The "Maine Highlands" region is rich in superlative natural resources. From the very beginning, these rich natural resources have forged this region’s heritage and its self-reliant people. The way those natural resources have been used by residents has defined the history and culture of this unique part of Maine and has shaped our small rural communities.
The Great Maine Woods and Waters Tour introduces you to some of our most spectacular natural resources. These experiences vary greatly and cover a wide variety of intensity levels. Some experiences can be of short duration, while others might cover several days as you immerse yourself in the grandeur of back country recreation areas.
This tour can be totally defined by you and your unique party of travelers. No two groups will experience nature in exactly the same way. That is the beauty and the wonder of our natural world. Every day and every season is different, but always spectacular.
This website also connects you to cultural and historic resources that complement, enhance and often explain more fully the experience enjoyed in our natural environment. Please continue to monitor this site as this tour is constantly evolving as more locations and adventures are added.
Before you begin, please understand that there are significant differences in experiences.
Front Country Experiences are those with a definite degree of built environment that offers the comfortable feeling of being close to nature, but not too distant from communities and the structured environment that for many people offers a definite level of security.
Portions of this tour that are more or less front country experiences are:
- Mt. Kineo
- Moosehead Marine Museum
- Lily Bay State Park
- Guilford River Walk
- Peaks Kenney State Park
- Pleasant River Walk
- Katahdin Iron Works
- Baxter State Park Welcome Center
Back Country Experiences are those where dispersed recreation takes place in nature’s natural state. These experiences inherently assume greater individual risk and the knowledge of personal survival skills in a sometimes unforgiving landscape. There may not be another human within miles of you and there is limited infrastructure to guide you through these experiences. With any of these experiences, it is always important to be prepared with basic food and survival equipment, proper clothing and footwear suitable for the season and difficulty of the adventure.
Though day excursions are possible in some of these locations, a much longer period of time is required for true back country experiences in Public Lands Units, on the Appalachian Trail, Gulf Hagas and most certainly in Baxter State Park.
Back Country Experiences of this tour include:
- Bureau of Public Lands Little Moose Unit
- Appalachian Trail from Monson north or south
- Maine Audubon’s Borestone Sanctuary
- Piscataquis Demonstration Forest
- Gulf Hagas
- Bureau of Public Lands Sebeois Unit
- Baxter State Park