Get out and take a hike! This region is blessed with some of the most spectacular hikes in the Northeast. A wide range of terrain will please both the casual stroller and the serious backpacker. The Appalachian Trail passes southeast of Greenville and touches some of the hikes below on its way to the grand finale atop Mount Katahdin. These hikes can all be done as day trips from the Moosehead area. Whatever your ability, the majestic views and variety of choice will thrill those who love hiking. For more resources on hiking, check out this page on our website!
Easy to Moderate Hikes
Natural Resource Education (NREC) Center of Maine Trails
This well-marked network of trails has nameplates identifying plant species and other items of interest. It is a great choice for walkers/hikers of all ages. The trail system was created with the assistance of the Maine Forest Service, Maine Department of Transportation, Nickerson Tree Farm, and NREC Trustees and volunteers.
Directions: From the traffic light in downtown Greenville drive south on Route 15 for 2.2 miles. Park at the Visitor’s Center picnic area on your left.
B-52 Memorial Site on Elephant Mountain
Distance: 1/2 mile round-trip // Time: 45 minutes // Difficulty: Easy
This hike is a somber memorial to the crash of a B-52 bomber doing training maneuvers in January of 1963. All but two crewmembers perished, and those two spent a cold night in a blizzard on this remote mountain before being discovered. The people of Greenville have preserved the site and the wreckage in honor of the men aboard this flight. Each year in January, a group snowmobile ride is held to this site, and a memorial service takes place.
Directions: Set your odometer at the blinking light and head north on Lily Bay Road, at 7 miles turn right on Prong Pond Road, at 10.7 miles bear left at fork, at 12.4 miles you will cross a wooden bridge then take the next left at 12.5 miles continue until you reach the trailhead at 14.3 miles. Return on the same road you used to reach the site. The road has some potholes so drive slowly.
Lily Bay State Park
This hike is more of a walk along a well marked path. There are many viewpoints along the way. It’s a beautiful location with a network of nature trails and a beach/picnic area that you can enjoy for a nominal day-use fee.
Directions: From the flashing light in downtown Greenville proceed about 8 miles north on the Lily Bay Road (up the east side of the lake). The park entrance will be on your left.
Burnt Jacket Mountain
Distance: Approximately 2 miles roundtrip // Time: 2 hours // Elevation: 1,667 feet // Difficulty: Moderate
This is a short 2-mile round trip hike up Burnt Jacket Mountain. Once at the top, while enjoying the spectacular views of Moosehead Lake and surrounding mountains, sign the visitor’s book. This trail is very well marked. Road is open from mid May to mid October. You can take either the Red or Green trail up.
Directions: From the blinking light in Greenville, go north on Lily Bay Road about 6 miles. Turn left on to the Burnt Jacket Road, located 2 miles from Lily Bay Road, take left then first right the parking area is at the top of the hill follow signs 2 miles to the parking area and trail. Everyone is welcome. Travel and trail use at your own risk.
Little Kineo Mountain
Distance: 1.5 miles roundtrip // Time: 2 hours // Elevation: 1,927 feet // Difficulty: Moderate
This is a very scenic hike across the open summit of Little Kineo. The trail is well marked (blue-blazed). There are several overlooks along the way and spectacular views of Moosehead Lake, Kineo, Katahdin, Big Moose and the two Spencer mountains. The 360-degree views are some of the best in the state.
Directions: From the traffic light in Greenville go north about 20 miles on the Lily Bay Road to Kokadjo. After Kokadjo, turn left where the pavement ends and continue for another 1.2 miles. Reset your odometer and turn left again (there is a sign for Spencer Pond Camps) At 7.2 miles, where there is a sign for Spencer Pond Camps, stay straight on the main road. At 8.3 miles you will cross over a bridge at Spencer Pond. There will be a gorgeous view of Little Spencer Mountain on your right. At 13.9 you’ll come to a fork, where you should go left. At 15.4 miles turn right at the sign for Maine Public Reserved Lands (Days Academy Grant Unit). At 16.6 miles bear left. At 17.7 miles look for the trailhead and a small parking area on the right.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This road is used as a snowmobile trail in winter. There are several signs pointing to Raymond’s, Kokadjo Trading Post, Rockwood, and Kineo. These signs are intended for snowmobilers and point to roads and trails that are not passable by car or truck.
Indian Mountain – Laurie’s Ledge Trail
Distance: 3 miles roundtrip // Time: 3 hours // Elevation: 2,338 feet // Difficulty: Moderate
Please note that fee is charged at checkpoint.
Directions: Go straight through the blinking light in Greenville (traveling north); turn right and head up the steep hill called Pleasant Street. At 2 miles the pavement ends, and at 3.6 miles you’ll cross Big Wilson Stream. At 12 miles you come to Hedgehog Checkpoint, and a fee is charged. At 13.8 miles turn left, following signs to LLPC (Little Lyford Pond Camps) and the Head of Gulf Trail. You will pass the Head of Gulf Trail at 14.7 miles. The entrance to Little Lyford Pond Camps will be on your right at 16 miles. The trailhead to Laurie’s Ledge trail is .1 mile further on your left. There is a vista facing west near the top that offers spectacular views of Horseshoe Pond, the Wilson Ponds, Big Moose Mountain, Elephant Mountain, Baker Mountain, and glimpses of Moosehead Lake in the distance.
Distance: 2 miles round-trip // Difficulty: Easy // Time: 1 hour – 1.5 hours
This is a very easy 1 mile hike into one of Maine’s highest and prettiest waterfalls.
