Visiting Our Region
Some individuals love the wide-open spaces of the great outdoors. They prefer nature over crowds, and hiking in search of waterfalls over driving in traffic. Others, however, enjoy shopping for unique Maine-made products, or trying a new restaurant before seeing a live theatrical performance. No matter what the preference, it can be found here, in Piscataquis County.
Most nature lovers would appreciate the fact that though this county is the size of Connecticut, there are currently only seventeen thousand, five hundred residents (that's about 4 people per square mile)! We are one of only two counties in Maine classified as 100% rural. Within our borders, residents and visitors find a myriad of opportunities to enjoy the landscapes and activities the Piscataquis Region provides. Summer and winter each impart their own adventures. We have beautiful rivers and ponds, and majestic lakes that seem to call out for fishermen, kayak lovers and swimmers throughout the summer, then freeze over for avid ice-fishers, snowmobilers and skaters when the temperatures drop. With most of our county deeply forested, habitat for animals of all sizes is plentiful. Hunters are likely to spot Moose, deer, grouse, wild turkey, and smaller game, and possibly Maine black bear! Our ATV trails are buzzing with activity for most of the year, and snowmobile trails seem to get more traffic in the wintertime than most of our snow covered roads! Cross country skiing is popular in the winter, and in warmer months hiking, camping and biking are also favorites; many visitors are surprised to find the stunning views our trails provide. Up to one hundred waterfalls have been discovered in the Southern Piscataquis region alone! For those who want to enjoy the quiet, peaceful beauty our county boasts, a summer cottage along Sebec Lake may be just what the doctor ordered.
Piscataquis County has significantly more to offer than its natural resources alone. There are wonderful businesses, some of them new, and others have been around for generations. A local food movement continues, with great restaurants all throughout the county, from casual cuisine to fine dining, sweet breakfast places and wonderful bakeries, there is something for every palette! Our county is very active in the arts. Residing here are deeply talented musicians, artists and actors, often showcased at Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft, providing a wonderful venue for local and outside talent to share their gifts with us.
County-wide community-events keep us all connected and provide opportunities to celebrate all that makes us unique as a county. Popular events such as the Whoopie Pie Festival draw crowds from all over New England and Canada.
For more information on events and festivals, check out our Upcoming Events Calendar.
Events, Fairs and Festivals
Piscataquis County offers many memorable events, fairs and festivals throughout the year. Events kick-off in the spring with the Annual (Dover-Foxcroft Kiwanis-sponsored) Piscataquis River Race from Guilford to Dover-Foxcroft. June ushers in warmer weather and festivals such as Milo’s Black Fly Festival and Dover-Foxcroft’s beloved Whoopie Pie Festival (penned “Maine’s Sweetest Festival”), followed by the Piscataquis RiverFestival, held in Guilford in July. Right before the start of the new school year, families and children can enjoy the Piscataquis County Fair, held on the fairgrounds in Dover Foxcroft.
Winter brings our annual Hometown Holidays celebration, where the towns within the borders of Piscataquis celebrate the wonder of Christmas on the first Saturday of December with tree lightings, Santa-sightings, storewide Christmas sales, caroling, horse and buggy rides, and more. Fisherman flock to the annual Schoodic Lake Ice Fishing Derby and enjoy ice fishing throughout the region. Sled-dog race lovers can enjoy races in various locations throughout the winter.
These are just a FEW of our events. Please check our events calendar HERE for up to date information on events througout the county, all year long.
Points of Interest
When planning your next trip to Maine, be sure to take some extra time and see the sites 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 a few of the points of interest found in the area:
Just a few places to go and things to do...
Take in the beauty of our lakes and parks
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 the ML RCOC at 207-695-2702.
See something historic
The B52 Crash Site on Elephant Mountain
East of the southern tip of Moosehead Lake, Elephant Mountain rises 2,636 feet above sea level and vaguely resembles an elephant’s head, sans tusks. No trail reaches its summit, but a short trail leads up to the historic site where a B-52 crashed into the mountain on Jan. 24, 1963, killing seven men aboard.
