An RV vacation in the endless beauty of Maine’s North Woods leaves visitors breathless, stunned by the scenery, the pristine forests and the wide array of outdoor recreation available. Driving the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway gives you the best of the best of all of these.
If coming from Boston, Massachusetts, take Interstate 95 north through New Hampshire into Maine. After you pass the Waterville exit, you will come to Route 201, and you turn north to start your adventure through the natural setting of Maine’s wilderness landscapes.
When you plan on enjoying some fishing or hunting during your Maine RV trip, be sure to get your state license before you leave. You’ll be fully prepared and won’t have to put off having some fun out there in the wilderness.
As you move along Route 201, you will be following the same path as the Abenaki Indians when they did their trading in the north. Abenaki lands extended across much of northern New England and into southern Quebec. You’ll also have the opportunity to see the abundant wildlife wandering through the forests, across mountain ridges and by the rivers.
Once through Lakewood, Maine, you will soon reach Solon. The woods around Solon provide some great hunting, if this is what you are looking for in outdoor excitement. You may get to have the thrill of bagging a bear on this trip. The 13-mile-long Wyman Lake is a spot you shouldn’t miss, particularly if you enjoy boating and fishing. Throw in a line and catch some yellow perch, sunfish or rainbow trout.
Next stop? Moxie Mountain, a 2920-foot peak where hiking is perfect for those ready for some strenuous exercise. Climbing to the summit will put you in touch with some views, time to catch your breath and reflect. Back in your RV to head for Caratunk and the Appalachian Trail. This is likely one of the finest hiking trails in the U.S., with miles of it to experience right in Maine. You don’t have to hike all of its more than 2,000 miles. Just a few miles is enough to impress.
Visit the spot where two rivers meet – The Forks. Here the Kennebec River and Dead River converge and provide opportunities for some exciting whitewater rafting. In the winter, you’ll discover snowmobile trails to explore, and wonderful hiking or ATV riding in the summer months.
Ten miles north of Caratunk, discover Moxie Falls with its gorgeous 30-yard cascade. The falls is only a couple miles east of Route 201 and easy to access, with a short hike from parking. This scenic waterfall is the tallest waterfall in Maine and a must-see. Head a little way downstream for some delightful swimming, but be warned, it is a challenging scramble over rocks to get there.
As you approach Jackman, Maine, you’ll discover majestic mountains just waiting for you to climb, hike or simply enjoy the view. Coburn Mountain at over 3,700 feet presents some challenging adventures. Bring your camera and a picnic lunch to the summit. Stop later in Jackman for dinner and supplies. In March you can take in a sled dog race. The Northeast Championship Sled Dog Race will leave you breathless, even if you aren’t participating.
Find a multitude of hiking trails in the Jackman and Forks region to test your skills. From moderate to difficult, these mountains will inspire you to get out and stretch your legs – and the rest of you! Choose among Sally Mountain, Boundary Bald Mountain or Cold Stream Falls, the most remote. Other activities you can substitute for hiking include picnicking at the Attean View rest area or sitting by the Moose River to watch the sun go down.
A side-trip for a complete RV vacation experience would be to take Highway 6 to Moosehead Lake. Escape from workaday cares and worries by relaxing lakeside and enjoying the clear waters surrounded by serene forested hills. To finish your trip, you go back to Route 201 and drive north until you reach Sandy Bay at the international border with Canada.
You have made it to the end of your journey and are ready to begin the drive back, stopping at all the sights you may have missed the first time. The Old Canada Road Scenic Byway by RV is certainly a trip you must make, summer or winter, for some of the most beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation available in the northeast United States.