Monday, December 23, 2013

Golden Road Millinocket Maine

Telos Rd off the Golden Road Millinocket Maine
Telos Rd
No trip to Millinocket is complete without a drive down the Golden Rd. This secondary (toward the end tertiary) road goes from Millinocket to Canada. The border crossing into Canada is limited to logging trucks so don't think you're headed out on a moonshine run! There are innumerable hidden trails along the road. Nothing is marked so you really need to get directions from a local.

The Appalachian Trail crosses the Golden Road near Abol Pond.

Town names along the road are a little different to say the least. The photo above was taken in T3 R11 WELS. Translated: Township 3 Range 11 West of Easterly Line of the State.

Continuing down the road you come to Haymock Lake where you can stay at Macannamac Camps and Lodges for a real outdoors Maine experience. 

River Pond Nature Trail Millinocket
A walk in the woods at River Pond Nature Trail
 One of the trails we found along the Golden Rd. We didn't know it but you can drive your car down this road to a small parking area. We pulled in off the road and parked there. There is NO parking on the Golden Rd. Log trucks have the right of way at all times. You're just a visitor. This is a working logging road.

West Branch gorge
Just below the power house on the West Branch
Next stop was down the Power House Dam Rd. There is parking above the power house and an outhouse which can come in pretty handy after bouncing along on the Golden Rd for an hour! We wandered down a side trail where we found this gorgeous view of the gorge below the dam. Great place for a picnic lunch!

One of the trails leading to the West Branch Falls

The culmination of our drive was the Ripogenus Lake Dam. The Golden Rd continues on after this for another 50 miles or so to Canada. 

Ripogenus Dam
Below the dam

Ripogenus Dam
Gears on the Ripogenus Dam
 Stopped a few more times on the way back to Millinocket. Once to get another shot of Katahdin and again at the River Drivers Pub on Twin Pines Rd. Great ambiance and very friendly servers! We got the scoop on a few more places we have to go next time we're up this way including the bunk house where Rock's dad probably stayed back in the 40's when he worked worked in the area!


Your intrepid innkeepers

Combine this drive with a few days at Baxter State Park and you are well on your way to enjoying a small slice of the Great Maine Woods! It's a 3 hour drive from White Cedar Inn so plan to stay here a couple of days for your 'ocean' time and then head inland for your 'mountain and lakes' time. One state. We've got it all! (The desert is here in Freeport!)

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032

Thursday, December 19, 2013

K Is for Katahdin

Katahdin Baxter State Park Millinocket Maine
Katahdin from the Sandy Stream Pond Trail

The most famous mountain in Maine? It's certainly the tallest at just shy of 1 mile (5, 269 ft). Although called 'Mount Katahdin' that's a bit of a redundancy. (Like La Brea Tar Pits which is 'The Tar Tar Pits' in translation!) Katahdin means 'Greatest Mountain' so it turns out we're all saying 'Mount Greatest Mountain'!

Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The last 100 miles of the trail are said to be the hardest with places that are not even trail but just scrambling over and between boulders deposited by the retreating ice when the glaciers melted.

BTW, that is not snow in the photos, it's granite.

Not much else for me to say...just enjoy the photos! Taken from 3 different sides of the mountain. 

Katahdin Baxter State Park Millinocket Maine
Katahdin from our room at the inn

Katahdin Baxter State Park Millinocket Maine
Katahdin from the Sandy Stream Pond Trail

Katahdin South Twin Lake 5 Lakes Lodge
South Twin Lake with Katahdin

Golden Road Katahdin
Katahdin from the Golden Rd

Katahdin Golden Road
Katahdin (no, that is not a moose in the water, but we did stop because we thought it was!)

It's about a 3 hour drive from White Cedar Inn to get to Millinocket. If you decide to head up that way and stay over, we enjoyed the 5 Lakes Lodge in Millinocket. (See photo above for the view from every room at the lodge!) Wonderful innkeepers and great breakfasts. They can get you set up for an early start if you're going to climb Katahdin!

If you'd rather camp in Baxter State Park you must have a reservation for both your camp site and a place to park your car at the trail heads. If you do not reserve in advance you may find yourself out of luck. Parking is minimal, roads are not quite 2 lane. No large vehicles, no motorcycles and no dogs allowed.

This is truly a park for enjoying nature!

White Cedar Inn Bed and Breakfast 178 Main St Freeport, Maine 04032