Autumn in New England is a vibrant, breathtaking and spectacular time of year — but have you ever experienced it on the lake? There are seemingly endless ways to soak up Maine’s most colorful season in the Moosehead region. Here are a few of our top recommendations:
The leaves are the star of the show around here, and for good reason! The lake will get lit up with brilliant red (black, red, scarlet and white oak; more maple species and sumac), purple (white ash and witch hazel) and yellow (ash, basswood, beech, birches, butternut, elm, multiple maple species, mountain ash, and poplar) foliage that appears to burst into view almost overnight. Remember, weather has a lot to do with how and when colors develop, so the best days to go leaf peeping are after crisp days and even chillier nights. If you’re planning a drive to soak up the scenery, be sure to schedule the best views for around sunset — the afternoon light will showcase the fall colors while letting the evergreen tones fade away.
If you’d like to take home a souvenir from your fall foliage adventure, consider selecting one or two leaves then pressing them between waxed paper or preserving them in a solution of 1:2 glycerine and water overnight.
Do you have a hunting license or a passion for hunting? The Moosehead Lake region abounds with ruffed grouse, rabbit, wild turkeys, deer, bear, and moose. There’s plenty of land to share, and with the assistance of a Registered Maine Guide, you can learn all the local hotspots for finding the best and biggest game! Registered Maine Guides are outdoor professionals who are licensed and permitted to assist any person in the fields, forests, or waters within the jurisdiction of the State while hunting, fishing, trapping, etc. In short: They know the area and they know how to find what you’re looking for!
Be sure to have your license or permit in order before visiting so that you can step right into your camo and/or your hunter orange without further ado — you can even apply for a license or permit online! Make sure you brush up on all hunting laws before heading out, by visiting The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Hunting is a great opportunity to spend quality time in the woods, either in silence on a solo hunt or while teaching the next generation the ropes. It can be an incredibly important bonding experience and teaches important life skills like patience, deliberation, proper firearm safety and use, and the importance of appreciating our natural resources.
Cool air, still water, and a tug on your line — what could be better? Plan an autumn fishing excursion to experience our famed waterways and soak in some exceptional views. In the fall, fish move away from larger bodies of water and into smaller rivers and streams to spawn. Be prepared as fall fishing can be feast or famine. Availability of guided trips is limited, so if you want to book a guide for fall fishing now is the time, don’t wait! The dates for the end of the fall fishing season greatly depend on what river or body of water you are fishing on. It’s essential that you check the current 2021 fishing laws by visiting The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
PRO TIP: It’s a great time of year to break out your streamers! These wet flies are the best bet in attracting fish as their bright colors are most appealing in the fall.
Let’s get some boots on the ground! Fall is perhaps the best time to hit the trails around the Lake, as the scenery is particularly spectacular and the summer visitors have left for the season. Enjoy crisp air, stunning foliage, quiet trails and glimpses of local wildlife as they prepare for the onset of winter.
It’s a great time of year to tackle the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit Challenge! By allotting one day per mountain, you can tackle all the peaks in less than a week with plenty of time to enjoy the hikes and really take in the scenery. We recommend starting with Mount Kineo, then moving on to Number Four Mountain, Whitecap Mountain, and Eagle Rock, then finishing strong on days five and six with Big Moose Mountain and Borestone Mountain!
The weather can get chilly this time of year, so be sure to wear wool socks (a must-have for hiking any day!) and light, insulating layers so that you’ll stay warm on the trail. Be sure to check the forecast before striking off, and pack plenty of water and trail snacks for each day!
Imagine this: You wake up early in the morning when the fall air is extra crisp and the birds are still singing. The sunlight is pouring through the fabric of your tent, diffusing into a warm glow that just promises a beautiful day ahead. You make yourself a pot of strong, hot coffee over an open flame, then lean back in your camp chair, absorbing the view of the dynamic fall colors for miles around.
When you camp near the lake, you can choose to fill every day just as you choose: quiet, reflective solitude, active adventure, or passive meandering through the region’s treasure trove of natural attractions. Fall camping brings its own set of specific joys and promises to be an unforgettable experience. All you need to bring is your tent, a warm sleeping bag and blankets, food, and cooking utensils to craft a north woods getaway worthy of an annual tradition.
Not ready to “rough it”? Our region offers a substantial variety of camp, cottage and cabin rentals, most within close proximity of the water. Keep the views and the privacy, while upgrading to a thick mattress, a roof over your head and perhaps a cozy reading nook!
