, blueberries and maple syrup.
Add a taste of local flavor to your Maine holiday and experience the state’s diverse agricultural adventures.
Maine’s apple orchards produce about 29 million pounds of apples each year. If you’re visiting Maine from August through October, spend a few hours picking your own apples, followed by a cup of fresh-pressed cider.
Maine’s pick-your-own apple orchards include:
- Treworgy Family Orchards in Levans
- Sandy River Apple Orchard in Mercer
- Lakeside Orchards in Manchester
- Ricker Hill Orchards in Turner
- Thompson’s Orchard in New Gloucester
- Libby & Son U-Picks in Limerick
- McDougal Orchards in Springvale
- Spiller Farm in Wells
Working Farms in Maine
For a glimpse of Maine farm life, visit a working farm. Many offer special activities for visitors, such as corn mazes, pumpkin patches, petting zoos, demonstrations and workshops.
Plus, working farms are the best place to get fresh fruits, veggies, eggs and meats, straight from the source.
With more than 1,000 farms across the state, visitors can take their pick of specialties.
For organic products:
- 5 Seasons Farm in Montville
- A Stone’s Throw Farm in Newburgh
- Beau Chemin Preservation Farm in Waldoboro
- Black Wood Farm Alpacas in Cherryfield
- East Coast Alpacas in Limington
- Maine Woods Alpacas in Richmond
For educational workshops and classes:
- A Wrinkle in Thyme Farm in Sumner
- Abundant Acres in Argyle Township
- Deerwood Farm and Gardens
Maine Christmas Tree Farms
Maine’s farms even offer winter activities. The whole family can enjoy choosing the perfect tree for the holiday season at a Maine Christmas tree farm. Most farms grow balsam fir, Fraser fir or blue spruce and offer guests the choice of cutting their own tree or selecting a pre-cut tree. Farms include:
- Balsam Ridge Christmas Tree Farm in Raymond
- Christmas Tree Bazaar in Nobleboro
- FinestKind Tree Farms in Dover-Foxcroft
Maine Maple Syrup
No late-winter Maine excursion would be complete without experiencing the sweet deliciousness of maple syrup fresh from the tree. Across the north woods, the trees ring with the sound of tapping when the syrup begins to flow.
Best of all, on the annual Maple Syrup Sunday, sugarhouses across the state open their doors to the public for tastings and demonstrations. Many also offer other activities, like wagon rides and ice cream making.
Maine Culture and History
One of the best ways to learn about Maine’s rich agricultural traditions is by visiting one of the state’s historical and cultural centers.
Explore life in the 18th and 19th centuries at the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center in Livermore. Set in the family home of the influential Washburn family – which produced U.S. senators, congressmen, secretaries of state and a Civil War captain – the center recreates scenes from the Maine of old. Visitors participate in daily life on the farm, in the household as well as period social and political dramas.
Maine’s farming traditions are closely tied to the fiber arts, such as weaving, basketry, embroidery and quilting. Learn more about these fascinating cultural lifeways at the Maine Fiberarts Center in Topsham. Guests can watch artists at work, take in a demonstration, try their hand at traditional techniques or attend a class.
Maine Agricultural Fairs and Festivals
Maine’s agricultural fairs and festivals take place year-round, but most coincide with the harvests and seasons from June through October. These vibrant events celebrate local produce, products, art and culture.
- Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg
- Common Ground Country Fair in Unity
- Cumberland County Fair in Cumberland
- Blue Hill Fair in Blue Hill
- Windsor Fair in Jefferson
- The Big Oxford Fair in Oxford
- Springfield Fair in Lee
- Waterford World’s Fair in North Waterford
- Ossipee Valley Fair in North Hiram
- Acton Fair in Acton
- Piscataquis Valley Fair in Dover-Foxcroft
- Maine Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield
- Strawberry Festival in South Berwick
- Machias Wild Blueberry Festival in Machias
- Maple Syrup Festival in Orrington
- MVLT River Festival in Waldoboro
- Mount Desert Island Garlic Festival in Southwest Harbor
- Bethel Harvest Fest in Bethel
Maine visitors will find a range of agricultural events through the spring, summer and fall, but one of the best days to visit is Open Farm Day. Every July, farms throughout all 16 Maine counties open up to the public.
No matter when you visit, Maine’s many agricultural attractions offer fun for all ages.