Where to Go Tours & Routes FAQ Search

Inland Maine Guide

Maine is famous for its rugged coastline, but inland there are vast forests, beautiful lakes, fine ski resorts, and Mount Katahdin, northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Bonus: an excursion to Québec, Canada.

Mount Katahdin, Baxter State Park, Maine
Mount Katahdin, highest in Maine.

Sebago Lake

Sebago Lake, 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Portland (map), is the second largest lake in Maine, Greater Portland's prime water supply, and a pure Maine natural refuge for your vacation. Despite its convenient closeness to Portland, the lake's 105 miles (169 km) of forest-cloaked shoreline are carefully preserved, offering fine water and island views.

The eastern shore is dotted with villages and businesses. At the southern tip, the town of Sebago Lake is hardly more than a few dozen houses, two stores, and a gas station.; but the northern reaches of the lake hold the best recreational possibilities.

Sebago Lake State Park

Although the 1,400-acre (567-hectare) Sebago Lake State Park, with its fine beach, picnic facilities, hiking trails, bicycling roads, and a 250-site camping area is very busy in summer, the park is yours to enjoy with only a handful of others in early June or in September after Labor Day weekend.

Getaway Lodgings

Here's a Hotel Map with Prices for finding that inn or cottage for your getaway:


Just east of the park is Migis Lodge, a traditional Maine summer resort inn and cottages offering opportunities for a tranquil, refined lakeside vacation: days of swimming, hiking, boating, sailing, fishing, tennis, golf, relaxation and fine dining. It's been offering these simple but superb pleasures since 1916.

Point Sebago is a large resort complex on the northwestern shore of Sebago Lake offering cottages and houses for rental lease or purchase, camping areas, and a host of recreational and entertainment possibilities including a mile of lakefront beach, an 18-hole golf course, land- and water-based sports, children's camps and programs, and theater and musical shows. More...

Sebago Lake Family Campground on the west shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine has 101 sites for RV and tents, eight family cottages, and a private beach on the lake. More...

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village

Thirty miles (48 km) north of Portland along ME Route 26 at 707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester ME (map), is the settlement of Sabbathday Lake, the last active, living Shaker religious community in the country.

Founded in the 1700s, the Sabbathday Lake community still has a handful of active members who continue to work and live in the Shaker tradition.

Six of the community's 18 buildings are open to the public daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm EST (closed Sunday) from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, including a Museum Reception Center, the Shaker Museum, and a shop selling community products.

Guided tours (for a fee) show you the village and introduce you to Shaker beliefs, traditions and history. Tours depart about every hour.

The spare white buildings of the Sabbathday Lake village are plain but extremely well kept. Most notable are the brick Dwelling House and the 1794 Meetinghouse.

In the fields near the village are several small, simple cemeteries, each with only one monument, bearing the legend "Shakers" and the dates of interment.

(For comparison, see Hancock Shaker Village near Pittsfield MA in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, and Canterbury Shaker village near Concord, New Hampshire.)

Poland Spring

Up the road a few miles is the village of Poland Spring, which gained fame in the 1800s when a man was miraculously cured by its waters. The water from the spring has been bottled and shipped throughout the country since that time. Several hotels here cater to those "taking the waters."

Continue north on ME Route 26 and you'll soon come to Bethel, one of the prettiest towns in Maine, right at the edge of New Hampshire's White Mountains and a vast national forest, and next to Sunday River ski resort, one of the most popular Maine ski resorts.


A well-known preparatory school, good inns and restaurants, and good skiing attract visitors to Bethel, an excellent base for visiting western Maine and New Hampshire's White Mountains.

The Victoria Inn, Bethel ME
The Victoria, a grand bed-and-breakfast inn in Bethel ME.

Bethel, Maine is an excellent base for visiting western Maine and New Hampshire's White Mountains, for getaway vacations in all seasons.

You can go fishing in the Androscoggin River, play golf on several courses, speed along ziplines, go canoeing, kayaking, hiking, learn how to build Shaker furniture, take a llama trek, propect for treasure in a gem mine and the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum, tour historic houses, go camping and, of course, in winter, enjoy some of the best skiing and snowboarding in New England—all in one of the most beautiful corners of the region.

Where to Stay

A well-known preparatory school called Gould Academy (founded 1836) and several good inns and restaurants also, attract visitors to Bethel.

Use this Hotel Map with Prices to find your lodgings in Bethel or nearby.


What to See & Do

Bethel Historical Society

The Bethel Historical Society preserves several period houses, including the Dr Moses Mason House, 15 Broad Street, on the common, open in July and August.

Moses Mason was a congressman during the Andrew Jackson administration, and had this Federal-style house built in 1813. Today it's furnished in antiques of the period and also holds several murals attributed to Rufus Porter.