See the Lake from the Katahdin Steamship
Ready to sit back and really soak it all in? Plan a guided historic lake tour aboard the Kate! This unique experience offers a glimpse of scenic landmarks on the water along with a narration of the area’s history and sights. Freshly-prepared meals, local brews, and other special treats are available on board, and there are multiple cruise packages to choose from so you can craft an experience that’s just right for your party or family. As a reminder, the last cruise of the 2021 season is Monday, October 11th. After your cruise, tour the Moosehead Marine Museum to browse local artifacts and learn more about the history and agricultural development of our region. It’s a rare and mesmerizing peek into the region’s past!
Fall is a great time of year to look for Moose! September, October, November and December are some of the best months to spot a moose. You may be able to spot a fully antlered Bull Moose if you’re lucky! We have many resources on our website if you’d like to take a self-guided tour. We also have a number of Registered Maine Guides in our region that offer guided Moose Watching tips.
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.
Camping, Cabins & Boat Rentals on Moosehead Lake
Make the most out of your time in Moosehead Lake, Maine
For visitors traveling to Maine during the summer, few places embody the spirit, beauty, and vast recreational opportunities of the state as the Moosehead Lake region. From it’s legendary boating, fishing, and ATVing, to its charming shops, restaurants, and historic cabins and lodges, the communities surrounding Moosehead Lake have it all. With the great outdoors and Maine’s largest lake at your fingertips, the opportunity for adventure is seemingly endless. But before you pack your bags in search of camping, cabins and boat rentals on Moosehead Lake, plan ahead, there are many options to give you the exact Maine vacation experience you’re looking for.
Places to stay near Moosehead Lake Maine
Along the shores of Moosehead Lake lies a number of small towns and villages that hold their own key to this marvelous natural playground. From Greenville on the southernmost tip of the lake, to Rockwood on the west side and Kokadjo on the east, these communities offer a wide variety of spectacular lodging options from motels and inns to bed & breakfasts, camps, cabins, cottages, and campgrounds.
Cabins, Cottages, and Lake House Rentals on Moosehead Lake
Staying in a cabin, cottage, or lake house on Moosehead Lake allows one to experience an iconic tradition like no other. Truly New England, truly Moosehead Lake.
Moosehead Hills Cabins
Located on both Moosehead Lake and Wilson Pond, Moosehead Hills Cabin rentals provides stunning views, Jacuzzi tubs, cozy fireplaces, and plenty of outdoor activities on, and off the lake. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/moosehead-hills-cabins/
Wilsons on Moosehead Lake
Since 1865, Wilsons on Moosehead Lake has been the premier destination for yearround north woods recreation. These spacious lakefront cottages on Moosehead Lake are ideal for families and groups of all sizes. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/wilsons-on-moosehead-lake/
Cottages at Moosehead
Are you planning a boating or fishing trip to Moosehead Lake? Or perhaps you’re visiting in the winter for the world-class snowmobiling and ice fishing the area has to offer? Either way, the Cottages at Moosehead provide yearround accommodations. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/cottages-at-moosehead/
Lawrence’s Lakeside Cabins
Located on the western shore of Moosehead Lake, Lawrence’s Lakeside Cabins provides a 10-mile unobstructed view of the lake with plenty of room to dock your boat. Enjoy the peace and quiet that this region affords from the private beach. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/lawrences-lakeside-cabins/
Misty Morning Cottages
Step outside your cottage door at Misty Morning Cottages and you’re immediately greeted by amazing views of Moosehead Lake, Mt. Kineo and the Spencer Mountains. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/misty-morning-cottages/
On the Western Shore of Moosehead Lake lies the historic Birches Resort. Built in the 1930’s as a hunting and fishing lodge, The Birches is situated on a privately owned, 11,000 acre nature preserve. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/the-birches-resort/
Tomhegan Wilderness Cabins
Located along a wildlife sanctuary, guests to Tomhegan Wilderness Cabins enjoy the peaceful wilderness and majestic wildlife of the region from private year-round lakefront cabin rentals on Moosehead Lake. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/tomhegan-wilderness-cabins/
Wilson Pond Camps
Just four miles from Greenville, the Wilson Pond Camps offer personal guided moose tours & wildlife safaris, guided fishing trips, boat & motor/canoe/kayak rentals. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/wilson-pond-camps/
Motels, Inns, and B&B Rentals on Moosehead Lake
Experience the finest lodging destinations the Moosehead Lake region has to offer. From historic Inns to leisure-filled lodges, there’s something for everyone at Moosehead.
