Maine, the land of lobster, famous lighthouses and infamous characters, recently rated the sixth-best state in the U.S. to take a road trip this summer.

We’d boldly say we’re No. 1, but read on and we’ll let you decide.

It’s the 8th annual Maine Summer Road Trip Quiz! Learn about our great state and the people in it, then cruise to 10 spots near and far to take it all in.

Pack a cold Moxie, watch out for moose and beware the Kikiwaka.*

* Don’t know what that is? You’re gonna want to.

1. Let’s start with an easy one: Maine is the only state in the country where what animal breeds?

1) Purple-nose skink

2) Atlantic puffin

3) Northern porcupine

2. Maine native and prolific inventor Hiram Maxim received his first of 271 patents around 1866 for:

1) A new and improved hair curling iron

2) A new and improved mouse trap

3) A new and improved machine gun

3. To stand out from competitors back in the day, Moxie, now Maine’s official state soft drink, claimed to have:

1) “Made more homes happy”

2) “Cured drunkards by the thousands”

3) “Prevented more crime and suffering in New England” than anyone else, combined

4. Maine’s known for its picturesque lighthouses. Which one appeared in the hit movie “Forrest Gump”?

1) Marshall Point Lighthouse

2) Snubnose Lighthouse

3) Bug Light

5. True or false: Maine has an official state fabric.

6. What gorgeous landmark here has earned the nickname “The Grand Canyon of Maine”?

1) Katahdin Gulch

2) Gulf Hagas

3) Swift Fjord

7. In addition to the scenery, we’ve got so many notable people around these parts. For instance, Portland’s James Kennerley, who:

1) Works as one of only two municipal organists in the country.

2) Robbed the same bank four times between 1950-1990.

3) Memorized 70,001 digits to win the New England Pi Day contest in 2010, a record yet to be defeated.

8. What is the Great Spangled Fritallary?

1) An original colonial flag that hung in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, now at the Maine State Museum.

2) Governor’s Restaurant’s famous breakfast special with eggs and rainbow peppers, once eaten on air by Johnny Carson.

3) One of 43 butterfly species found on Swan Island, along with the Pepper & Salt Skipper.

9. Turn your thoughts slightly to fall: What’s the most popular Thanksgiving side dish in Maine, based on the number of times it was Googled the first week of November last year?

1) Green bean casserole

2) Butternut squash

3) Potatoes

10. Now snap those thoughts right back to August: Disney’s TV series “Bunk’d,” about kids’ summer adventures at Camp Kikiwaka, is set in fictional:

1) Moose Rump, Maine

2) Moose Lick, Maine

3) Moose Jaw, Maine

BONUS: What best describes the Kikiwaka, a creature spotted by some campers in the Maine woods?

1) A mixture of Bigfoot and a giant demonic bunny

2) Part werewolf, part ancient grizzly

3) Part Lobster, part demonic grizzly


1. What animal only breeds here in the U.S.?

2) Atlantic puffin! As of last year, their numbers were looking good. You can follow a pair of puffin parents on’s live Seal Island puffin cam.

Now go: To! Maine’s tourism website lists several puffin cruises and contains some basic safety ground rules for jetting around here this summer, making it a natural first stop on your Maine road trip, especially if you’re coming in from away.

2. Hiram Maxim’s first invention?

1) A new and improved curling iron, but the other two, a mouse trap and machine gun, came later. Predated by Gatling guns, which are cranked by hand, the Maxim Gun had a single barrel and became “the first effective machine gun, which revolutionized warfare,” according to a PBS profile. His hometown’s history says he eventually moved to England and was knighted by Queen Victoria.

Now go: To Sangerville, that hometown! Town Manager Brydie Armstrong says you’ll find a sign marking Maxim’s original homestead in the woods off Brockway Mills Road, “directly across from the first telephone pole on the left.”

“Another scenic sight: Lowe’s Covered Bridge,” she said. “It is on Route 15. One end is in Guilford, the other in Sangerville. This is not the original covered bridge — that one was swept away by the flood of 1987.”

Which I can attest was a wicked doozie.

3. Moxie’s bold claim?

All three! In 1884, inventor Dr. Augustin Thompson claimed carbonated Moxie Nerve Food could do all that and more, according to New England Today.

