I’ve been meaning to share this bridge observatory with you ever since last summer, when we were in Maine. How on earth did this get lost in my Drafts folder?! No matter, we’re doing this now!
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory, at 447′ tall, is the tallest bridge observatory in the world and the only one in the United States. When I read that statistic, I knew Andy and I had to visit it when we traveled through Mid-Coast Maine for my birthday.
The Penobscot Narrows Bridge carries U.S. Route 1 over the Penobscot River in Mid-Coast Maine, about twenty miles south of Bangor. The above photo is from our 2008 trip to Maine, when we drove from Boothbay to Acadia National Park, on a gorgeous summer day. I was driving and as we turned a corner, all of a sudden, there was this huge suspension bridge unlike any we’d ever seen before. Whoa, we said, this thing is incredible!
Little did we know at the time just how incredible it was.
Since we stayed overnight in Camden last June, we decided to pay the observatory a visit, along with Fort Knox State Historic Site right next door. It was a gray spring day, but the threat of rain wasn’t going to deter us from ascending this tower modeled after the Washington Monument (the monument is made of granite from the same mountain that overlooks the Penobscot Narrows Bridge).
It turned out that going on a gray spring day was perfect, despite missing out on views of Acadia and Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest mountain. Andy and I entered the observatory via Fort Knox and took in the nearly-empty parking lot: we had the place to ourselves! The elevator ride to the top was fast and smooth, and we ran out like little kids when we reached the observation deck.
I loved how they had maps on all sides to indicate what we were looking at. We took in the boats below us on the Penobscot River, the nearby village of Bucksport, and surrounding mountains and countryside. Andy shot these four images, featuring the views from all four directions:
When we’d had our fill of the views, we wandered around Fort Knox State Historic Site next door.
If you’re interested in gorgeous views, civil engineering, or visiting one-of-a-kind attractions, I’m sure you’ll enjoy a visit to the Penobscot Narrows Observatory and Fort Knox.
Visitor Info: The Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory is in Prospect, Maine and is open seven days a week, from May 1 through October 31. The observatory meets all guidelines of the American with Disabilities Act; Maine’s fastest elevator takes visitors up up 43 stories to the observation deck. Pets and strollers are not allowed. Adult admission for Fort Knox and the Observatory is $5 for Maine residents, $7 for non-residents.
Haha, wow! Bridges freak me out to begin with…and so do heights! That is crazy!
I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re not into heights! Luckily, there’s plenty of other, on-the-ground stuff to do in Maine 🙂
We went there last summer with our friends from Michigan. She couldn’t wait to get to the top and look around while he could barely stand at it’s base and look up without being frightened. The three of us were awed with the views of Maine we saw from the observation deck.
I’m so glad I’m not afraid of heights!
What an amazing trip! Love your photo shoot, excellent pictures. Actually, I think this is a perfect time to share such a trip as folks might be interested in planning just this sort of visit in the summer months! Thanks for sharing.
That’s a good point, Peggy, thanks 🙂 I’m such a last-minute planner that I forget most people plan for travel months ahead of time.
Wow! I love when you can tell how tall it is compared to other tall things.
I have zero fear of heights so I know I’d enjoy this!
Oh good! I always think I’m just being nerdy when I take pictures of signs like that, good to know I’m not the only one who appreciate them.
Great photos! That looks like a lot of fun.
Beautiful! It reminds me very much of a bridge where I live, but we can’t go to the top of that bridge. I would love to get up there and look around. The views look amazing!
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It really was amazing. I’m thinking it would also be spectacular in the fall, when the colors are at their peak. Ooh, now I’m excited for that!
Beautiful! It’s taller than the Statue of Liberty!! I love facts like that.
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Glad you appreciate the nerdiness, Jen 🙂
I think on my next trip to Maine, I must look into this. I would love to be able to look out and snap some photos from this spot! And at that cost? A no-brainer!
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Ah, sorry I didn’t respond to this a month ago, P.J.! Yes, the cost stands out, especially compared to NY prices, like the Top of the Rock. When you see $7 for a tourist attraction, you know you’re not in the NY Metropolitan Area any more 🙂