Geography - Frequently Asked Questions

Elevation

Rivers and Lakes

General Geography

Geographic Names


Elevation

Q1. What's the highest mountain in Maine?     Back

Elevation (feet) Mountain
5267 Katahdin
4237 Sugarloaf
4180 Old Speck
4168 Crocker
4150 Bigelow
4143 North Brother
4116 Saddleback
4049 Abraham
4023 The Horn

Source: Length and Breadth of Maine, by S.B. Attwood, 1977, University of Orono Press, Orono, Maine.

Mount Ktaadn from W. Butterfield's (Oct. 8th 1836) Near the Grand Schoodic Lake

Mount Katahdin


Q2. What is the highest point in each county?     Back

Maine County High Points, benchmark data


Rivers and Lakes

Q3. What are the lengths of some of Maine's major rivers?     Back

River Length
St. John 331 with southwest branch
325 with southeast branch
Penobscot 240 miles with west and north branches
Androscoggin 174
Kennebec 170 miles with West Outlet
Saco 121
Aroostook 100
Allagash 69 miles

Source: Length and Breadth of Maine, by S.B. Attwood, 1977, University of Orono Press, Orono, Maine.


Q4. What is Maine's biggest lake?     Back

  • 1. Moosehead Lake - 117 square miles
  • 2. Sebago Lake - 45 square miles
  • 3. Chesuncook Lake - 36 square miles
  • 4. Mooselookmeguntic Lake - 26 square miles

Source: Length and Breadth of Maine, by S.B. Attwood, 1977, University of Orono Press, Orono, Maine.


Q5. What is the difference between a lake and a pond, river, stream, and brook?     Back

  • Lake - an inland body of water occupying a depression in the earth's surface, generally of appreciable size
  • Pond - a natural body of standing water, occupying a small surface depression, usually smaller than a lake.
  • River - a natural freshwater surface stream of considerable volume and a permanent or seasonal flow.
  • Stream - any body of moving water that moves under gravity to progressively lower levels, in a relatively narrow but clearly defined channel on the surface of the ground.
  • Brook - a small stream or rivulet, commonly swiftly flowing in rugged terrain, of lesser length and volume than a creek. A term used in England and New England for any tributary to a small river or to a larger stream.

Source: Glossary of Geology, R.L. Bates and J.A. Jackson (eds.), 1987, American Geological Institute, Third Edition.


General Geography

Q6. What's the geographic center of Maine?     Back

Brownville Junction -- 18 miles north of Dover-Foxcroft


Q7. How long is Maine's coastline?     Back

Maine has approximately 3478 miles (5600 kilometers) of tidally-influenced shoreline.


Geographic Names

Q8. What do the township abbreviations in Maines unorganized towns stand for?     Back

BKP Binghams Kennebec Purchase
BPP Binghams Penobscot Purchase
ED East Division
EKR East of the Kennebec River
MD Middle Division
NBKP North of Binghams Kennebec Purchase
NBPP North of Binghams Penobscot Purchase
ND North Division
NWP North of the Waldo Patent
PLT Plantation
SD South Division
TS Titcomb Survey
TWP Township
WELS West of the Easterly Line of the State
WBKP West of Binghams Kennebec Purchase
WKR West of the Kennebec River

Source: Length and Breadth of Maine, by S.B. Attwood, 1977, University of Orono Press, Orono, Maine.


Q9. I want to name a geographical feature. Whom should I contact?     Back

There is no State of Maine geographic names authority. Name changes should be submitted to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.


Q10. How can I locate a specific geographic feature or place in Maine?     Back

Online, try out the U.S. Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System. Or you can refer to the Length and Breadth of Maine, by Stanley Bearce Attwood, University of Maine at Orono Press, 2004.


Q11. Do geographic names have any geologic meaning?     Back

Geologically Speaking, What's in a Place Name? (PDF, 1.0Mb)


Last updated on April 9, 2012