Chalet Moosehead Lakefront Lodging
Situated directly on the shores of Moosehead Lake, the Chalet Moosehead makes the perfect home base from which to explore the lakes, hills, trails, and more that make up the region. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/chalet-moosehead-lakefront-motel/
Kineo View Lodge
Kayak or canoe the pristine waters on or around Moosehead Lake. Go on a moose and wildlife safari, and don’t forget to bring your camera. Kineo View Lodge puts you close to all of the action, making it the perfect destination for your Moosehead getaway. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/kineo-view-lodge/
Leisure Life Resort & Trailside Restaurant
With a restaurant and bar on-site, as well as direct ATV and snowmobile access, the Leisure life Resort & Trailside Restaurant is the idea spot for those looking to explore the north woods on four wheels. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/trailside-restaurant/
Greenville Inn at Moosehead Lake
This five-acre lumber baron’s estate offers luxury & family suites, private cottages and historic mansion room, all within a short walking distance to downtown Greenville & Moosehead Lake. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/greenville-inn-at-moosehead-lake/
Kelly’s Landing Restaurant & Lodging
Moosehead’s best waterfront restaurant offers friendly service and family fare. The waterfront lodging offers lakeside single rooms, roomy double suites and even a four-bedroom log home, all overlooking Moosehead Lake. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/kellys-landing/
Campgrounds at Moosehead Lake
If you’re looking for a peaceful, rustic stay, consider camping at Moosehead Lake. With commercial campgrounds, state, parks, and primitive tent sites, this is just the place to get back to nature.
Balsam Woods Campground
Located just south in Abbot, Balsam Woods Campground has 90 full hookup sites, 6 cabins, and several tent sites. Cable TV & Wi-Fi at every site, and direct ATV trail access with 1,000+ miles of trails. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/balsam-woods-campground/
Lily Bay State Park
Located along the east shore of beautiful Moosehead Lake just 9 miles north of Greenville, the 925-acre park offers year-round activities and camping. Amenities include a swimming beach, playground, two trailerable boat ramps with boat slips, and a two-mile shoreline walking trail. Learn more at https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/trail_activities/lilybay_trail_conditions.shtml
Northeast Whitewater offers on-site wilderness camping and yurts, whitewater rafting, moose watching tours by land and canoe, waterfall hikes, ice cave excursions, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, and friendly, knowledgeable guides. Learn more at https://oldmoosehead.campfre.com/business/northeast-whitewater/
Boat Rentals at Moosehead Lake (Motor, Canoe, Kayak, and SUPs)
There’s no better way to explore Moosehead Lake than by getting out on the water. Fortunately, there are many businesses in the region that offer motor boat, canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddle board rentals.
Motor boat rentals
If you’re looking to see more of Moosehead, than a motor boat is the way to go. At 40-miles long and 20-miles wide, this gives you a better option for stretching your sea legs and feeling the wind in your face. There are a number of motor boat rental suppliers locally, including: Wilsons on Moosehead Lake, The Birches Resort, Wilson Pond Cabins, Captain Rogers Pontoon Boats, and Lawrence’s.
Canoe and kayak rentals
If a slower pace is more your style, taking a canoe or kayak out on the late is a great way to enjoy the peace and quiet while also getting some exercise. Explore the shore of Lily Bay State Park, or get up close and personal with Mt. Kineo. These businesses provide canoe and kayak rentals at Moosehead Lake: The Birches Resort, Indian Hill Trading Post, Moxie Outdoor Adventures, Moosehead Area Rentals, Northern Outdoors, Northeast Whitewater, Northwoods Outfitters, Rockwood Cottages (with delivery), Wilsons on Moosehead Lake, and Wilson Pond Cabins.
No matter how you choose to enjoy your visit to Moosehead Lake, take the time to get out and explore the businesses and places that make this region so special. From its history to its landscapes, its people to its recreational opportunities, Moosehead has it allRead More
Imagine Maine’s largest lake, Moosehead, stretching 40 miles long and 20 miles wide, dotted with hundreds of seaplanes in the air and on the surface of the pristine lake. Celebrating its 46th year, the International Seaplane Fly-In, held each September the weekend after Labor Day, is one of the most highly anticipated events on the lake.
Whether you’re a spectator of the incredible event, or you’re lucky enough to be overhead in the seat of one of the seaplanes, the blue water and surrounding forests and mountains create a breathtaking landscape. People will gather from both near and far to witness the excitement in the sky and water.
The Stobie Hangar contests are the favorite portion of the fly-in with spot landings, short field takeoffs and even water bombing. Talk about a fun selfie opportunity for spectators!
Beyond the seaplane runs and contests, there will be live music, delicious food (think a pig roast and a lobster dinner!) and beverages (served up by a Greenville favorite, the Stress Free Moose Pub & Café), and more fun for the whole family, including a craft fair and dinner aboard the beloved steamship, The Kate.
If you’re planning on visiting Destination Moosehead for the fly-in from September 5 – 8, or if you’ll already be visiting and want to partake in the fun, you can find a schedule of events here. Thousands of people will be arriving for the festivities, so be sure to book accommodations now.
Click here for additional information about the event. Buckle up, sit back, relax and get ready for take-off.Read More