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
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!
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
Each May, the Moosehead Lake Region celebrates our favorite resident – the moose! Featuring local artisans, kids’ activities and treats, Moose Mainea begins in late May and goes into June – the time of year when moose sightings are abundant. These giants come out of the woods each spring to find fresh buds to snack on and if you know where to look, you can see one up close. In fact, moose outnumber us humans 3-to-1 here in the Moosehead Lake Region, so your chances are high.
To help you spot a moose on your own, look at dawn or dusk, as they are most active in the twilight hours. They are quite
short-sighted and can only see about 25 feet away, so give them space and don’t startle them.
If you want to ensure you see a moose, turn to the professionals – our guides. Moose safaris have registered Maine guides who know all the secret spots to find moose enjoying themselves in bogs or marshes. Some of the tours even have a moose-sighting guarantee. There are numerous guide services that offer moose safaris at Moosehead.
Moose Mainea is also a great reason to take a weekend getaway to the region. Come to see the moose but stay and play for a couple days. You can add some romance by staying at one of our charming B&Bs or inns, or curl up in a cozy cabin by the lake after a day of hiking. Springtime welcomes blooming flowers like lupines and lilacs and the lake is ready for fishing or kayaking and canoeing.
For an unforgettable way to celebrate spring, be sure to choose the Moosehead Lake Region and Moose Mainea!Read More