Directions: Starting from the blinking light in Greenville head north on Route 15, at 1.4 miles turn left on Depot Street, at 2.2 miles curve right, at 3.8 miles stay straight past Greenville Landfill, at 5.3 miles curve left, at 6.1 miles straight through gate, at 12.2 miles pass “Wally World”, at 17.1 miles straight through gate, at 18.0 miles stop and then left on Indian Pond Road, at 19.8 miles take a sharp right turn on to Lake Moxie Road, at 23 miles right into Moxie Falls parking lot, at 25 miles take a left or right at the stop sign at 201 for food and gas.
Little Wilson Falls
Distance: 2 miles round-trip // Time: 2 hours // Difficulty: Moderate
This hike is great for a quick trip featuring excellent views. If you don’t feel like hiking all the way in, you can experience smaller waterfalls not far from the parking areas. This hike is great for kids and families. Please use caution on this hike near the waterfalls.
Directions: Go south from Greenville to Monson on Rte 15. Take a left on the Elliotsville Road, just after the “Welcome to Monson” sign. Proceed 7.7 miles. Before the bridge that spans Big Wilson Stream, take a left and go on a gravel road for 0.7 miles to where the road ends at a campsite. Park here. Walk upstream on a trail that follows along the river. After about .8 miles you will come to the Appalachian Trail, designated by white blazes on the trees. Turn left onto the AT and follow it for about .1 mile upstream to the falls. There is a dramatic drop into the gorge, so keep dogs and children close to you at the falls. On your return trip you might want to spend some time at the swimming hole near the campsite. There is a rope swing and some deep pools to jump into. There is a gate at the start of the gravel road which may be locked, if so park at the gate and walk the .7 miles.
Distance: 8.5 miles round-trip for entire trail // Time: 8 hours round-trip for entire trail // Difficulty: Rim Trail is challenging. Pleasant River Road Trail is moderate.
Please note that fee is charged at checkpoint) (map available at Visitor’s Center.
Called the Grand Canyon of Maine, this magnificent gorge hike is nearly 4 miles long with vertical slate walls 300 to 400 feet deep. The West Branch of the Pleasant River drops some 400 feet creating numerous waterfalls, chutes and pools. The gorge and adjacent land have been purchased by the National Park Service. The Hermitage (a majestic stand of towering King’s Pine) was declared a National Landmark in 1968. The Nature Conservancy now owns this land. We recommend using the north-western parking lot near the head of the Gulf since hikers can stay dry and do not have to ford the Pleasant River using this approach. From the northwest parking lot to the beginning of the rim trail and Stair Falls is just over 1.7 miles each way. So if you only have 4-5 hours you can stay dry and hike to Stair and Billings Falls. If starting from the south-eastern parking area the trail starts with a ford across the knee-deep Pleasant River. From the south-eastern parking lot to Screw Auger falls is just over 1.5 miles each way. To visit the Hermitage, look for signs on the right after crossing the river. From either parking lot the hike includes a loop trail of approximately 8.5 miles. The Rim Trail is difficult but will take you by spectacular scenery along the gorge. Most hikers start their hike along the rim trail and return to their vehicle using the tote road.
PLEASE READ “Don’t Slip Slide Away” below before hiking Gulf Hagas or any other waterfall hike. Every year hikers attempt to hike Gulf Hagas without the correct footwear and many of them end up in local emergency rooms.
Directions: From the Greenville traffic light, turn left and take your first right up Pleasant Street. At 2 miles the pavement ends, and at 3.6 miles you’ll cross Big Wilson Stream. At 12 miles you come to Hedgehog Checkpoint, where you will have to pay a fee. Maps are offered here. For the north-western parking lot turn left at 13.8 miles and follow the signs to LLPC (Little Lyford Pond Camps) and the Head of Gulf Trail. You will see the Head of Gulf Trail at 14.7 miles. For the south-eastern parking lot turn right at 13.8 miles
Don’t Slip Slide Away: Be Sure Footed Around Slippery Waterfalls
Roger Merchant, Extension Educator
Natural Resources and Community Development
UMaine Cooperative Extension
Waterfalls are wonderful scenic places to rest and relax. Tumbling waters and cooling mists can sooth a hiker or a family on an outing in the Maine Woods. Here are few safety tips that will make your waterfall visit enjoyable, and safe.
Sturdy Footwear: Trails can be rough; full of stones, boulders, roots. Sturdy footwear provides support for feet and ankles in rugged terrain. Grippy soles provide sure footed traction around waterfalls which can be slippery, especially on a damp or rainy day.
Assess Hazards: When approaching a waterfall, look closely at the surfaces of exposed bedrock. Are the surfaces smooth or rough, flat or sloped, dry or wet? Smooth, wet bedrock like slate can be very slick and treacherous underfoot. Add in steeply sloping bedrock and you have a recipe for slip sliding away! Is water seeping across smooth surfaces? Avoid stepping on seeps which also can be very slippery. Even on a clear summer day, early morning mists make for slippery surfaces on slate. Always assess exposed bedrock surfaces. Go slowly, a step-at-a-time, putting your feet on drier, rougher, safer surfaces.
Swimming: Plunge pools below larger waterfalls can be treacherous! Rocks and ledges often lurk unseen below the surface. It would be foolish and dangerous to dive into any of them! While they may appear to be attractive swimming holes on a hot summer day, what about the possible hazards? At higher water levels, the larger plunge pools below waterfalls become very turbulent, can entrap and drown an unsuspecting swimmer.
Please be aware of these hazards and assert safe behaviors while exploring these beautiful waterfalls. We hope that you have a safe outing while enjoying the wonders of nature in our region.