Now go: I mean, is there any question? Lisbon is synonymous with Moxie in Maine — need more evidence than a Moxie orange fire truck and annual festival? — and it’s temporarily created a 4,000-square foot Moxie Plaza downtown for outdoor dining and other vendors.

4. Which lighthouse appeared in “Forrest Gump”?

1) Marshall Point Lighthouse — and the movie didn’t just show the landmark, Tom Hanks’s character ended his grueling cross-country run right there in Port Clyde.

Now go: It’s a beautiful time to be on the coast and the lighthouse grounds and museum are open! Stroll the walkway, check out the pretty rock-filled beach area beside it and find information in the museum on the filming of “Forrest Gump,” according to

5. True or false on the Maine state fabric?

Totally false! But California does (it’s denim). Maybe something to think about when we can have fun things again?

Now go: Fabric it up by outlet shopping in Kittery or Freeport! Or both! Check for a list of shops open in Kittery, most along Route 1. Find Freeport shops online and check out the iconic L.L.Bean headquarters while you’re at it.

Also, let’s start voting among ourselves for the Maine state fabric: I’m casting an early ballot for buffalo plaid.

6. What’s known as the “Grand Canyon of Maine”?

2) Gulf Hagas! Find rapids, pools, waterfalls and plenty of natural beauty along the three-mile gorge, according to

Now go: If you’re super experienced and up for a rigorous hike and adventure, absolutely, head on up to Brownville and it’s Gulf Hagas, ho! Up for something a bit more family-friendly and flop-floppable that still delivers on the I-just-climbed-to-the-top-of-the-world shot for Instagram? Give Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal a go.

7. What is James Kennerley known for?

1) He works as one of only two municipal organists in the country! Who knew? The other is in San Diego, according to Peter S. Plumb, who was the first president of the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ, a private non-profit the city placed in charge of the organ that also pays Kennerley’s salary.

Kennerley became the eleventh person to hold the position after a unanimous city council vote in 2017.

Now go: Well, how about a brief, “Stay tuned?” The organ is located in Merrill Auditorium and, pre-COVID-19, it hosted organ tours and about 16 to 18 concerts a year.

Executive Director Shireen Shahawy said Kennerley and FOKO staff are hard at work finalizing details and expect to have an announcement related to the organ in early August.

Circling Portland eagerly in the meantime? There’s always the International Cryptozoology Museum — just remember to social distance from Bigfoot.

8. What is the Great Spangled Fritallary?

3) One of 43 butterfly species found on Swan Island, along with the Pepper & Salt Skipper! Again, who knew?

Now go: Swan Island, of course! Book a ferry reservation in advance with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (207-592-0579) and head to Richmond’s waterfront for a cool day of exploring seven miles of trails, historic homes (visible from the gravel roadside), wildlife and more.

9. Maine’s most popular Thanksgiving side dish?

3) Potatoes! In New Hampshire it was Brussels sprouts, Rhode Island cranberry sauce and Massachusetts butternut squash — Newsweek kindly mapped out the whole country. Also, if you start to deep dive on the difference between “stuffing” and the very-popular-in-the-South “dressing,” block out a little time . . .

Now go: Have I got a county for you, The County. Aroostook County farmers are so potato prolific that there’s a decades-long potato festival celebrating the spud. Head on up, sample a thick-cut fry or three and check out the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, part of the former Loring Air Force Base that’s now home to moose, snowshoe hare, beaver, lynx, river otters and eagles. The visitors center is currently closed but the 13 miles of trail are open.

10. Where is Disney’s “Bunk’d” set?

1) Moose Rump, Maine, which, amazing name.

BONUS: What is the Kikiwaka?

1) “A mixture of Bigfoot and a giant demonic bunny,” according to the “Bunk’d” Wiki fandom page.

Better keep your eyes peeled.

Now go: In honor of Moose Rump, let’s hit Moose Point State Park in Searsport! Located off Route 1, you’ll find a 1.2-mile trail, picnic tables and scenic views aplenty. Beware that, according to a state map, there’s an area smack dab in the middle of the park marked “Dead Zone.” Where the Kikiwaka lurks? Or inspiration for the Stephen King novel? Just maybe.

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