Wild Maine Blueberries

DownEast Acadia is famous for its “lowbush blueberry” better known as the wild blueberry. 
Maine Wild Blueberries ready for harvest

The wild blueberry is the official state fruit of Maine, and most certainly the folks of DownEast Acadia are “wild” for the dark blue gems. The region leads the way in making Maine the single-largest overall producer of blueberries in the United States.

Raking Maine wild blueberries during harvest.
Wild Blueberry Cocktails
Wild Blueberry Pie

Growing and Harvesting

Being a native plant, they’re naturally adapted to Maine’s unique soil and seasons. Add some sun and rain, and they’re good to go. Wild blueberries are smaller than the “high bush” or cultivated variety and are universally described as having a more intense and sweeter taste. This flavor makes them perfect for raking and eating them fresh right off the bush. Wild blueberries have long been a part of our local diet—tens of thousands of years—and have contributed to the unique seasonal culture that exists only here and the annual harvest has attracted migrant workers for a very long time. Every summer, Machias and Blue Hill put on festivals to honor these local celebrities. There might even be a place for you at the pie-eating contest. If you visit during Maine Wild Blueberry Weekend in August, you and the kids can harvest your own at wild blueberry farms throughout the state. Then pick yourself up a copy of Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey, who summered with his family every year on Little Deer Isle. If you can’t take it out to the blueberry barrens, we invite you too enjoy a visit to the Virtual Wild Blueberry Museum to learn about the science and history of Maine’s favorite fruit.

Eat them Up

During harvest season, there are endless opportunities to enjoy this delightful fruit; visit a farmers’ market to pick up a few pints, grab a just picked quart at a roadside stand, or take some time on a cool summer morning to create an unforgettable memory by finding a pick-your-own place. Once you have your berries, savor their sweet and just a little bit tart flavor in pies and pancakes. Preserve them in syrups and jams. Combine them into mustards and salad dressings and micro-brews, or cover them with chocolate and pop them in your mouth handfuls at a time. There are countless ways to incorporate wild Maine blueberries into your cooking, so be adventurous and create some original flavor combinations.

Blueberry barrens ablaze in Autumn

True Maine Fall Foliage

During late September and early October, many visitors flock to Maine for the brilliant golds and red colors of our fall foliage. The colors of the wild blueberry barrens across DownEast Acadia are just as unique and perhaps even more captivating.

After the wild blueberry harvest is completed, the leaves of the bushes will soon turn to a dark crimson color, then explode into remarkable hues of red and purple as the fall progresses. Miles upon miles of blueberry barrens appear to be carpeted by these colors as you drive along the byways and backroads.

One of the best routes to take it all in is the Bold Coast National Scenic Byway and the Epping Baseline Road. Some of the more important communities that support this agricultural gem include Cherryfield and Columbia Falls. In fact, Cherryfield is the home of Wyman’s which along with the other producers in the region grow the world’s entire wild blueberry crop.

Planning Tools

To help you plan your trip we provide  information on drive time and distances to and around the region. Plus info on other commercial transportation options.

Once you arrive in DownEast Acadia, you will want to access local sources of visitor information, state laws, recreation rules, and road conditions.

To help you pack or plan your day, check out the current weather in the region or learn about year-round averages of temperature and precipitation.

Maine Office of Tourism, VisitMaine.com

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