Little Spencer Mountain
Distance: 4 miles round-trip // Time: 4 ½ hours round-trip // Elevation: 3,040 feet // Difficulty: Challenging
Trail (not blazed) rises moderately through a hardwood forest, then becomes very steep as it enters softwoods, including some giant pines. There are gorgeous views along the way. After crossing through a few slides the trail comes to a narrow chimney. Use caution in this area; send only one hiker through at a time. There are ropes here to assist the hiker on the way up. There are a few more slides to cross, and the trail is very close to the cliff edge in some parts. Soon the trail mounts the ledges where there is some great blueberry picking when in season. From here there are no more difficult areas, and it is a moderate walk to the summit, where there are 360 degree views of Katahdin, Big Spencer, Big Moose, Mount Kineo, Moosehead Lake and Jackman area mountains. Some spots along the way have treacherous footing on loose rock. Dogs and young children will not be able to climb this.
Directions: Follow directions for Big Spencer Mountain to Kokadjo. After Kokadjo turn left where pavement ends. Continue for another 1.2 miles then turn left again. After another 7.2 miles turn right at a sign for Spencer Pond Camps. At this turn you will see Little Spencer. If you can see the ledges on it, keep in mind that the trail goes straight through that very same ledge. Drive 2.1 miles toward it (stay left). Look carefully for the trailhead on the right, as it isn’t well marked. Park off the side of the road.
Little Moose Mountain
(formerly Little Squaw Mountain), Little Moose Pond, Big Moose Pond (formerly Big and Little Squaw Ponds), and Notch Ponds
Distance: 1-8 miles round-trip, depending on route //Time: 1-4 hours round-trip // Difficulty: Moderate
This is a beautiful hike with several picturesque mountain ponds. There are a total of five camping areas on these trails, two at Big Moose Pond, one each at Little Moose, Big Notch and Little Notch Ponds. The short trail (1 mile round-trip) into Big Moose Pond is very manageable for young children. From that point the trail continues to the east over a dam for about .25 miles to the intersection of the Loop Trail and the Greenwood Trail. The left fork goes to Little Moose Pond (.25 mile) and then to Papoose Pond (.5 mile) continuing up the ridge to the Moose Mountain Inn (4 miles from Big Moose Pond, so you may want to arrange with Northwoods Outfitters for a shuttle to get back). The right fork is the loop trail which climbs to the next trail intersection (.5 miles). The left fork is the loop trail back to the Greenwood Trail between Little Moose and Papoose Pond (.75 miles), commanding a nice view of Big Squaw Mountain. The right fork takes you to Big and Little Notch Ponds (1.5 miles). The trail then passes Baker Falls to the Big Indian Pond Trailhead (1.25 miles). The eastern end of the Greenwood Trail starts on the left side of the Moose Mountain Inn on Rte 15 (you may park in their lot by the Trailhead sign).
Directions: Follow the directions for the Big Moose Mountain hike. Follow the road beyond the Big Moose trailhead to the fork. Bear left. Stay on this road 1.1 miles. You will see the post heading of the trail on your left.
Directions to the Moose Mountain Inn: From downtown Greenville go north on Rte 15. The Moose Mountain Inn will be on your left about one mile after you pass under the railroad trestle at Greenville Jct.
Number Four Mountain
Distance: 4 miles round-trip // Time: 3- 4 hours round-trip // Elevation: 2,890 feet // Difficulty: Moderate to challenging
This trailhead is difficult to find. The beginning of the trail is an overgrown road for approximately ¼ mile. The trail then ascends steeply on a blue blazed trail. There are some rewarding scenic overlooks near the top. The summit has an abandoned fire tower.
Directions: Go north 18.2 miles from the traffic light in Greenville on the Lily Bay Road. Turn right (about .4 miles past the Frenchtown town line marker) on a dirt road marked with many mailboxes. This is the Frenchtown Road (along the south shore of First Roach Pond). From here travel 2.3 miles and take a right, then drive another 1.4 miles and take a left. At .9 miles you will cross a wooden bridge. Go another .1 mile and look carefully in the grass on the left for a white paper company sign marking the trailhead to Number 4.
Big Spencer Mountain
Distance: 4 miles round-trip // Time: 5 hours // Elevation: 3,230 feet // Difficulty: Challenging
Big Spencer is a prominent Moosehead Lake landmark. The views from the top include Lobster Lake, Chesuncook Lake, Katahdin, Moose Mountain, Mt Kineo, Allagash wilderness lakes, and many other lakes, ponds, and mountains. About .8 miles up the hiking trail is an old Forest Ranger cabin. From there, a steep trail leads to the top. There are short wooden ladders over some of the more slippery areas. An abandoned fire tower is at the summit.
Directions from Greenville: Drive North to Kokadjo on Lily Bay Road. Take the left fork .2 miles north of Kokadjo and continue. At 4.3 miles bear left. At 5.9 miles stay straight. You have just avoided Silas Hill which is a very rough stretch of road! Just after crossing the bridge that crosses Bear Brook (on the right is Bear Brook campsite) turn left and drive 6.1 miles. Trailhead parking is on the left.
Big Moose Mountain
(formerly Big Squaw Mountain)
Distance: 6 miles round-trip // Time: 3-4 hours // Elevation: 3,196 feet // Difficulty: Challenging
Big Moose offers tremendous views of the Moosehead Region and Mount Katahdin. The trail is well marked. Halfway up the trail you will pass an old Ranger cabin. From there, a steep, step-stone path goes up the southeast side of the mountain. The remnants of an old fire tower were removed from the summit in 2011 (built in 1905, the first in the U.S.) From the top of the mountain there is another trail that goes north to the top of the Squaw Mountain Ski Area and the top of the double chair lift.
Directions: From the traffic light in downtown Greenville travel north for 5.1 miles on Rte 15 going toward Rockwood. Take a left on the dirt road marked by a sign for Maine Public Reserve Lands—Little Moose Unit. Travel about 1.5 miles on this road. Look for the trailhead and parking on the right.