Low's Covered Bridge
Historic covered bridge built in 1830 that received its name from early settler, Robert Low. Low's Rebuilt in 1843, 1857, and 1987; twice destroyed by spring flooding. One of only nine covered bridges left in Maine, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places Located on Rt. 15 in Guilford, Maine.
The Harrigan Learning Center and Museum
Owned by Three Rivers Kiwanis in Milo, this unforgettable learning center and museum contains an incredible collection of fossils, minerals, and Indian artifacts. The walls are covered in beautiful murals, hand-painted by local artist Suzette East, whose talent has captured scenes from the moments in history from which many of the artifacts and fossils are derived, and the sound of classical music plays softly through the building. Hours are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 10:00am -3:00pm. Located at 24 Gerrish Rd, Milo. Admission by donation. For more info, visit threerivers-kiwanis.org.
The Blacksmith Shop Museum
Originally built in 1863 by Nicholas A. Chandler. The museum retains much of its original equipment including forge, ox-lifter, anvil and other tools. It also boasts a collection of agricultural and rural tools and material. On the National Register of Historic Places and located at 100 Dawes Road, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. Open daily May-October. Please see events calendar for blacksmith demonstration days.
Discover something new, and get some exercise!
Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit™
Piscataquis County's newest challenge for the hiker! The mountains of the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit™ offer panoramic views from each corner of the Moosehead Lake region. Finish all 6 hikes and become a registered member of the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit. The mountains of this exciting challenge are Mount Kineo, Number Four, Whitecap, Eagle Rock, Big Moose, and Borestone. For more information, please visit mooseheadpinnaclepursuit.com.
The Waterfalls of Piscataquis County
Over 100 waterfalls have been catalogued in Piscataquis County, divided into four groups, and more are being discovered all the time! The waterfalls at Gulf Hagas include Stair, Billings, Buttermilk and Screw Auger. Outside Gulf Hagas include West Chairback Pond, Highbridge, and Haybrook. The falls in the Bodfish Valley include Little Wilson, Upper Little Wilson, Lower Big Wilson Stream, Thompson, Vaughn Stream, Slugundy, and Indian Stream. The falls on or near Routes 6/15, 150 and 16 include Goodell Brook, Hebron Stream, Kingsbury Stream, Leeman Brook, Tobey's Falls, and Early's Landing. If you like to explore and you love natural beauty, make a day of it and explore our waterfalls! For details and directions, please visit www.mainewoodstourism.com.
The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Law Farm
The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District invites you to explore the community forest at the Law Farm. Our trails wind through forested wetlands, agroforestry demonstration areas and a Northern white cedar wetland. We have added several informative signs, which provide the public with information on the many conservation practices and projects taking place on the Law Farm. The Law Farm is a great place to take a walk in the woods, enjoy a picnic with family, check out and learn about the wide variety of native tree species planted at the forest, snowshoe, cross country ski, bird and wildlife watch, bring youth groups for outdoor nature experiences and much more. Located across from Pleasant River Lumber on Lee Cemetary Rd. in Dover-Foxcroft, ME just minutes from downtown. For more information call PCSWCD at (207)5654-2321 ext. 3 or www.piscataquisswcd.org.
The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Demonstration Forest
Our Demonstration Forest is located on 180 acres in Williamsburg Township. The forest offers hiking, bird watching, hunting, snow shoeing and cross-country ski trails for year-round enjoyment. There is an outdoor classroom, picnic tables, and a geocache site. Natural Resource and Cultural Heritage Brochures are available to the public to explain the significance of each posted location along the trails. The Southern Piscataquis Regional Recreation Map and Guide includes the Demonstration Forest as a recreation and tourism site in this county. The Maine Audubon Society has listed the Demonstration Forest in their Maine Birding Trails Directory. For more information call PCSWCD (207)564-2321 ext.3 or www.piscataquisswcd.org.
Learn about locally grown, natural foods
Dover Cove Farmer’s Market
Nestled in a cove of the Piscataquis River, you will find the bustling Dover Cove Farmer's Market during the months of May-October. Here you will find locally grown seasonal produce, eggs, baked goods, goat cheese and soap, handcrafts, orchard fruits, pickles and more. The Dover Cove Farmer's Market provides fresh food and farm products on Tuesdays from 2-6pm and Saturdays from 9am-1pm. Located at 1033 South St. in Dover-Foxcroft.
