Head Inland to Maine's Moosehead Lake
Millions of people head to the islands and inlets along the coast of Maine each summer - and that's just fine with the thousands of Mainers who turn their backs on the saltwater and head inland for their floating fun. With some three thousand lakes and ponds to choose from they could easily spend a lifetime on the water and never launch from the same spot twice, but just about anyone who's ever been to Moosehead Lake finds an excuse to return. Maine's most expansive lake covers some 75,000 acres, making it one of the largest natural lakes in the country.
The best way to take advantage of Moosehead, of course, is in a boat (though a floatplane is a close second), and eight public launching ramps are scattered along the shore in Greenville, Rockwood, and at Lily Bay State Park, among other spots. Even if you've only got a fifteen-horsepower outboard hanging from your transom, you'll be able to explore gravel beaches and secluded coves, and even check out a few impressive lakeside camps. The real magic of Moosehead, though, is how much remains untouched: look along the eastern shore and you'll be hard-pressed to find a home interrupting the miles of tall pines (though Plum Creek's proposal to develop nearly one thousand houses in this area may change that, if it ever comes to fruition). Some of the most scenic sections of the lake include Spencer Bay and the area around Mount Kineo, but the whole lake is worthy of exploration.
To get started, stop by the Indian Hill Trading Post (800-675-4487) on the way into Greenville and grab whatever food and supplies you may have forgotten. If you haven't brought a boat yourself, you can rent one at the Birches (800-825-9453) in Rockwood or Beaver Cove Marina (207-695-3526) just north of Greenville. However you manage to get out on the lake, heed the warnings of the Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce: Moosehead can rear up and bite you. Waves on the lake can get as high as five feet, and the solitude you enjoy in perfect conditions can be less enjoyable when your engine dies or the weather turns foul. But properly prepare yourself and your crew, and a day off the trailer in Moosehead may lead to many more.