Distance: 4 miles round-trip // Time: 3-4 hours // Elevation: 1,947 feet // Difficulty: Challenging
NO DOGS ALLOWED. The Borestone Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary is a check station about 1 mile along the trail. It is sometimes manned by the National Audubon Society, which owns the land around Borestone. The check station itself–when open—offers interesting exhibits for children. A small fee may be charged. There are also interesting nature stations along the trail. After leaving the check station, the trail goes by two ponds to the face of Borestone. The last 600 feet of elevation includes small sheer rock faces that are difficult to climb when wet. The view at the top is expansive, with a bare summit and two peaks.
Directions: Go south from Greenville on Rte 15. Take a left on the Elliotsville Road, just after the “Welcome to Monson” sign. Proceed 8 miles and cross over the bridge over Wilson Stream. Turn left after the bridge. Cross the railroad tracks. Trail is approximately .1 miles on the right, with a parking area on the left of the road.
Distance: 8.2 miles round-trip // Time: 6 hours round-trip // Elevation: 2,219 feet // Difficulty: Challenging
Please note that fee is charged at checkpoint.
Although steep at first, the trail levels out and is a very pleasant hike to the summit. There are incredible views of the White Cap Range, Baker Mountain, Elephant Mountain and even part of Big Spencer Mountain. The last part of the trail winds through a steep rocky slope, so use caution. There is a blue-blazed side trail to East Chairback Pond.
Directions: Go through the blinking light in Greenville (traveling north); turn right and head up Pleasant Street. Two miles the pavement ends, and at 3.6 miles you cross Big Wilson Stream. At 12 miles you come to Hedgehog Checkpoint, and a fee is charged. At 13.8 miles turn right. Continue to follow signs to Gulf Hagas parking lot for several miles. The Appalachian Trail crosses the road before the Gulf Hagas parking, but there isn’t any room to park. Continue 0.3 mile to the Gulf Hagas parking lot, then walk back to the trail.
Distance: 2 miles of road and 2.5 miles of trail to the top, one-way // Time: 5 hours round-trip // Elevation: 3,654 // Difficulty: Challenging
This trailhead is difficult to find. It includes a lovely, remote section of the Appalachian Trail. About halfway up is a lean-to. The trail from here to the tree line is steep. The top is an open alpine area with fabulous views of Katahdin. There are two different ways to reach the spectacular views atop White Cap. If you plan to spend time in the Gulf Hagas area then you should check out the White Brook Trail. The more traditional route to White Cap is referred to locally as the Logan Brook Trail (although it’s just the regular old southbound AT), since it follows Logan Brook for much of the way up the mountain, and the trail passes the Logan Brook Lean-to along the way.
Directions from Greenville to the White Brook Trail: Follow Gulf Hagas directions (there’s a fee), but at 13.8 miles stay right. At 21.5 turn left. Begin new mileage here. At 2.4 miles turn left and cross a bridge. At 2.6 miles turn right, and at 3.8 miles turn left. From here it may be too rugged for most vehicles other than 4x4s. There is a gravel pit at 6.1 miles, and at 6.4 miles the road becomes impassable, but you should start seeing blue blazes. Follow for a half-mile, and soon you should come to the trailhead sign. At the AT intersection, turn right and follow the white blaze to the summit of White Cap.
Directions from Greenville to the Logan Brook Trail: Drive 18 miles north on the Lily Bay Road. Look for a wide dirt road on the right marked by a row of mailboxes. Take this turn onto the Frenchtown Road. At 9.3 miles turn left. At 10.8 turn right, passing near Second West Branch Pond. At 11.4 miles turn left (it’s actually the turn straight ahead). At 12.4 turn right. At 13.4 miles the road ends at a snowmobile bridge. 0.5 miles beyond the bridge, the AT crosses the road. Begin the hike by turning uphill (right).
Distance: 8 miles round-trip; plus 1 ¼ further to Cloud Pond // Time: 6 hours round-trip // Elevation: 2,670 feet // Difficulty: Challenging
Finding this trail is a real challenge, but once you do you will be on a remote and strenuous part of the Appalachian Trail. Impressive sites along the way are the Barren Slide and Barren Cliffs. There is a fire tower at the summit. Cloud Pond is a remote mountain pond about 1 ¼ miles further that is well worth visiting.
Directions from Greenville: Just after the blinking light in Greenville, turn right onto Pleasant Street. The pavement will end after a bit and at 3.6 miles you will cross Big Wilson Stream. Continue on the main dirt road and at 7.3 miles turn right.* At 7.5 miles take a left and at 9.2 miles stay on the main road. In this area there is a great view of Barren and Borestone, with Lake Onawa in between. Take a right at 11.3 miles. You will need a vehicle with high clearance to navigate the next part of the road. Stay straight at 12.7 miles, and at 13.0 miles is the brown sign marking the Appalachian Trail (AT). Head toward the sound of Long Pond Stream. This route is the best as it takes you directly to the trailhead. After hiking the trail, you should check out Vaughn Falls, 0.5 miles west (southbound on the AT). The trail leaves the road uphill from Barrens’ trailhead, and is marked with a rock cairn. It takes you to Vaughn Falls.
* At 8.7 miles cross Vaughn Stream (wooden bridge) and there is a trail on the right just past the bridge. Park on the left on the old logging road.
After hiking the trail, you should check out Vaughn Falls, 0.5 mile west (southbound on the AT). The trail leaves the road uphill from Barrens’ trailhead, and is marked with a rock cairn. It takes you to the 20-foot high Vaughn Falls.
