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Scenic Foliage Drives

A Recommended Drive: Maine


Calling the Old Canada Road (Route 201) a scenic byway does a small injustice to this 78-mile drive between Solon and Sandy Bay Township along the Canadian border. It's not just scenic (think moose) but also grandly historic.

Benedict Arnold led troops through this wilderness on his spectacularly ill-fated mission to sack Quebec in 1775. A more lasting trail was blazed in the 19th century by Maine farmers who discovered a better market for livestock and produce in Canada than on their own coast.

The trip north today remains an excursion from the pastoral into the pine forests. You start out flanked by rolling farmland, then climb steadily into commercial timberland, the lair of moose. Logging trucks soon share the winding road with old school buses that ferry white-water enthusiasts to some of the most popular rafting in the East. Head with Raft Maine to The Forks (named after a river juncture) to get splendidly soaked on the Kennebec or Dead Rivers.

One don't-miss detour from The Forks is the hike to 90-foot Moxie Falls, one of Maine's highest cascades. It's just over a mile from the trailhead, which is two miles east of the river on Lake Moxie Road.

Continue your drive past Parlin Pond and the Appalachian Trail to the unvarnished town of Jackman ("Last Gas in the United States"), one of Maine's famed fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling outposts. Just south of town is Attean Lake, where you can find the landing phone to call for a shuttle to the Attean Lake Lodge, a family-friendly resort on a densely forested island.

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Raft Maine

Head with Raft Maine to The Forks (named after a river juncture) to get splendidly soaked on the Kennebec or Dead Rivers in north central Maine. [DETAILS]

Attean Lake Lodge

Sunrise, observed from a dock on a Maine lake surrounded by deep woods. It’s a perfect moment that most people haven’t experienced, since it’s increasingly difficult to find such spots. You can find yourself in such a moment at Attean Lake Lodge, one of the few remaining family-owned lodges in the Northeast dating from the turn of the 20th century. Situated on its own island in Attean Lake, near Maine’s western border with Canada, this rustic compound consists of 15 comfortable (if basic) cabins for guests, plus a grand main lodge with a soaring ceiling, a stone fireplace, and endless views. (It’s also where guests gather for meals and games of cards.) By day, take a canoe and explore the ragged shore of the lake, or take a hike up to nearby ledges. Access to the island is by boat and is prearranged with the owners. [DETAILS]

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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