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Scenic Maine Road Trips

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Boasting one of the oldest Scenic Byway programs in the country, Maine offers diverse landscapes such as the Western Mountains and the rugged Down East coastline. Scenic Maine Road Trips is the first of its kind to explore the outstanding character, tradition, culture, and wilderness to be discovered along these routes. This exploration through photographs, maps, informative text and sidebars will help you discover the real Maine that exists beyond Route 1 or I-95.

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1 Pequawket Trail

ePub

PEQUAWKET TRAIL

REGION: Lakes & Mountains

LENGTH: 60 miles

ROADS: Routes 5 & 13

TRAVEL TIME: 2 hours

START: Standish

END: Gilead

The Androscoggin River near Gilead.

Dandelions in the Saco River Valley.

North Fryeburg Farm.

THE PEQUAWKET TRAIL IS LOCATED IN CUMBERLAND AND OXFORD counties and runs north through the Saco River Valley from Standish to Gilead. The sixty-mile-long route incorporates numerous small towns and villages along the way and even crosses briefly into New Hampshire. The lower portion of the byway, from Standish to Fryeburg, follows the historic route of the Sokokis Indians (a branch of the Eastern Abenaki), who used the trail to move between their summer encampments on the coast and their traditional homes located in the area they called Pequawket, present day Fryeburg.

Formerly known as Pearsontown Plantation, the town of Standish was incorporated in 1785. Its first European settlers were Massachusetts veterans of the French and Indian War. Land was often given as payment to soldiers for their service and at the time Maine was still part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Baldwin (Flintstown Plantation) and Brownfield (Brownfield Plantation) also have their roots in land grants to former soldiers. Some veterans sold their land rights, but many brought their families and began to work the land. These early settlers usually built along the trail for convenience and also for protection. When Europeans began colonizing this particular part of Maine it was not wilderness. Maine

 

2 Grafton Notch

ePub

GRAFTON NOTCH

REGION: Lakes & Mountains

LENGTH: 21 miles

ROADS: Route 26

TRAVEL TIME: 2 hours

START: Newry

END: Upton

Bear River, Grafton Notch.

Sunday River Bridge, Newry.

THE GRAFTON NOTCH SCENIC BYWAY BEGINS IN NEWRY TO THE south and runs twenty-one miles to its terminus in the small northern town of Upton. Along the way, you

 

3 Rangeley Lakes

ePub

RANGELEY LAKES

REGION: Lakes & Mountains

LENGTH: 52 miles

ROADS: Routes 17 & 4

TRAVEL TIME: 2.5 hours

START: Byron

END: Madrid Township

View toward Rangeley Lake from scenic overlook.

THE RANGELEY LAKES REGION OFFERS ONE OF FOUR NATIONALLY recognized byways in Maine and it features a unique set of natural resources. Lakes, mountains, rivers and streams, working forestland, and an abundance of wildlife combine to make this special place an outdoor sporting paradise. Today, the Rangeley area is a four-season destination and has something for everyone who loves being outside. The fishing in this region is legendary and, along with hunting and camping, is one of the first activities that attracted visitors to the area.

The region is made up of three distinct watersheds: the Kennebago, Mooselookmeguntic, and Magalloway, and much of it today remains as it was when first explored by Europeans more than 250 years ago. Europeans, however, were not the first to visit this heavily forested land. There

 

4 Old Canada Road

ePub

OLD CANADA ROAD

REGION: Kennebec & Moose

River Valley

LENGTH: 78 miles

ROADS: Route 201

TRAVEL TIME: 3 hours

START: Solon

END: Sandy Bay Township

View from Attean View Rest Area.

Trail to Moxie Falls.

Plaque marking one of the campsites used by Benedict Arnold

 

5 Route 27

ePub

ROUTE 27

REGION: Lakes & Mountains

LENGTH: 47 miles

ROADS: Route 27

TRAVEL TIME: 1.5 hours

START: Kingfield

END: Coburn Gore

Natanis Pond, part of the Chain of Ponds on the Arnold Trail.

Dead River Area Historical Society, Stratton.

Kingfield Dam on the Carrabassett River.

ROUTE 27 EXPOSES TRAVELERS TO SOME OF THE BEST SCENERY Maine

 

6 Moosehead Lake

ePub

MOOSEHEAD LAKE

REGION: Highlands

LENGTH: 68 miles

ROADS: Routes 6 & 15

TRAVEL TIME: 3 hours

START: Greenville

END: Jackman or Kokadjo

Early morning fishing in the Piscataquis Wilderness Area.

West Branch Pond Camps near Kokadjo.

THE MOOSEHEAD LAKE REGION IS THE GATEWAY TO MAINE

 

7 Katahdin Woods & Waters

ePub

KATAHDIN WOODS & WATERS

REGION: Highlands

LENGTH: 89 miles

ROADS: Baxter Park Rd.,

Routes 11 & 159

TRAVEL TIME: Varies

START: Baxter State Park

South Gate

END: Baxter State Park

North Gate

View of Katahdin from Ash Hill near Patten.

Goldenrod along Grindstone Road in Staceyville.

Rafting the West Branch of the Penobscot.

THE KATAHDIN WOODS & WATERS SCENIC BYWAY IS EIGHTY-NINE miles long and extends from the southern gate of Baxter State Park near Togue Pond to the northern gate at Grand Lake Matagamon. The byway passes through Millinocket, East Millinocket, Medway, Staceyville, Sherman, Patten, Mount Chase, and the village of Shin Pond, exposing travelers to a variety of landscapes that includes working forests, wilderness rivers, active farmlands, historic mill towns, and panoramic vistas.

