How to Go Snorkeling in Maine

by Ocean Malandra Google
Maine holds aquatic treasures for snorklers.

Maine holds aquatic treasures for snorklers.

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Maine's rugged coast is known for its rocky formations, its scenic small towns and its inclement weather. Snorkeling is a sport that is usually takes place in warm, clear waters because it requires long periods of time underwater. The problem with snorkeling in Maine is not the ice cold water -- heavy-duty wetsuits can deal with that -- but with finding water calm enough to allow you float around without getting smashed against a rock. Fortunately, several prime snorkeling spots with relatively calm waters exist in Maine.

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Step 1

Rent some equipment. A variety of dive shops in Portland and other coastal towns offer masks, snorkels, fins and booties. To snorkel in Maine's cold waters, you will need a wetsuit and a hood, as well as booties. The Maine Divers Scuba Center in Portland rents out complete snorkeling packages that include all necessary equipment, by the day or by the week.

Step 2

Snorkel in Acadia National Park. The park is an island wonderland of channels, pristine beaches and protected waterways that are calm and clean enough to make for fine snorkeling. Bar Harbor, the park's biggest town, even sports a protected beach. Sand Beach offers calm semi-clear waters for amateur snorkelers who want to check out the rich underwater environment of the park. Over at Echo Lake Beach, on the west side of the island, warmer water awaits snorkelers who want to explore the coast of the large and very shallow lake.

Step 3

Visit Mousam Lake. One of the gems of Maine's fabulous lakes region, Mousam Lake is a large, emerald-colored lake that contains an abundance of fish and underwater plants. The 900-acre lake also connects via waterways to other lakes in the region, offering aquatic explorers nearly unlimited adventure possibilities. The Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, which monitors the state's lakes for invasive species and pollution levels, also conducts snorkeling-led workshops throughout the year that combine education, public service and fun.

Step 4

Explore Drakes Island Beach. Located in the town of Wells, which is known for its white-sand beaches and its summer holidays, Drakes Island Beach offers calm, clear waters for snorkeling. A nearby estuary offers freshwater snorkeling opportunities offers miles of tidal rivers and freshwater lagoons that can also be explored with snorkel equipment.

About the Author

Based in San Francisco, Ocean Malandra is a travel writer, author and documentary filmmaker. He runs a major San Francisco travel website, is widely published in both online and print publications and has contributed to several travel guidebooks to South America.

Photo Credits

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