The Maine Highlands
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The Maine Highlands
Two of Maine's most spectacular natural assets are located within the scenic Katahdin/Moosehead Region. The 40-mile long Moosehead Lake, and the majestic and challenging mile-high Mt. Katahdin at Baxter State Park attract outdoor enthusiasts from around the world.
Considered one of the last real wilderness areas on the East Coast, the Katahdin/Moosehead Region offers some of the finest camping, fishing, boating, hiking and hunting anywhere.
Visitors to the area typically approach the region with either Greenville or Millinocket as a take-off point due to the region's vastness and network of roads.
Part of the region is accessible by paper company roads only and some roads are not open during certain times of the year.
Spectacular views and impressive panoramas can be found throughout the region, but nothing is more awe-inspiring than Baxter State Park. Left in perpetuity to the state by Gov. Percival Baxter, the 200,000-acre forest preserve is a massive tract of land traversed by remote hiking trails and dominated by Mt. Katahdin. The park is also famous for its Maine wildlife - bears, moose, eagles and deer - and the fact it marks the beginning of the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail which extends all the way to Georgia.
Another must-see location is in nearby Brownville Junction. Gulf Hagas, as it is known, is a 3-mile gorge often called the "Grand Canyon of the East."
One of the major communities in this part of the region - Millinocket - has a rich history of papermaking and lumbering and several museums allow visitors to appreciate and understand that part of Maine's history.
While in the Katahdin-area, you might want to visit:
- The Ambejejus Boom House on Ambejejus Lake in Millinocket offers insights into the old days of papermaking.
- The Lumberman's Museum in Patten depicts the golden days of the logger and lumberjack.
- The Millinocket Museum includes artifacts and collections relating to period appliances, money and Native American craftwork.
- The Northern Timber Cruisers Antique Snowmobile Museum is located in Millinocket and offers the history of early snowmobiling in the Katahdin region.
If Mt. Katahdin dominates one part of this extensive region, the rest of the area is dominated by Moosehead Lake. More than 40-miles long and up to 10 miles wide in areas, the lake's picturesque shoreline includes everything from bogs to sandy beaches. The largest lake in New England, Moosehead is dotted with islands and ringed by high mountains that offer great opportunities for picnics, scenic vistas and photographs.
Greenville, nestled at the southern tip of Moosehead Lake, serves as base camp for many guide services, outfitters, canoe renters and rafting adventurers. It's also the largest seaplane base in New England, and hundreds of seaplanes buzz into Greenville for the International Seaplane Fly-in Weekend in September.
Another natural attraction at Moosehead Lake is Mt. Kineo - a 700-foot high island rising sharply out of the water about a mile off shore. Once the home of an exclusive and stately summer resort, Mt. Kineo is another great site for a picnic, exploring and adventure.
Two must-sees in the Greenville area include:
- The Moosehead Marine Museum offers a collection of photographs and memorabilia from the lake's steamboat history.
- The S/S Katahdin, a restored 1914 steamboat ferries passengers around the lake during the summer months.
Naturally, camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing and exploring are major components of any visit to the Moosehead Lake area. There are plenty of outdoors and wilderness adventure centers open to assist in planning family trips, and you might even consider going on a moose safari - but, remember, pack only your camera - no shooting allowed.