The northernmost of the New England states, Maine has a lot to offer for photographers. The rocky, rugged coast is perfect, and Maine also has mountains, waterfalls, gorges, and wildlife. Many of the more remote areas in the state are difficult to access in the winter, so be sure to plan ahead and know what destinations you want to visit, and when. This page includes information on some of the best locations for photographers in Maine, so hopefully it can aid in your planning. The interactive map below shows the location of each spot mentioned on this page.
This page will continue to be a work in progress, so please feel free to leave a comment with your own suggestions of great places to photograph.
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is located along the coast of Maine, southeast of Bangor. Most of the park lies on Mount Desert Island, as well as some other smaller islands. Acadia is one of the most popular spots in the northeast with photographers, and for good reason. The park contains rocky shoreline, mountains, lakes, and woods, giving plenty of diversity for photographers. Some of the most popular areas of the park for photographers are Cadillac Mountain, Bar Harbor, Otter Cliff, Newport Cove, and Jordan Pond. You can also get a great introduction to the park by taking the 27-mile Park Loop Road. Many of the roads in the park, including most of Park Loop Road, close from December to mid April.
Baxter State Park
Baxter State Park in north central Maine includes a total of more than 200,000 acres of beautiful wilderness. Here you will find 3 lakes, several ponds, streams and rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and wildlife. Within the park boundaries there are no paved roads, no running water, and no electricity. A 46-mile dirt road connects the parks northern and southern entrances. There are many hiking trails that will lead you to the various points of interest throughout the park.
Screw Auger Falls
Screw Auger Falls is part of Grafton Notch State Park in western Maine, about 75 miles northwest of Portland. From State Route 26 you can park in the parking lot for Screw Auger Falls and see the falls right there by just walking a few steps. While you’re there, Mother Walker Falls is just about a mile away and also easy to access.
Camden Hills State Park
If you want some great views be sure to check out Camden Hills State Park, which is located southwest of Acadia National Park. The park includes Mount Battie and Mount Megunticook, as well was views of the Penobscott Bay and Camden Harbor. There are many hiking trails available, and the Mount Battie Trail is one of the best options for photographers.
Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land
Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land is located about 85 miles northeast of Acadia National Park. This 12,000+ acre wilderness includes 10 miles of trails and beautiful coastal scenes. There are several different trails, including the Fairy Head Loop Trail, a 9-mile loop that includes a few miles along the coast. More information on the trails is available here.
Monhegan Island lies about 10 miles off the coast of the mainland. This small island is home to less than 100 people, and also home to some beautiful scenery. There are no paved roads or cars on the island and it is only accessible by boat. You can get details of the available boat options from this page.
Gulf Hagas is a 3-mile-long gorge in central Maine that is more than 100-feet deep. The 8-mile rim trail allows hikers to view the stunning gorge and multiple waterfalls. This is not an easy hike due to the rocky terrain, but provides excellent views. For directions on getting to the trail head please see this page.
Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge
The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge protects about 50 islands and 4 coastal parcels, totaling more than 250 miles of coastline. The refuge lands are critical for Atlantic puffins, razorbills, black guillemots, gulls, wading birds, bald eagles, and more. Some areas of the park are closed during nesting season, and some parts are closed all the time. However, there are plenty of opportunities and hiking trails to explore, as well as commercial tour boats. With several different locations, be sure to research the available trails ahead of your visit.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge includes several parcels of land along 50 miles of Maine’s southern coast. It protects salt marsh, barrier beach, dunes, tidal estuaries, and rocky coasts. The location is important for many migratory birds and waterfowl. The entrance is located in Wells, just off of Interstate 95. The Carson Trail is a 1-mile loop located at the headquarters that provides a view of tidal salt marshes. The refuge brochure includes a wildlife calendar that provides information about the types of wildlife you may be able to see at different times of the year.
Higgins Beach is located in southern Maine, south of Portland. This beach presents an interesting photographic opportunity because of the remains from a shipwreck that happened in 1897. Part of the ship’s hull remain at the beach.
Cape Elizabeth, south of Portland, has a beautiful rocky coast that is perfect for photography. Cape Elizabeth has 3 coastal parks: Two Lights State Park, Fort Williams Park, and Crescent Beach State Park.
Portland Head Light
Cape Elizabeth is also home to Portland Head Light, a favorite of many photographers. It is within Fort Williams park and sits along a rocky, picturesque coast.
Portland Breakwater Light
The Portland Breakwater Light, also known as Bug Light, is located north of the Portland Head Light. While it is much less photographed than the Portland Head Light, it is a worthy subject.
Spring Point Ledge Light
The Spring Point Ledge Light is located in South Portland along the Portland Harbor. You can walk on the breakwater out to the lighthouse.
Marshall Point Light
Marshall Point Light is located about halfway between Portland and Acadia National Park. The lighthouse and rocky land is great for photographs.
Pemaquid Point Light
Pemaquid Point is located northeast of Portland, with Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park. The rocky coast here is ideal for photographs.
The Nubble Lighthouse, or Cape Neddick Lighthouse, is located on Nubble Island in southern Maine. The lighthouse and rocky coast can be an excellent subject for photographs.