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Maine is the northernmost of the New England states and is bordered by the Canadian province of New Brunswick to the north. What is the difference between the two states/provinces? Maine is a favorite of New England for hiking, offering some of the best of the East Coast - compare Maine's trails with the equally stunning trails of New Brunswick.

Maine is a stunning state to explore on a five-day road trip - but then again, so is New Brunswick. A counterpart to many of the lighthouses, covered beaches, and trails one finds in Maine can also be found in New Brunswick (just with a Canadian twist). Both places are superb places to visit in the fall and see the stunning autumn foliage.


Maine is famous for being a stunning state (and perhaps a sort of taste of Canada in the United States). Maine is further north than much of the populated regions of the major Canadian province of Ontario. It is famous for its picturesque Acadia National Park. It is known for its rugged coastlines, low population, and extensive forests.

  • Acadia National Park: The Only National Park In New England
  • Unique Attraction: The Victoria Carriage Roads Of Acadia

Maine draws visitors from far and wide to its jagged rocky Atlantic Ocean coastlines and smoothly contoured mountains. The landscapes have been carved by glaciers of historic ice ages. These landscapes, with their heavily foresting interior, make them ideal for hiking. It is also known for its seafood cuisine (particularly clams and lobster).

One of the main tourist highlights of Maine is Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is one of the most attractive destinations along the coast and is home to a magnificent selection of rocky shores, cliffs, and bluffs. Fun fact, the northern border of Maine wasn't settled between the British and Americans until 1842.

Related: The Acadian Cuisine Of New Brunswick Is Perfectly Rooted In French Tradition

Continue north through Maine, and one will cross into the Maritime province of New Brunswick. New Brunswick is a very popular province for tourism - around 9% of the labor force is employed in tourism.

There are numerous popular destinations in the province, including Magnetic Hill, Fundy National Park, Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Kouchibouguac National Park, and the Hopewell Rocks. The Bay of Fundy is located in the Fundy National Park and is famous for having the highest tides in the world.

  • Bay Of Fundy: Has The World's Highest Tides
  • Size of The Tide: 16 meters or 52.5 feet

There is so much to see in New Brunswick, but the tides at the Bay of Fundy are just something else entirely. Imagine tides that rise and fall by 16 meters or 52.5 feet and some 160 billion tonnes of seawater gushing in and out of the day twice every day.

The best place to see these gargantuan tides are at The Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park. There, visitors can walk around and see the giant sea stack monoliths at low tides and then watch as they are swallowed up by the incoming tide. At high tide, take a kayak and paddle around the monoliths one was gazing up at just a couple of hours before.

The Acadian French Heritage Of Maine And New Brunswick

While English is overwhelmingly dominant in Maine, there is also a small French-speaking population that makes up around 5% of the population. Maine and New Brunswick are part of the region that was contested by the British and French for many years.

New Brunswick is unique in Canada for being the only province that has both English and French as official languages (all the others except for Quebec are English) - although English is still dominant. It is a province where visitors can feel both the French and English colonial heritages of the region.

  • New Brunswick Official Languages: English & French

New Brunswick is home to most of the cultural region of Acadia and most of the Acadians, with its variety of French being called Acadian French.

The New Brunswick region was also colonized by many of the loyalists that fled the newly formed United States in the wake of the American War of Independence.

Related: 10 Things To Know Before Visiting The Amazing Bay Of Fundy

Maine & New Brunswick Quick Comparison

Like Maine, New Brunswick is also heavily forested, with forests covering around 83% of the country. The northern half is part of the northern extension of the Appalachians.

Quick Facts - Maine:

  • Size: 35,000 Sq Miles or 91,600 km2
  • Population: 1.4 Million
  • Capital: Augusta

Quick Facts - New Brunswick:

  • Size: 28,000 Sq Miles or 73,000 km2
  • Population: 775,000
  • Capital: Fredericton

The capital of Maine state is Augusta, while the most populous city is Portland (not Portland, Oregon!). The capital of New Brunswick is Fredericton, but the largest city is Moncton.