Maine is one of the most heavily forested states in the
nation, containing over 17 million acres of natural
beauty, hikes, and magnificent summer and fall foliage
scenic drive is through Maine backcountry. A rugged
environment of thick forests and impressive mountain
The drive is magnificent in
summer but not-to-be-missed in fall foliage season.
The route follows a 218-mile
loop through central west Maine along the lower western
shore of Moosehead Lake, and then runs parallel with the
tree-lined banks of the Kennebec River. Itís best
experienced over a few days rather than a one-day
excursion trip, and lodging reservations are recommended
during the popular fall foliage season.
Letís get you startedÖ
In the first part of the tour
youíll wind your way towards the town of Greenville on
the southern tip of Moosehead Lake. Begin the tour in
the town of Skowhegan by taking Route 150 to Route 151
in Athens. Follow Route 151 west to Newport where youíll
pick up Route 7 to Dover-Foxcroft.
Take Route 6 to Guilford, and
then follow Route 6/15 north to Greenville.
At Greenville stop and relax
for a bit. Greenville is a center for those seeking the
pastimes of hunting, fishing, hiking and boating in the
area. Itís also home to a number of attractions in the
One such attraction is the
110-foot SS Katahdin, a popular steamship that cruises
on Moosehead Lake during the summer and through fall
foliage. It leaves from the center of Greenville.
A 20-mile excursion east of
Greenville takes you to beautiful Gulf Hagas. This is a
stunning 3-mile-long gorge, with waterfalls, water
chutes, deep pools, and vertical walls 300 feet tall in
places. The hike is especially scenic during fall
foliage. For those spreading this scenic drive over
multiple days this is a must-do side trip.
The Greenville area also boasts
splendid hikes along the close-by Appalachian Trail.
If youíre intending to stay
overnight then Greenville offers your best opportunity
The scenic drive continues
along Route 6/15 passing Big Squaw Mountain and Ski Area
on the left, and winding along the Moosehead Lake shore
to the village of Rockwood. Once at Rockwood youíll see
across the water the imposing Mount Kineo with its sheer
cliff face rising over 700 feet from the deepest point
in Moosehead Lake.
Stay on Route 6/15 and head
west to Jackman. This 30-mile portion of the scenic
drive is all about Maine wilderness. Look out for
opportunities to stop and admire the summer or fall
foliage views in the hills and on scenic lookouts across
the lakes and ponds along the road.
Just south of Jackman Route
6/15 will connect with Route 201, and youíll follow
Route 201 south towards The Forks along the National
Jackman is a canoeing center,
famous for the 42-mile Moose River Bow Trip. The canoe
trip takes two or more days and is a favorite of outdoor
enthusiasts. Itís one of the few remaining wilderness
canoe trips in the Northeast, and organized tours are
run by local operators.
Continue on Route 201 south to
The Forks where the Kennebec and Dead Rivers meet. The
Forks is base for popular and awe-inspiring whitewater
rafting trips on the two rivers.
A few miles west of The Forks
is Moxie Falls, at 90-feet one of the tallest waterfalls
in New England.
The scenic drive continues
south on Route 201 to Bingham. This stretch of the road
follows the Kennebec River through Caratunk, offering
magnificent views of the river and surrounding hills,
and is one of the best fall foliage sections on this
Follow Route 201 back to
Skowhegan to complete the tour.