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The Desert of Maine
A Natural Phenomenon
When you think of Maine, one of the things you probably DON'T think of is the desert. Yet less than half an hour from Portland, tucked away amid forests and rolling hills just two and a half miles from Freeport, is a natural phenomenon known as the Desert of Maine. Severe soil erosion caused by poor farming practices in the late 1800s and early 1900s revealed this 40-acre sand dune, which geologists believe was left behind by a melting glacier 11,000 years ago.
The sand is rich in mineral deposits, which makes it interesting to rock hounds. Gems are scattered in a section of the desert for kids to find on Gem Hunts.
You can walk the marked nature trails that wind through the woods along the edge of the sand dunes or take a guided safari tour. These narrated coach tours leave every half hour.
A farm museum containing antique farm tools, a world sand collection, and sand paintings is housed in the 217-year-old barn that was once part of the Tuttle farm in the late 1700s.