Name of a french country

Nickname: Pine Tree State

State bird: Chickadee

State flower: White Pine Cone and Tassel

Capital: Augusta

Time: Eastern (GMT – 5)

The passing of a millennium has not altered much in the State of Maine. Forests and lakes still cover 90 per cent of the land, just as they did when Leif Ericson and his band of Viking explorers first set foot on the coast. The length of the Maine coast from Kittery to Lubec still testifies to two vigorous traditions: fishing and shipbuilding. Lobsters are plentiful here and lobster pounds dot the coastline. Visitors should bear in mind that lobster-poaching is a serious offence here.

Portland, Maine’s largest city, features a Victorian reconstruction in what is now called the Old Port Exchange. Ferries run to the nearby Casco Bay Islands. Sebago Lake provides opportunities for water-skiing, while Freeport offers opportunities for budget shopping. A few miles south of Portland is the town of Kennebunk, a popular haunt for authors and artists filled with bookshops and art galleries. To the east is the town’s coastal counterpart, Kennebunkport, the summer home of former US President George Bush and family.

In the summer, crowds flock to Camden, 161km (100 miles) northeast of Portland. The Camden Hills State Park offers more than 40km (25 miles) of trails and a harbour view. In Belfast, north of Camden, travellers can enjoy antique sales and flea markets. Further along the coast, boating excursions depart from forested Deer Isle to Isle au Haut, part of Acadia National Park, boasting 47,633 acres (19,277 hectares) of lakes, woodlands, ponds and mountains. The pretty village of Bar Harbor makes a good base to visit the carriage roads and hiking trails of the park’s main sector on Mount Desert Island.