Hunting and Wildlife Watching
Hunting is an integral part of the Piscataquis heritage, as is a deep appreciation for the beauty of our furred and feathered neighbors. With most of the county deeply forested, habitat for animals of all sizes is plentiful. Visitors with a sharp eye are likely to spot moose, deer, grouse, wild turkey and many smaller species of game. A lucky few will spot our shy Maine black bear.
If you LOVE the great outdoors and would like a more memorable experience; whether hunting, fishing, camping or hiking, we recommend the following Registered Maine Guides: John Poole of Rockin' P Sporting Lodge & Cabins of Sebec and Richard Yvon of Twin Maple Outdoors.
Anglers can’t miss with so many rivers, lakes, ponds and streams to fish. Piscataquis County is swimming with the kind of year-round fishing action that anglers from elsewhere can only dream of. Coldwater species include landlocked salmon, lake trout (togue) and brook trout. Lucky anglers may also hook brown trout, rainbow trout and splake, a brook trout/rainbow hybrid.
The region’s warm water fisheries are just as tempting. Plentiful perch and sunfish make for great family fishing fun, while pickerel and an excellent smallmouth bass fishery provide tackle-busting action for anglers looking to do battle. Sebec Lake is well known for giving up some big smallmouth bass.
Visitors are still drawn to the shorelines and woodland trails that beckoned Henry David Thoreau to Piscataquis County in 1850.
Campgrounds loaded with amenities are available throughout the region, as are the more rustic sites like those at Peaks-Kenny State Park on Sebec Lake. For true adventurers, primitive campsites are available at the Katahdin Irons Works and in many state-owned locations.
Tent, trailer or RV, it’s all good. There are quality camping experiences here to meet every taste and make every get-away dream come true.
Hiking and Walking
One of the best things about being such a large county is all the miles of great hiking trails winding through the land. The serious hiker will enjoy traveling to Brownville to conquer Gulf Hagas, a series of spectacular gorges and waterfalls known as the “Grand Canyon” of Maine.
The world famous Appalachian Trail passes through Monson, offering day hikers an opportunity to park along the trailhead to hike this famous trail.
The hike through the Borestone Mountain Sanctuary takes only a few hours and rewards those who reach the top with panoramic vistas of Onawa Trestle, Sebec Lake and more. Birders will love the abundance of feathered friends along the way; everyone will love the view.
For a less challenging stroll, try one of the region’s two river walks. The Guilford Memorial river walk winds along the banks of the Piscataquis River, and the Pleasant River walk in Brownville courses along the shoreline from Brownville to the Junction. Our historical downtowns are also renowned as lovely walking destinations, with quaint shops and Victorian homes lining the maple-shaded streets.
Piscataquis County’s newest challenge for the hiker is the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit™ offering panoramic views from each corner of the Moosehead Lake region. Finish all 6 hikes and become a registered member of the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit. The mountains of this exciting challenge are Mount Kineo, Number Four, Whitecap, Eagle Rock, Big Moose, and Borestone. For more information, please visit mooseheadpinnaclepursuit.com.
Ice Fishing - Piscataquis County, with its many lakes and ponds, is a popular destination for ice fishing enthusiasts. The area plays host to many ice fishing derbies including the famous Schoodic Ice Fishing Derby in Milo in mid-February.
Cross Country Skiing - Lessons and guided tours by moonlight or during daylight hours are available in Monson. Many local residents allow skiers to use their privately-owned trails throughout the region. Privately held lands open for public use are common throughout Piscataquis County.
Snowmobiling - Piscataquis County offers snowmobilers a rare opportunity to take their families on a quiet ride through the Maine woods over miles of well groomed and largely undiscovered trails. The region’s snowmobile trails are maintained by over 15 local snowmobile clubs. Many have heated clubhouses complete with hot food and coffee to warm sledders ready to take a break from the trails before winding their way back home.