Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nudists in Maine

In one of the colder states in the union, it's interesting to note that there is still a certain amount of nudist activity that goes on, even yearround with the help of saunas and heated pools. I recently ran across what seems to be the only organized Maine nudist group, the Maine Coast Solar Bares. Membership rates are reasonable at $15 year, with additional small fees being charged for attendance at organized events.

The Naturist Society N Magazine ran an article a couple of years ago about their findings in Maine. Like any place with lots of land and opportunity for privacy, Maine has some quiet spots that over the years appear to have become dedicated to clothing-optional use, usually with a wariness about the local authorities' desire for writing tickets, etc. which seems to exist in most cases. This is an excerpted version of what Mark Storey and Paul Rapoport found out:
The south end of Popham Beach State Park near Bath has been cautiously used nude for many years. The parking lot abuts a long, crescent-shaped public beach used by clothed kids and adults. Skinny-dippers should walk to the beach and turn right, marching approximately a mile (along a thin strip of beach at high tide) until rounding a bend and coming to a long inlet. Here they are out of sight of clothed sunbathers and can hope to go unnoticed by park rangers.
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Popham Beach is not a sanctioned clothing-optional site, and locals (including another skinny-dipper who showed up) told us that rangers have arrived with citations. Beach users thus check the long stretch of beach throughout the day for ticket-wielding rangers. My impression is that this is a fine skinny-dipping site, but those enjoying it should remain alert.

Appleton Ridge Pond...Known by many locals as "No Pants Pond"
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The 200-yard circular pond is located inland an hour from the rocky coastline, near the small town of Appleton. The pond was built in 1967 to help irrigate nearby blueberry farms. The berry farms didn’t make it, but the pond remains, and the owner is content to make a 150-yard section of it clothing optional.
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Naturists in Maine told me repeatedly about Richmond Sauna, located 20 minutes south of Augusta in Richmond. All had heard of it; few had been there. The latter ought to change, as this 70-acre, naturist-friendly business is well-established (since 1973) and ably complements Maine’s many other types of clothing-optional recreation. ... What excited me most about the place was adjoining six-bedroom bed and breakfast. It turns out the entire establishment is clothing-optional every day of the year. The B&B was originally a sea captain’s house, built in 1831, so it’s another example of old-style New England lodging.
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If you’re nimble and up for climbing down slippery rocks, Frenchmen’s Hole along a creek feeding Sunday River near Bethel will keep you cool on a hot day. Probably best for locals, and not quite worth a long drive for others, this stretch of water has a series of holes and troughs good for boulder hopping, sunbathing, and skinny-dipping. Located in a small canyon, the holes and short falls are shaded much of the day, but open rock and sun mix freely enough to keep sunbathers and splashers happy. ... The pools near the parking area are textile, but skinny-dippers make their way downstream over slippery rocks to isolated pools below. Or walk the road downstream 0.1 miles and scramble down a steep path to the lower pools.
For more information including directions and contact info, please see the link above to the original article which has much more information in it.

10 comments:

Chris said...

A couple opened a clothing-optional resort on a dairy farm in Albion in 2003 called "Yorktown Recreation." They failed to attract enough business, and last year transformed the place into the Ridge View Resort -- suitable for weddings, birthday parties, and class reunions. Clothing is no longer optional.

Anonymous said...

Seems the Appleton Ridge Pond has been closed to clothing optional aspect. This is sad, so sad. If people were offended, then just dont go. Or go to the other end. Howcome they can enforce these dumb laws on private property?

Anonymous said...

The owner closed Appleton Ridge pond because of inappropriate (read: sexual) activity. A few bad folks ruined it for the rest of us.

TomT said...

It is too bad to have things ruined. I guess that is why I have to find private places that just I go to and I can't talk my wife into joining me in naked walks or kayaking.

Anonymous said...

Girlfriend and I visited Frenchman's hole this summer(2010). We went across the double bridges, parked right there, and walked the path down to the river. We found plenty of privacy for nude sunbathing on the ledges and nice swimming holes to cool off.

Anonymous said...

Appleton Ridge Pond (also called Dutton Pond) is no longer nude. Too many complaints from the clothed end.

Eugene said...

Chris The place is now called twin ponds lodge its for men only its a privit place but only men can join

Boots said...

Women don't want competition from women, and they love to exert penis envy. Not even the Puritans were opposed to nude swimming, for heavens sake, and "bathing costumes" were even invented until late in the 19th century. Hell, King George III swam in the nude and King George IV at Brighton Beach. Now evreybody's up in arms -- when Titles VII and IX demand co-ed changing rooms and showers! The public really doubles me up! You know what it's called: hypocrisy. They ought to be in church (in the latest fashions).

Bryant Clarke said...

I was fortunate to be born into a family that has acquired a cluster of summer cottages during our five generations of summering coastal Vacationland. Linger-Longer was purchased in 1922; on Baypoint, Georgetown Island. We are right on the water, directly across from the Fort adjacent to the mouth of the Kennebec River. I have walked the length of Popham Beach countless times in my 27 years; however, unfortunately I have never gone all natural or even encountered a single naturist enjoying the sun in the buff! Legend has it the nude beach is found as you round the bend of the peninsula, make a hard right turn at Wood Island (forgive me, that's not a pun), here there is a beautiful and secluded stretch of beach at least a half-mile long. Dispelling some false information in previous posts this section of beach is completely privately owned by the property owners of beachfront cottages. This area IS NOT NOR WAS IT EVER PATROLLED BY PARK RANGERS. The State Park border does not even begin until nearly a full mile from the turn at Wood Island. The border is clearly marked on the beach after passing the campground and Popham Beach Club (which is also privately owned) I imagine that at some point in time the property owners of this private section of beach were open to nude bathing and comfortable with the clothing optional lifestyle. Far from the eyes of the fully-clothed beach populous massing near the Fort...

Bryant Clarke said...

...On this section of beach the property owners are fully within there rights to bathe in the nude if they are not offending others.

Since the recession these properties have changed hands frequently and many have been turned into beach rentals bringing a more family oriented group to that area of the beach. So if you were not renting or owning a cottage here It would be difficult to pull off a day in the buff without offending someone who actually has the right to be there! Remember in the State of Maine the private property of a waterfront location starts at the high tide mark! So if you are laying on dry beach in this area you are technically trespassing and certainly suspect for a ticket from the town authorities with no clothes on!

That being said you may happen to catch that looser laid back ground who are cool with nudity which is why in this location your mileage may vary!

If you have access to a kayak or small skiff I can share with you some of the more legendary and perfect locations to bare all in the sunshine very near to the beach. However that will be for a different day! :]