Distance: 10 miles plus depending on trail // Time: 10/+ hours // Elevation: 5,267 feet Difficulty: Challenging
No pets, no children under six above timberline. All hikers must register before climbing and are required to carry a flashlight. Sturdy footwear a must.
A difficult but rewarding hike to Maine’s tallest peak. The best route is from Roaring Brook up to the Knife’s edge and on to the peak and down through Chimney Pond. Hikers should start very early in the morning since the hike can take well over 10 hours depending on the weather and trail. Please be sure to research and prepare prior to hiking Mt. Katahdin. Every year many visitors fail to summit because they did no advance planning.
Every spring, Maine begins to awaken and blossom into lush foliage, lively wildlife, and fresh, beautiful air. It’s a great time to explore the region and discover new sights or different perspectives on some of your favorite spots.
Not sure where to start? Here are our top 5 favorite ways to explore the Moosehead Lake region in the Spring!
ATV Trips at Moosehead
Breathe in the fresh mountain air and take in the panoramic trailside views just before you duck into the tree-lined paths. Splash through the biggest mud puddles, then dry out with a picnic lunch along the way. You may even have a moose watching you from the brush!
The Moosehead Lake region offers nearly endless ATV trails and resources, providing excellent opportunities to explore nearly every corner of the lake. The ATV trails are set to open on May 22nd. (Please note that these maps are not produced or maintained by Destination Moosehead Lake.)
Helpful Links & ATV Trail Maps:
Want to hit the trails but don’t have a ride of your own? Rent an ATV from one of these local businesses:
The Maine Birding Trail
The Maine Birding Trail offers a peek into early-season migration for a wide range of bird species, beginning as early as March with the arrival of mixed sparrow flocks and the distinctive display-flight sounds of American Woodcock, then will file in Blue-headed Vireos, Hermit Thrushes, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and other songbirds. Later in the season come the hawks, then finally, the shorebirds.
Follow the Maine Birding Trail by downloading a copy of the trail guide. Find specific viewing areas and information about our local species at The Maine Highlands: Bangor, Moosehead, Katahdin. You can also get statewide birding information at Maine Birding Trail.
Moosehead Lake is nearly forty miles long and twenty miles wide with breathtaking scenery of undeveloped shoreline and mountains. Spring fishing on Moosehead Lake — from ice out to before Memorial Day Weekend– can produce catches that inspire legendary stories.
There are endless opportunities to reel in dinner. You could hook landlocked salmon, brook trout, and in the Lily Bay and Spencer Bay areas, Smallmouth bass.
Don’t forget that there are more than forty ponds and lakes — in addition to Moosehead Lake’s nearly 118 square miles – that provide even more opportunities for fishermen to explore. Many of them are roadside providing easy access by canoe, kayak or you may choose to hike into the many backcountry ponds where your only visitor may be one of the many moose and deer that call this region home.
- The Moose River, found on the western shore of Moosehead in Rockwood, is a tributary to Moosehead Lake offering the very best early season fishing in the Region. It can be accessed by canoe, from the shore, or by wading.
- The East Outlet of the Kennebec River, the largest river in the Moosehead Region, offers cold, clean water from Moosehead well into the summer. It is fly fishing only and parts are open year round. Voted “1 of 100 places in America you need to fly fish before you die”, this amazing fishery produces Brook Trout and Salmon all year long.
- The Roach River, on the eastern side of Moosehead, is also a tributary to Moosehead Lake. Don’t let its small size fool you! This fly fishing only, catch and release, rather remote fishery, produces amazing fish from a streamlike long River. Be sure to catch the smelt run/sucker spawn in the spring!
Reminder: Be sure that you have a fishing license and an up-to-date fishing regulation book from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. Our local bait shops have you covered if you lose or forget your favorite flies.
Spring in Maine means fiddleheads! Fiddleheads are a Maine delicacy. Only available in Maine from late April to early June, Fiddleheads are the coiled tips of young ostrich ferns that grow near brooks, rivers and lakes. Because they are the furled fronds of a young fern, the window for harvesting them is small. Left on the plant, each fiddlehead would unroll into a fern.
Never been able to sample the seasonal sprouts? These regional delicacies can be described as having a woodsy taste like asparagus, spinach and mushrooms combined. They are high in vitamins A and C, rich with assorted minerals and low in calories. Fiddleheads have antioxidant activity, are high in iron and fiber and are a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids!
What’s All the Fuss About Fiddleheads? Find the best places to pick up fresh fiddleheads, how to cook them, and why Mainers love them so much!
Best Spring Hikes at Moosehead
Spring is a wonderful time to explore the Moosehead Lake region on foot! Be sure to check out Moxie Falls during the spring runoff, as the gushing water makes for stunning photos. The trail is extremely easy to walk, winding slowly through some of the most beautiful forests in Maine — but keep an eye out for the signs, as they can be easy to miss. There’s no fee to access the trails, and there are even geocaches in the area! The trail to Moxie Falls is approximately 0.9 miles long, and is a round trip hike.
Another seasonal must-see is the Northernmost section of the Appalachian Trail, dotted with waterfalls that perform their absolute best during the spring. This list includes Little Wilson Falls, a favorite of locals and visitors alike for it’s easy to medium level trails and impressive natural presence. You can bring your four-legged friends, but be sure to watch your footing in the early part of the year, as the rocks can be slippery!
Number Four Mountain offers a four-mile round-trip trek, providing access to the beach area on the Lake and showcasing stellar views of Baker and Lily Bay mountains. In the spring, it’s dotted with stunning wildflowers, making for an almost whimsical hike or birdwatching venture. The trail is well-maintained, and leashed dogs are welcome! The tower at the top offers a great vantage point for overlooking the lake.