Grafton Notch State Park

North on ME Route 26, is Grafton Notch State Park, which has a pretty waterfall named Screw Auger.

Shelburne Birches

Between Gilead ME and Shelburne NH the highway is lined with the famous Shelburne birches (map), state tree of New Hampshire. It is rare to see so many of these unusual, lovely trees in one spot.


In winter, Bethel is lively with skiers from nearby Sunday River Ski Resort, with some of the best (and earliest!) snow of all New England ski areas. Other ski resorts nearby include Mount Abram and Black Mountain.


Maine's capital is a small, compact city of 25,000 on the Kennebec River. Stop to admire the capitol, the Maine State Museum, and old Fort Western.

Old Fort Western, Augusta ME
Old Fort Western.

There was a trading settlement near present-day Augusta in 1628, but it didn't last.

Fort Western, built in 1724, did survive and became the base for shipping timber, cedar shakes (shingles), fish and furs down the Kennebec in ships built here.

In 1827, Augusta became Maine's capital.

Maine Capitol, Augusta ME
Maine State House...

Things to see in August include the Maine State House (the state capitol), the Maine State Museum right next to it, and restored Old Fort Western, just across the Kennebec River.

Where to Stay

There are a number of hotels on the outskirts should you want to stay, and a lot of chain and fast-food restaurants, but few good places for a nice meal.

Use this handy Hotel Map with Prices to find a place to stay:


I looked in vain for the good delis and taverns filled with lawyers and lobbyists one usually finds near a state capitol. No luck....


Legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan is the symbol of this Maine city.

Paul Bunyan Statue, Bangor ME
Statue of Paul Bunyan, Bangor ME.

In the late 1800s, Bangor was the "lumber capital of the world," the financial and distribution nexus for the timber wealth of Maine's forests. Ships crowded the Penobscot river docks waiting to be loaded with lumber bound for points near and far.

Today it's a working city of 35,000, the center of urban living in central Maine, with hospitals, a University of Maine campus, the Bangor Mall for shopping, and other essential services for a wide area.

Where to Stay

Hotels on the outskirts, and a few restaurants downtown and on commercial streets, provide lodging and sustinence for travelers. Use this handy Hotel Map with Prices to find the lodgings you like.



There are buses and flights to Bangor, but no trains.


Bangor is 130 miles (209 km) northeast of Portland, and 48 miles (77 km) northwest of Bar Harbor (map).


Concord Coach Lines connects Bangor with other Maine towns such as Portland, and with Boston MA, by bus.

Downeast Transportation provides bus service between Bangor and Bar Harbor, and other towns in Hancock County. More...

Flights & Airport

Bangor International Airport (BGR; map) handles flights by Allegiant, American, Delta, and United Airlines to/from Chicago, Detroit, New York City (LaGuardia and Newark), Philadelphia, Sanford/Orlando FL, Tampa/St Petersburg FL, and Washington DC (Reagan National). Take a Downeast Transportation bus from the airport to reach Bar Harbor and nearby towns.


Only 20 miles from Québec, Canada, and miles away from the towns and traffic of Maine's coast, Rangeley and its lakes are the place to get away and go back to nature.

Rangeley ME
Snowy Main St, Rangeley, ME.

Drive 112 miles (180 km) north from Portland, Maine and you can be in Rangeley (map), a small town (population 1200) well away from any city bustle.

Rangeley is surrounded by forests and perched at the edge of broad Rangeley Lake, with even larger lakes (Mooselookmeguntic, Richardson, Aziscohos, Umbagog) and many small ponds nearby.

What to See & Do

To the east rises Saddleback Mountain (4116 feet/1255 meters), one of Maine's tallest, with one of the state's three best ski resorts on its northern slopes. More...

It's just over 20 miles (32 km) from Rangeley to the border with Québec as the crow flies, but there's no straight road north between the 3700+-foot peaks of West Kennebago and East Kennebago mountains, so Rangeley is not on the easy road to Canada.

In fact, Rangeley is a destination, not a town along the way. People come here to get away from it all, to go hiking, canoeing, hunting and fishing in summer, skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in winter.

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad

This historic narrow-gauge rail line offers 50-minute scenic rail excursion from the town of Phillips, 23 miles southeast of Rangeley (map), into the Maine woods over part of what was once the longest two-foot-gauge line in the USA (120 miles). More...

Hunter Cove Wildlife Sanctuary

Owned by the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, this sanctuary 2-1/2 miles (4 km) west of town along ME Route 4 toward Oquossoc, is a good place to get the feel of nature. Walk its 3 miles (5 km) of trails along the shore of Rangeley Lake through forests of pine, spruce, poplar, cedar and alder watching for birds, bears, bobcats, coyotes, deer and—if you're lucky—a moose.

