When planning your next trip to Maine, be sure to take some extra time and see the sights in Piscataquis County. Nature abounds in the region, and the outdoor enthusiast can find many ways to take in the refreshing scenery and behold the beauty. Here are just a handful of Piscataquis County’s most popular destinations.
Peaks Kenny State Park
On the shores of Sebec Lake, offering day visitors and campers a peaceful, wooded setting in which to enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and picnicking. With 56 sites set among stately trees and large glacial boulders near the lake, the campground fosters quiet and private enjoyment of a beautiful natural setting. The 839-acre park is located six miles north of Dover-Foxcroft on the South Cove of Sebec Lake. State Park Reservations Office 207-624-9950 or www.campwithme.com.
Located in Greenville, Moosehead is Maine’s largest and most majestic lake, and is the largest mountain-lake in the eastern United States. The best way to see the lake in its entirety and to enjoy its natural beauty is to take a cruise on the historic Katahdin Steamboat. Mount Kineo, with 700-foot cliffs rising straight up from Moosehead Lake, has attracted visitors for centuries. The Moosehead region includes the headwaters of the Kennebec, the West Branch of the Penobscot, the Piscataquis, the Pleasant, and the Saint John rivers, and is home to Lily Bay State Park. The region has a large moose population; moose outnumber people three to one! While visiting the lake, visitors enjoy the town of Greenville, with many boutiques, shops, and restaurants to satisfy. For more information, call Destination Moosehead Lake at 207-695-2702 or visit destinationmooseheadlake.com.
Located on a peninsula in the center of Moosehead Lake, the southeastern face of Mount Kineo rises dramatically 800 feet straight out of the water. This famous landmark can be seen by driving 20 miles north of Greenville (Rt. 15) to Rockwood. From Rockwood, you must go to Kineo by boat.
Three trails, the Indian Trail, Bridle Trail, and North Trail, lead to the top. At the top choose an alternative way down. Proceed by heading northwest along the shore path from the docking area. Passing under the spectacular cliffs of Kineo flint, it is approximately .8 miles to the Indian trail, which starts on the right flagged by blue blaze. This trail stays near the edge of the cliff all the way to the top, approximately 1 mile.
Note: This trail passes over steep cliffs for extended lengths, and adults should be in control of children at all times. Dramatic drop-offs all the way. Watch closely for blaze marks to keep on trail. To take the Bridle Trail to the top, pass the Indian Trail trailhead and continue past a lone cabin on the shore. Immediately behind the cabin is the Bridle Trail trailhead. Or continue on the Carriage Way to Hardscrabble Point where there are signs for the North Trail. Times will vary from 3 to 5 hours depending on route taken.
At 1,947 feet, Borestone Mountain is a small but rugged mountain with a bare summit and two peaks. This is a great family hike with interesting nature stations along the trail. Total distance is only four miles.
Directions: Reach the trail by driving south from Greenville on Rt. 15. Take a left on the Elliottsville Road (look for the Appalachian Trail sign). Proceed 8 miles to Big Wilson Falls. Cross over the bridge and take your next left. Cross the railroad tracks.
Trail is approximately .1 miles on the right up a private road. Park on the main road, on the left. A small fee may be charged by the Audubon Society property caretaker.
Big Squaw Mountain
At 3,196 feet, Big Squaw Mountain, with a long ridgeline, dominates the view to the west from the Moosehead area. The view from the top of the mountain is famous. It encompasses the entire Moosehead region and its many lakes and mountains.
The mountain was home to the first fire tower in the United States, built by; M.G. Shaw in 1905. Direction from Greenville: Travel approximately 5.3 miles north of Rt. 15. Take a left on the dirt road directly across from the Forest Fire Danger level sign, just passed the Maine Forest Service Squaw Brook Campground. Travel a little less than a mile on this road. Look carefully for a sign on the right, which marks the railhead.
Time: Round trip is approximately 7. 5 miles. Allow up to 5 hours. When on top, proceed a short distance to a ledge with a view of Mirror Pond. There is a 2,000-foot elevation change from the base to the top.
A beautiful, strenuous climb with many unique points of interest. Appalachian Trail and side Trail pass spectacular falls, a gorge, and slide caves. Excellent views in all directions from the summit, an abandoned fire tower. Side trail leads to a remote mountain pond.
Take Elliottsville Road to the bridge and bear right. Go past Borestone Mountain and continue following the dirt road, for 1 ½ miles. Barren Mountain will be in front of you, continue until the road ends. The trail is marked, but take caution, it is not a well-traveled trail since many people do not hike this mountain.
Mount Katahdin & Baxter State Park
Looming a mile above the northern Maine wilderness, Mount Katahdin (meaning "greatest mountain") stands as a majestic monument to man and nature.
Baxter State Park protects the land because of the foresight and generosity of Percival Baxter. The Katahdin area is a spectacular landform of mountains, river valleys, swamps, meadows, sparkling lakes, forests, boulders, cliffs, serrated ridges, and deep glacial cirques.
An expansive area of alpine flowers and tundra above timberline testifies to the harsh weather of this region, yet more than 100 species of birds and dozens of mammal species, including black bear and moose inhabit the forest.
The beautiful shoreline of Hebron Lake is highly developed. There are many private camps and homes situated around the lake. The Town of Monson is located on the southeast shore. The lake is easily accessible by paved road on the north, east and south shores.