Up for a hiking challenge this spring? Be sure to check out the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit Challenge which offers 6 amazing summits with views that are worth every step you take!Read More
The Mount Kineo Shuttle
May 28, 2021 through October 11, 2021
Months of May and June
From the Rockwood Public Landing to Kineo: 9:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm
From Kineo to Rockwood: 10:45am, 12:45pm, 2:45pm with a final trip back at 4:45pm
Months of July and August
From the Rockwood Public Landing to Kineo: On the hour, every hour from 8:00am until 6:00pm
From Kineo to Rockwood: 9:45am, 10:45am, 11:45am, 12:45pm, 1:45pm, 2:45pm, 3:45pm, 4:45pm, 5:45pm with a final trip back at 6:45pm
Months of September and October
From the Rockwood Public Landing to Kineo: On the hour, every hour from 9:00am until 4:00pm
From Kineo to Rockwood: 9:45am, 10:45am, 11:45am, 12:45pm, 1:45pm, 2:45pm, 3:45pm, with a final trip back at 4:45pm
Round-Trip Shuttle Fares:
Ages 5 and older: $13.00 per person Cash only
Under age 5: FREE
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Mount Kineo Shuttle:
- The crossing from Rockwood to Kineo takes approximately 10 minutes.
- The Kineo Shuttle does not have a ticket booth; you will be paying the captain in cash as you board.
- In good weather the shuttle will accommodate 10 passengers; the captain may elect to carry fewer passengers in rough weather. If for any reason there are more passengers waiting to board than can be safely ferried across on a scheduled trip, the shuttle will return immediately for those left behind.
- When you step off the docks on Kineo you are at the trailhead for the Mt. Kineo State Park hiking trails. To hike to the observation tower at the top of Mt. Kineo and back to the docks via the Bridle Trail and Indian Trails takes approximately 2 – 2.5 hours. If you choose to go down the North trail from the tower, it becomes a 4-5 hour hike.
- The golf course does not rent golf carts for sightseeing. They are only rented to golfers, per the request of the Kineo Community Owners Association, and they cannot leave the course.
- The golf course and cart paths are not hiking trails.
Where to Find a Moose in the Moosehead Lake Region
In the Moosehead Lake region, one of the most commonly asked questions that we are asked is “where can I see a moose?” Moose are not only our namesake, they are our pride & joy. Spring brings endless new ways to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of our region, most notably, it marks the time when moose are most prolific and most visible. Besides being the namesake of our favorite lake, moose are incredibly unique and interesting creatures that become even more fascinating once you catch a glimpse! Have you seen a moose in the Moosehead Lake region? Post about it on your social media channels and tag us! @destinationmooseheadlake or #destinationmooseheadlake
What is the Average Moose Size?
The Maine state mammal’s size is both impressive and intimidating by any measure. A fully grown male moose, called a bull, can reach 6 ft. in height at the shoulder and can weigh upwards of 1400 lbs.
What Do Moose Eat?
They enjoy dining on aquatic plants in the summer months and tree bark, leaves and balsam fir in the cooler seasons. Moose must consume 9770 calories per day to maintain their body weight.
How Fast Are Moose?
While clumsy in appearance, moose are actually able to run at speeds of 35 mph and can swim over 10 miles at a time.
Do all Moose Have Antlers?
Only male moose grow antlers, which they shed in early winter and re-grow during the year. The main function of antlers is for display during the mating season. Shed hunting (searching for antlers that have been shed by their owners) is a popular activity.
How Big Are Moose Antlers?
Moose antlers can grow as big as six feet in length! (Imagine carrying that around on your head!) They can weigh up to 40 lbs.
What Time of Day Are Moose Most Active?
Moose are crepuscular animals, meaning that they are most active at dawn and dusk.
What Do Moose Tracks Look Like?
Moose have hooves! Moose hoof prints will measure about 5-7 inches long. Use your hand or foot for comparison!
Are Moose Dangerous?
Moose are not generally aggressive creatures, but you should always use caution around them. Please keep your distance from these incredible creatures. There are certain times when moose can be more aggressive than others. For example, If you encounter a Momma Moose (called a cow), with a baby moose (called a calf), you might experience her protective behaviors. If a moose feels in danger, it will not tolerate the threat. It will charge and begin stomping with its hooves.
How Can I Tell if a Moose Has Been Here?
Keep a look out for rubbed trees, moose tracks, or moose droppings!
- Bull moose will rub their antlers against trees and other hard objects before they drop their antlers each year. If you see rubbed trees, you can be sure a moose has been there!
- Moose tracks measure 5-7” long, about the size of your hand.
- Moose droppings, or scat, look like round pellets and they are usually in piles. You will very often see them on trails.
Interesting Moose Facts
- The flap of skin under a moose’s throat is called a bell.
- Moose have no top front teeth.
- The first law to protect moose was passed in 1930.
- After their first calf, moose quite often have twins.
- Moose can only see about 25 feet.
- Moose can swim and will often submerge themselves in water.
Places to Look for Moose Around Moosehead Lake
In the Moosehead Lake Region, moose outnumber people 3 to 1. If you’re lucky, you might spot one on the side of the road as you head into town for lunch or on your way to rent a canoe. If not, there are a few local hotspots that are almost guaranteed to offer a sighting!
- Take a scenic drive to Kokadjo, a small community north of Greenville. Stay on Lily Bay Road for approximately 20 miles and keep your eyes open for moose along the way!
- Head to Lazy Tom Bog, just past Kokadjo. This bog is a very popular hangout for local moose!
- Make a day of your moose watching by driving to Rockwood, a town north of Greenville on Route 15, where you can ride over to Mt. Kineo aboard a boat shuttle for some hiking or exploring.