Wilhelm Reich Museum

The Wilhelm Reich Museum, a mile farther west, then north to 19 Dodge Pond Road, is located at Orgonon, the estate on which psychoanalist Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) late in life carried out some of his investigations into the pseudo-science of orgone, a supposed sexual energy force existing in all living beings. (According to the US Food & Drug Administration, there is no medical or scientific proof for Reich's orgone theories.)

Where to Stay & Dine

Rangeley has a...range of accommodations, from the historic and North Woods-atmospheric Rangeley Inn & Tavern to the modern, comfortable Saddleback Motor Inn. More...

Here's a Hotel Map with Prices:


For food, the inn and motor inn have dining facilities. Sarge's Pub & Grub, across from the inn, at 2454 Main St, is the best local watering hole, with a selection of beers on tap, including Carrabassett brews.

Moosehead Lake

Moosehead Lake, at an elevation of 1029 feet (314 meters) in west-central Maine (map), is the largest lake in the largest state in New England, with1 18 square miles (305 square km) of surface area. It is the source of Maine's Kennebec River.

Forty miles long and 10 miles wide (64 km x 16 km) at its widest points, Moosehead's 281-mile-long (452-km) shoreline and 80 islands provide plenty of room for all sorts of land-and-water activities.

Mount Kineo's 700-foot (213-meter) cliffs rise right from the lake opposite Greenville ME—a dramatic introduction to the lake as you approach from the south along ME Route 6.

In the mid-1800s, Henry David Thoreau explored interior Maine with an Indian guide, and traveled about Moosehead Lake as his guides hunted the plentiful moose of the area.

Hunters and fishers have favored the Moosehead region ever since, but today visitors come to hike, camp, swim and sail in summer, and to ski cross country, snowshoe, snowmobile and fly small planes in winter.

The Birches Resort on Moosehead Lake, Maine, 31 miles (50 km) east of Jackman along ME Routes 6 & 15, then north from Rockwood (map), is the complete northern Maine summer and winter resort. More...

Do you want to really, really get away from it all and experience the Maine woods, its beauty, birds and wildlife? Head for Spencer Pond Camps, 34 miles (55 km; 1 hour) north of Greenville at the foot of Little Spencer Mountain. More...

Hotel Map with Prices:

Put in your dates to see the lodgings with rooms available for those dates. If no prices show up, all rooms are full.


Mount Katahdin

The northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail is this mountain (5268 feet, 1606 meters) in northern Maine's Baxter State Park next to America's newest national monument.

Baxter State Park sign, Maine

Given the name "Greatest Mountain" (Katahdin) by the Penobscot Indians, this is the highest mountain in the State of Maine, 100 miles (161 km) north of Bangor ME and 24 miles (39 kilometers) northwest of Millinocket ME (map).

Not quite as high as Mount Washington (6288 feet/1917 meters) in neighboring New Hampshire, Katahdin has still inspired many outdoors enthusiasts and artists.

Henry David Thoreau climbed it during his expedition to Maine in the 1840s, and wrote about the mountain in The Maine Woods.

Katahdin Woods & Waters

On August 24, 2016, President Obama designated 87,500 acres (35,410 hectares, or 137 square miles) of Maine wilderness as the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, a step on the way to its becoming a national park. If it achieves that goal, it will be New England's second national nature park, the only other one being Acadia National Park, also in Maine.

The land, donated to the nation by Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of Burt's Bees, borders the east branch of the Penobscot River near Millinocket (map).

Appalachian Trail

Mount Katahdin is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. If you start at Katahdin and hike to the southern end of the trail at Springer Mountain in Georgia (map), you will have hiked at least 2158 miles (3481 km). More...

Baxter State Park

Mount Katahdin is the centerpiece of Main's Baxter State Park (map), 64 Balsam Drive, Millinocket ME, more than 200,000 acres (81,000 hectares) of protected forests and wilderness, and wilderness is the spirit of the park.


The 10 campgrounds within the park are simple: unpaved roads, no electricity, no running water, pit toilets, no trash disposal (carry-in, carry-out).

Private campgrounds outside the park near the entrance may have more conveniences, but Baxter is maintained for those who enjoy the wilderness and prefer to keep it wild.

Where to Stay:

Put your dates into the Hotel Map below to see the lodgings with rooms available for those dates. If no prices show up, all rooms are full.


Excursion to Canada

Québec City is not in New England, not even in the USA, but it's less than a three-hour drive from Maine's Moosehead Lake, and well worth the excursion—if you have your passport with you. More...