The Desert of Maine (Desert Week)

Thursday, 19th June 2008 by

We’re continuing the first annual GSS Desert Week! We’re mostly posting about deserts and it’s lasting about a week!

The 40 acre Desert of Maine is located in a pine forest near the town of Freeport. Although not a real desert, the “sand” is natural to the area: it is glacial silt that would have been ground down under the earth sometime around the last ice age.

The silt would have remained hidden underground if it wasn’t for some poor farming practices in the early 1900s that eroded all the soil. The farmer eventually had to sell up to an enterprising man who correctly assumed tourists would flock to see some sand in the middle of a forest.

Since 1925 up to 30,000 people a year have visited the “desert”, which is made even more exciting by the inclusion of plastic camels. If that wasn’t enough, there is also a “sand museum” where you can see the sand of real deserts donated from around the world… sounds fascinating!

More info on the official website and NY Times.

Thanks to Elliott C. Evans and jon moses.