- Turn left on Depot Street from Greenville Junction to Shirley. Go right in Shirley, through town onto the dirt road toward The Forks. Beware this road may not be passable during winter and spring.
Moose Spotting Tips
The best times of day to see moose are early in the morning or at dusk, while the best time of year is from mid-spring through late June.
Moose prefer shady, wet areas such as bogs and marshes.
After dark, moose are very hard to spot standing on the road high above vehicle headlights. Always remain alert when driving at night. A moose encounter can result in great damage to vehicles and passengers.
Moose prefer solitude and deep woods cover in their habitat. Professional guide services offer unsurpassed access to the deepest woods territory to give you the best chance of spotting a moose!
Winter Activities in the Moosehead Lake Region
In contrast to most getaway destinations, the Moosehead Lake Region is as magical in the winter as it is in warmer seasons. Whether you bring the whole family or set off on a solo expedition, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the weather and endless areas to explore! Here is a list of our favorite things to do during the winter in Moosehead Lake!
Enjoy breakfast around Moosehead Lake
Cold-weather activities will kickstart your metabolism, so it’s important to fuel up before your adventure. We recommend Birch Bark Bakery & Breakfast, Moosehead Meat & Deli, or Northwoods Gourmet Girl – and a few mugs of coffee, wherever you go – before hitting the snow.
2. Go ice fishing on Moosehead Lake
Soak in the scenery AND stock your cooler by spending some time ice fishing. Moosehead Lake and the surrounding ponds and smaller lakes are teeming with trout, cusk, salmon and togue all winter long! Salmon love to lurk right under the ice, and cusk are often caught after dark (who wants to make it an “all-nighter”?). One of the best spots to set up on the ice is behind Mt. Kineo, as it offers some of the deepest water on Moosehead Lake as well as offering some protections from the sometimes harsh winter winds. Be sure to bring along smelt and cut bait — these are the best options for ice fishing!
3. Hike, snowshoe or ski the trails
The best way to explore the land around you is to hike it! Insert yourself into picturesque views and stunning snow-dusted settings, no special equipment required. Just be sure to bundle up and bring your best boots! The region offers trails fit for family outings (read: little legs) as well as challenging winter trails that will test your stamina and reward you with phenomenal views. The Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit Challenge offers a prestigious badge and panoramic views from each corner of the Moosehead Lake Region for those who summit all six peaks. For an even bigger challenge, complete them in a certain time frame or time of year and earn more badges! Find the best fit for your group or mood with the All Trails or Maine Trail Finder apps!
Ready to pick up the speed just a little? Strap on some snowshoes or rent some cross-country skis and strike off on an adventure. If you’re new to exploring on foot this way, it’s a great idea to work with a Registered Maine Guide for tips and tricks to navigating with gear as well as the best places to start your expedition.
5. Snowmobile endless wooded trails
For fast-paced adventurers, the mechanically inclined, or those that just want to cover as much ground as possible, exploring Moosehead from a snowmobile is a great way to take in the winter sights. The Moosehead Trail offers 160 miles of spectacular and scenic riding, with stops for coffee, lunch, and gas along the way. The local trails join the Maine ITS for those avid riders who want to branch out to other parts of Maine and into New Hampshire. Be sure to check conditions first – including lake ice – via the Maine Snowmobile Association, even during the most reliable sledding season (mid-January through mid-March). Not sure where to stop? Stop into a local business (many offer sled rentals!) and ask for tips on trailheads, riding advice and the best places to branch off the beaten path.
6. Book a lakeside cabin with a view
If you’re more of an observer of winter wonderlands than a knee-deep adventurer, we highly recommend a cozy cottage stay during the snowy season. There are plenty of places to snuggle up, sit by the fire and sip a steaming mug of tea or hot chocolate while soaking up the winter peace and quiet. A quaint cabin with a lake view is a wonderful respite from the demands and bustle of everyday life — you’ll sleep better than you have in years! Be sure to check out our lodging options!
7. Stargaze at night
No matter where you wind down after your day by the lake, the appeal of the region doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Maine’s night sky can’t be beat! With miles of wide-open sky, little interruption and zero light pollution, it’s the perfect place to pause, look up, and remember the feeling of absolute awe. The winter sky in particular offers rare treats such as meteor showers and the Aurora Borealis. Enjoy these stellar sights from a pile of blankets on the snow, on the frozen lake, beside a roaring campfire or through the lens of a telescope at your cozy remote cabin.
Decorated homes & businesses will be lit up until Christmas, so make sure to check out all of the entries this season. Take a festive drive around Moosehead Lake and enjoy the holiday lights from now until Christmas. We can’t wait to welcome you to our Winter Wonderland this holiday season!
Things to do in the Moosehead Lake Region during the Christmas Holiday 2020
Celebrate the holiday season in the festively decorated Moosehead Lake Region, starting Nov. 28, 2020! For future years, please check our Event Calendar page on our website or contact the Visitor’s Center for up to date activities and happenings. We hope you enjoy Christmas in the Moosehead Lake region for years to come!
This month-long celebration of the holiday season begins this weekend and features many #ShopLocal promotions. Along with opportunities to snap pictures with Santa and write him letters, the Lights of Life Christmas Tree Lighting, a Deck the Halls Car Parade, and a NEW Christmas Decor Contest. “Light Up the Lake” is sure to delight with beautifully handcrafted wreaths on display throughout the Moosehead Lake Region.
Participants are reminded to be safe, follow social distancing procedures, and wear masks where required by State Mandate.
Deck the Halls Parade – Nov. 28, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The parade will start promptly at 3:30 p.m. at Woody’s in Greenville. Participants are requested to arrive early for line up at 3 p.m. The parade will travel through the hospital and end at the Gazebo downtown where the Lights of Life Tree Lighting will begin at 4:30 p.m.
