The “Lighter” Side Of Maine

The “Lighter” Side Of Maine

Guest blogger: Ric Tyler

Here’s a riddle for you: what is the longest day of the year?

Many say it is June 21st, the Summer Solstice.

It’s not.

This year, the longest day of the year is actually Sunday, November 5th, when we switch from Daylight Saving Time to Eastern Standard Time and we turn the clocks back an hour. That day will last 25 hours.

June 21st is, much like 363 other days of the year, 24 hours long.

June 21st is, however, the day with the longest amount of daylight in North America.  And because of our latitude, nowhere else in Maine enjoys as much sunlight this time of year than Aroostook County.

Fort Kent’s sun rises around 4:37 am.  Sunset holds off until 8:34 pm for a solid 15 hours, 56 minutes and 12 seconds of daylight.

By comparison, the rooster doesn’t crow in Bangor until 4:48 am and the sun won’t set until 8:25 pm for 15 hours, 35 minutes and 23 seconds. 

And “early risers” in Portland are sleeping in until 4:58 am. The sun sets in Maine’s largest city around 8:24 pm for a mere 15 hours, 26 minutes and 35 seconds.

Many Swedes in Aroostook County celebrate this day of sunlight with a Midsommer Celebration.

In addition to working on your tan, there are plenty of ways to make the most of the extra daylight.

Biking: Did you know the League of American Cyclists has ranked Maine as one of the top 10 most bike-friendly states in the country? From Mountain Biking to Cycling, Aroostook County offers some of the best trails and routes.

Boating: With lakes abound and many public boat launches, Aroostook County is a great place to spend the day on the water. Why not make the most of the sun with a kayaking or canoeing day trip?

Fishing: With lakes and ponds swimming with landlocked salmon, brook trout, lake trout (togue), Muskie, and even small mouth bass and pickerel, Aroostook County is a prime destination if you want to throw a reel and see what you catch (or if you don’t like surprises, click on the fish name to learn the best spots to find each type).

Outdoor enthusiasts take note; If you want to hike longer, bike longer, paddle longer, fish longer, or simply soak up the maximum amount of sun available in Maine this time of year, come to Aroostook County.