March 2020 — It’s the month when maple syrup flows and fishermen begin to get ready for the open water fishing season. There’s also a new museum exhibit of a landmark Maine photographer, Eliot Porter, for those days when staying indoors is a good idea. This summer, Maine welcomes a quartet of juried craft shows and of course, the state’s dozens of summer camps are open for high season. The big news this month is that one of Maine’s largest ski resorts has announced ambitious plans for a decade’s worth of major improvements. For writers, editors and bloggers looking for short-lead news, you’ll find immediate details under Happening Now. Those in search of longer lead news can scroll down to the Looking Ahead section.
Sunday River 2030
Sunday River has announced a 10-year master plan for sustainable growth and investment called Sunday River 2030. It’s an ambitious plan that includes the new Dream Maker Lodge, a slopeside condominium development at the base of North Peak. Sunday River will purchase the 18-hole Sunday River Golf Club to own and manage moving forward. They plan to build an observation tower on North Peak to offer year-round pedestrian access with scenic vistas and they intend to purchase land to develop an exclusive new neighborhood of mountain-top homesites, Merrill Hill, with ski access adjacent to North Peak. There will be ongoing improvements and additions to all base lodge facilities and services to improve the guest experience, as well as ongoing, annual investments to continue to expand snowmaking capability and increase automation. A new RFID scanning system for ticketing and lift access using first-in-the-world dual-frequency wireless chips is in the works. There are more improvements planned, such as upgrading of lifts, and exciting new mountain features, such as a Mountain Coaster and a new Jordan Summit Restaurant at the summit of Jordan Bowl. Visit Sunday River for more details.
Maine Maple Sunday
The start of springtime in Maine is not measured in snowdrops and crocuses but by the sight of aluminum sap buckets adorning the state’s many maple trees. Maine Maple Sunday is a celebration of all things maple. At this year’s event, on March 22, nearly 100 sugarhouses across the state will offer free maple syrup samples and demonstrations on how pure Maine maple syrup is made. Many farms offer games, activities, treats, sugarbush tours and music. The day marks a long-standing Maine tradition among Maine’s maple producers, and most samplings and tours are free. Go to Maine Maple Producers for more details.
Eliot Porter: All The Wild Places
The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland has mounted an amazing retrospective of the career of photographer Eliot Porter (1901–1990). Drawn from the Farnsworth’s collection, this exhibition explores the work of a photographer who introduced color to landscape photography. An artist with strong scientific and environmental interests, Porter took up color in 1939, long before his fellow photographers accepted the medium, to produce more accurate photographs of birds. Soon thereafter, he expanded his focus to celebrate the colorful beauty of nature in general. Over a fifty-year career that includes works from Maine to China, he built a broad popular reputation based on thousands of richly hued prints and twenty-five books. Visit the Farnsworth Art Museum for details of this exhibition that runs until January 3, 2021.
Fishing Season Opens on April 1
Fishermen (and women) are gearing up for the April 1 start of open water fishing in Maine. Brave anglers will ignore the chill to head out for brook trout, landlocked salmon or smallmouth bass on opening day. For others, it’s a reminder to plan a fishing trip this season. Whether it’s a stay on the Rangeley Lakes, a week in a sporting camp or just an afternoon on one of the state’s rivers, it’s the season to plan. Maine has some 6,000 lakes, ponds and rivers ready for anglers. More info can be found at Visit Maine.
Maine Crafts Association Shows in 2020
The Maine Crafts Association is managing four fine craft shows previously managed by the Maine Crafts Guild. The two organizations have joined together as one Maine craft organization offering all the programs, events and initiatives previously offered by each separate organization. The shows feature fine craft artists from the Maine Crafts Guild juried membership and craft artists who have been juried into the new Guild level of membership by the MCA. In 2020, look for the Guild Fine Craft Show: Mount Desert Island (July 24-26); the Guild Fine Craft Show: Belfast (August 14-16); the Guild Fine Craft Show: Scarborough (September 19, 20) and Guild Fine Craft Show: Brunswick (October 24, 25). Details at the Maine Crafts Association.
For more than a century, Maine has been synonymous with summer camps. Sleepaway camps, with s’mores, canoe races, swimming lessons and sleeping in dorms in the great woods is a rite of passage for many kids. Thanks to its abundance of lakes, coastline, mountains and woods, Maine is the perfect setting for these camps. There are dozens of summer camps in the state and the Maine Camp Experience and Maine Summer Camps are two comprehensive websites for the best camps in Maine. Visit Maine’s website also has a large roster of links to the state’s summer camps.
This week’s Fall Foliage Report from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry (DACF) reports less than 30 percent color change for central, coastal, and southern Maine. Forest rangers in the higher elevations report high color (less than 70 percent) in the forest.
The first of this year's fall foliage reports. Maine’s leaf-bearing trees will show off their brilliant colors of yellow, orange and red in the upcoming weeks.
Welcome Back to Maine This Fall
When you're ready to explore Maine again, we're ready to welcome you back.
Summer 2020: Quieter and More Authentic, While Keeping Maine Healthy
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument designated as International Dark Sky Sanctuary