Christmas Decor Contest – Dec. 11 to 13
All businesses and the community are invited to decorate their homes and/or places of business as part of the Christmas Decor Contest. The final judging will take place between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 11. A photographer will be out taking pictures on the evening of Dec. 12, and three winners from each category will be announced on social media on Dec. 13.
Every year my boyfriend Ryan and I take a trip for our anniversary. Admittedly this year, considering everything that’s been going on in the world, I was gearing up to have a fall staycation at home. Then we found Tomhegan Wilderness Camps. As far as travel goes during a pandemic, I felt like a camp in the North Woods was a fairly safe and isolated option. If only I knew how isolated it truly was!
So off we went on our 7 and 1/2 hour trek up to the North Maine Woods from our home in the NorthWest corner of Connecticut. I realize a drive like that may sound daunting, but with our stops in Portsmouth, Kittery, and Augusta to buy provisions we hardly even noticed the time passing. Boy was it worth it. I’m not exaggerating when I say Moosehead Lake is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The water is pristine and since we got there just as the leaves were done peaking, the light was golden and the colors made everything even more magical.
Our first night was spent relaxing by the fire and acclimating to our new surroundings and can I just say, you’ve never felt true relaxation until you light a fire in a cabin in the middle of nowhere as the rain comes pouring down. It was absolute heaven. Tomhegan Camp is located about halfway up the western side of Moosehead Lake, a 45 minute drive from the town of Greenville on the southern tip. Once you reach the road the camp is located on however, it’s another 20 minute drive through woods and a game actuary until you finally reach your destination on a little mile long strip of the waters edge.
Our second day was just full of moments walking around and not believing what we were seeing. Our cabin had its own little slice of shoreline where in the warmer months you could launch your kayak or canoe, with a fire pit and benches nestled right on the rocky shoreline. This was a big selling point when trying to find a cabin to stay in, I loved that we had our own place to go and watch the ducks and feel the cold autumn breeze whip over the water. Although the view from the camps’ marina and dock was stunning as well.
Wildlife at the Cabin
One of the best parts of our stay at Tomhegan was definitely the twice daily visitors. In case you’re not familiar, Tomhegan is situated on the outskirts of Tomhegan Game Sanctuary and surrounded on one side by miles of woodland and the other by Moosehead Lake. This means that even though we saw lots of familiar animals, they were a lot friendlier than we were used to. I’m thinking the fact that travelers staying at the camps feed them every day might have something to do with it…
Unbeknownst to me our camp, Diana, was actually named after one of the deer that would come by to visit people staying at Tomhegan and Diana was actually the first ever cabin they had on the property. I’m not sure if the deer roaming around these days are Diana’s direct descendants but I like to think the knowledge of “if we go up to them, the humans will give us food” was passed down from her.
A visit to Greenville during the Fall
On the third day of our trip we finally made it down to Greenville, the closest town about 45 minutes away at the southern tip of Moosehead Lake. We honestly weren’t expecting much but were hopeful to find a couple souvenirs and maybe have a meal we didn’t have to cook ourselves. After a lovely lunch at The Stress Free Moose (love that name), we walked maybe a quarter mile to the center of town with all the shops. If you don’t know me very well you might be surprised to know that I really only have 2 main interests in my life and that’s books and rocks. Yes, I said rocks. Not only does Greenville have 2 book stores, but an entire shop dedicated to fossils, rocks, and crystals. I’m a bit ashamed to admit how much I spent…
Another favorite shop of ours in Greenville was Kamp Kamp – the Moosehead Lake Indian Store, sort of a cross between a curio shop, antique store, and tourist attraction. We loved everything we saw as we walked around and almost wished we had the car space to bring some of the antique furniture home with us (there was an entire dining set on sale for $95!).
Our day was rounded out by a lovely dinner right next door to Tomhegan at The Birches Resort. This camp was set up more like how’d you’d expect, with a main lodge containing a restaurant and bar surrounded by cabins on either side. The restaurant was super cozy with lots of fireplaces and their view of the lake was the perfect place to watch the sunset.
I can honestly say that I’ve been to many places in my short 26 years but Moosehead Lake was one of the most life changing and I left with the knowledge that I’d be returning for many years to come. For more about our trip to Moosehead and Tomhegan Camps head over to my website www.stellaeire.com and follow me on Instagram and Facebook @stellaeire.
Fall Activities for Family Fun
Adventurous Family Fun Agenda
8:00am Have breakfast at Rockwood Bar and Grill before heading out to explore the North Woods.
9:00am Take a drive down to Moxie Falls and enjoy this easy hike that leads to a 90-foot waterfall surrounded by autumn’s display of color.
1:00pm Stop by Hawk’s Nest Restaurant and Pub for a delicious lunch – their French fries are said to be a standout!
3:00pm Check-in at Gray Ghost Camps and spend the afternoon on the Moose River using the kayaks they have available for guests to use.
6:00pm Enjoy a delicious dinner together as a family lakeside in the Lodge at the Birches.
Laid Back Fun Fall Agenda
8:00am Sit down for a quiet breakfast on the Moose River at Maynards in Maine.
10:00am Head out on a Seaplane Ride with the Birches to experience Moosehead from the sky!
12:00pm Sit down for a burger and fries (or quesadilla!) at the Rockwood Bar and Grill and catch up on the latest games.
3:00pm Meet up with Scott from Wilsons on Moosehead for an afternoon of fly fishing.
7:00pm Grab pizza, ice cream and drinks at Rockwood Convenience for a relaxing dinner in your lakeside cottage.
8:00pm Settle in for the night at Rockwood Cottages which sits at the mouth of the Moose River.