The Penobscot River Basin drains 8,600 square miles of watershed and is the second largest watershed in New England. Best known for the salmon that swim in its rivers, it offers an abundance of sportfishing opportunities. With its numerous dams and rivers, it also hosts some of the finest canoeing and whitewater rafting in the east.

 

8 Acadia All-American Road

ePub

ACADIA ALL-AMERICAN ROAD

REGION: Down East & Acadia

LENGTH: 40 miles

ROADS: Route 3, the Park

Loop Road

TRAVEL TIME: 3 hours

START: Trenton

END: Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor sunset.

The schooner Margaret Todddocked in Bar Harbor.

THE ACADIA ALL-AMERICAN ROAD BEGINS AT THE TRENTON-Ellsworth line and at six miles passes the Thompson Island Information Center, run by the National Park Service. The center is located on the left-hand side of the road on Thompson Island just before driving onto Mount Desert Island. Ellsworth is the commercial center for the region and includes restaurants, retail shops, adventure outfitters, and a marina, but is also home to unique historic landmarks. The 300-acre Black Mansion, known sometimes as Woodlawn, is located on Surry Road and is open to the public. Colonel John Black amassed a fortune in the timber industry and his home has been preserved as an example of the wealth enjoyed by some in the 1800s. The mansion is furnished with authentic period furniture and offers guided tours.

 

9 Schoodic National Scenic Byway

ePub

SCHOODIC NATIONAL SCENIC BYWAY

REGION: Down East & Acadia

LENGTH: 29 miles

ROADS: Routes 1 & 186

TRAVEL TIME: 1 hour

START: Hancock

END: Prospect Harbor

Pink granite along the Acadia National Park section of the Schoodic Peninsula.

Loading traps.

Harbor seals on Frenchman Bay.

A SHORT RED LINE PASSES THROUGH TWENTY-NINE MILES OF THE Schoodic Peninsula on the official road map of Maine and although not a great distance as

 

10 Black Woods Scenic Byway

ePub

BLACK WOODS SCENIC BYWAY

REGION: Down East & Acadia

LENGTH: 12.5 miles

ROADS: Route 182

TRAVEL TIME: 0.5 hour

START: Franklin

END: Cherryfield

October mist on Tunk Lake.

Trees overhanging Black Woods Road (Route 182).

View of Hog Bay from Route 182.

THE 12.5-MILE-LONG BLACK WOODS SCENIC BYWAY BEGINS AT THE border between Franklin and the Unorganized Territory of Township 9. Located in the heart of the Hog Bay and Taunton Bay watershed, this route traverses a rich and vital ecosystem important to the region and to the people who live and work there. The byway begins at a fork in the road, in a small hamlet at the divergence of Routes 182 and 200. Hog Bay Road branches to the right and brings you back to Route 1; Black Woods Road forks to the left and brings you through primitive landscape with spectacular views, eventually ending in the historic town of Cherryfield

 

11 The Million-Dollar View

ePub

THE MILLION-DOLLAR VIEW

REGION: Down East & Acadia and Aroostook

LENGTH: 8 miles

ROADS: Route 1

TRAVEL TIME: 1 hour

START: Danforth

END: Orient

Looking across to East Grand Lake and Canada.

Bog near Orient.

Train tracks running through Danforth.

A WARM WELCOME AWAITS TRAVELERS IN THE RURAL communities along this stretch of U.S. Route 1. The eight-mile-long Million-Dollar View Scenic Byway is one of the oldest in Maine. Established in 1971, this short stretch of road didn

 

12 The Bold Coast

ePub

THE BOLD COAST

REGION: Washington County

LENGTH: 125 miles

ROADS: Routes 1, 187, 189, 190 & 191

TRAVEL TIME: 6 hours

START: Milbridge

END: Eastport

Lobsterboats in Jonesport.

ALTHOUGH PEOPLE DEBATE WHERE DOWN EAST BEGINS AND the rest of Maine leaves off, it

 

13 Fish River

ePub

FISH RIVER

REGION: Aroostook

LENGTH: 37 miles

ROADS: Route 11

TRAVEL TIME: 1 hour

START: Portage

END: Fort Kent

Rest area overlooking Long Lake.

Angling on the aptly named Fish River.

Portage Lake at sunset.

THE 37-MILE-LONG FISH RIVER SCENIC BYWAY (ROUTE 11) IS located in Northern Aroostook County and passes through some of the most rural landscape in America. The byway, buttressed to the west by Maine

 

14 Saint John Valley

ePub

SAINT JOHN VALLEY

REGION: Aroostook

LENGTH: 91 miles

ROADS: Routes 161 & 1

TRAVEL TIME: 3 hours

START: Dickey

END: Hamlin

Valley farm and wheat fields.

Historic David Daigle potato-seed farm, Fort Kent.

THE 91-MILE-LONG SAINT JOHN VALLEY CULTURAL BYWAY BEGINS at the western end of Route 161 in the small community of Dickey. The area was settled by Scotch-Irish, who immigrated to the valley and found the land to the east already occupied. The land surrounding Dickey is hilly, less fertile, and densely forested, making it more a lumbering community than an agricultural one. Logging began in the early 1800s and supported the shipbuilding and lumber industries, and although less active today, timber is still harvested and contributes significantly to the regional economy.

Starting at the Allagash Historical Society building next to the Dickey Bridge, Route 161 travels east along Maine

 

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