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Eastern Maine (Downeast) (2 & 4)
Covers Houlton, Millinocket, Calais, Machias, Bar Harbor and Penobscot Bay
Typical Peak Week: Second Week in October
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Courtesy of Jack Howdeshell
Downeast Acadia is rich in scenic beauty, from our dramatic rocky coastline to our sparkling inland lakes. Downeast Acadia is the only region with five scenic byways, exemplifying the plethora of scenic, cultural, and recreational opportunities available here. Take in the length and breadth of our scenic splendor and the vibrant history and culture of our communities, all at your own pace.
- Million Dollar View (Route 1)
Unsurpassed views of the Chiputneticook chain of lakes (all teeming with fish), Mount Katahdin, Peekaboo Mountain, vistas of rolling hayfields, and the landscape of New Brunswick, Canada.
- Bold Coast Scenic Byway
A 125-mile coastal route that invites visitors to explore the culture, history, wildlife, and rugged beauty of DownEast Maine, including fishing villages, lakes, forests, farms, and blueberry barrens.
- Blackwoods Scenic Byway
This 12.5-mile route winds through rugged glacially formed lakes and erratic boulders, and provides plenty of access to fishing, swimming, paddling, and rugged hiking trails with panoramic vistas toward the Atlantic Ocean.
- Schoodic National Scenic Byway
Weaves through 27 miles of fishing communities and breathtaking coastal scenery, including the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park, lighthouses, and historic architecture.
- Acadia Byway All-American Road
A 40-mile route encompassing Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island, featuring beaches, bicycling, foliage, hiking trails, islands, ocean views, and wildlife.
- Katahdin Woods & Waters
The Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway is where you can relive the experiences of the hearty souls who ventured into the great north woods.
Featured State Parks
- Lamoine State Park - Visitors enjoy camping, boating, fishing and simple relaxation in a beautiful location. Park views of Frenchman's Bay, and amenities such as the campground facilities and boat launching ramp are some of the park's highlights.
- Cobscook Bay State Park - Visitors enjoy camping, boating, fishing and simple relaxation in a beautiful location. Park views of Frenchman's Bay, and amenities such as the campground facilities and boat launching ramp are some of the park's highlights.
- The Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land in Townships 9 & 10 SD in Hancock County near Sullivan and Franklin offer hiking trails up Schoodic and Black Mountains that provide vistas on surrounding woodland, lakes and Acadia National Park across Frenchman's Bay.
- Paddle the Machias Lakes and Downeast Lakes systems, which together offer many, many miles and days of backcountry paddling.
- Offering spectacular views of Mount Katahdin, Katahdin Woods and Waters invites discovery of its rivers, streams, woods, flora, fauna, geology, and the night skies that have attracted humans for millennia.
- Baxter State Park is a public wilderness area in the Millinocket area with over 200,000 acres. This is a remote part of Maine - plan ahead before heading out to hike or camp!
- Find more Maine State Parks, Public Lands & Historic Sites
Things to Do
The Blueberry Barrens are Scarlet! (In Autumn)
Start your foliage and blueberry barrens adventure in Hancock by turning east on State Route 182 to Franklin and Cherryfield. The Black Woods Scenic Byway winds through narrow passes between lakes and mountains to Cherryfield, “The Blueberry Capitol of the World.” At the top of Tunk Mountain you’ll find lots of wild blueberries to nibble along the trail. Just before Cherryfield village, you’ll definitely want to stop at Catherine Hill Winery to taste their Bold Coast or blueberry blends! And downtown Cherryfield boasts a river walk along the Narraguagus River through their large and well-preserved National Historic District. Start your walk at the Cherryfield Narraguagus Historical Society.
Continue toward Machias on the Bold Coast Scenic Byway (US Route 1) through Harrington, Columbia Falls, and Addison, with a dip down the peninsulas into Jonesport and then into Roque Bluffs to enjoy the brilliantly colored blueberry fields rolling toward the ocean. You’ll pass Wild Blueberry Land in Columbia Falls, the home of all things blueberry and creator of the Wild Blueberry Virtual Museum, which shares the complex story of this incredible wild fruit.
Stop at a Farmers’ Market or roadside stand to pick up a fresh quart of wild blueberries to eat along the way, or plan a few hours to pick your own at a local farm.
Return south along the Bold Coast Scenic Byway, then veer south on Route 1A toward Milbridge and Steuben, where you can pick your own berries at the Hollingsworth Trail in the Petit Manan section of the Maine Coastal Islands Wildlife Refuge, or on top of Pigeon Hill.
Pick up the Schoodic Scenic Byway on Route 186 heading in Gouldsboro to meander through more coastal blueberry fields and working waterfront villages, but first stop off at Bartlett Winery off the Chicken Mill Pond Road in Gouldsboro. Bartlett produces award-winning fruit wines, ciders, and spirits – be sure to try their Wild Blueberry Wine! For the grand finale, stop in Corea or Winter Harbor to savor mouth-watering lobster rolls and a slice of wild blueberry pie a la mode!
More Trip Ideas & Places to Visit
- Maine Agri-Tourism - Plan new experiences and create lasting memories while having fun around agriculture.
- Maine Ice Age Trail - A geological journey through time and space.
- Maine Wine Trail - Our wineries produce grape and fruit wines, distilled spirits, meads, ciders and fortified wines.
- Maine Beer Trail - Small, handcraftered brewers.
- Visit a Lighthouse - Among Maine’s 65 lighthouses, many are open to the public, some even offer access to keeper’s quarters. A good number have adjacent museums.
For more information about how to enjoy a True Maine experience in Downeast & Acadia, go to downeastacadia.com.