The Grand Lakes region of DownEast Acadia is an inland paradise filled with outdoor recreation opportunities that have been attracting visitors for decades.
As you head into the region from the west on Route 9—also known as The Airline— you arrive in Wesley and Alexander. The drive offers spectacular views of the area's forests, lakes, and blueberry barrens. Pocomoonshine Lake offers a public boat landing, swimming, fishing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, hunting, and snowmobiling. The nearby Alexander Art Trail allows on to slow down and enjoy a peaceful forest walk among many amazing wooden sculptures.
A turn south Route down 191 brings one to the town of Meddybemps. Pronounced 'MED-ee-bemps,' the town was settled in 1740. Once the location of a Passamaquoddy village, the site was called N'tolonapemk, which means "Our Ancestor's Place." The town has a rich history and is an excellent area for sport fishing, boating, and hunting with Meddybemps Lake bordering on Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge.
Meddybemps Heath, located near the lake in the northwest corner of the township, is the second-largest domed bog ecosystem in the Eastern Coastal and Eastern Interior regions. It has been designated a Focus Areas of Statewide Ecological Significance, by the Maine Natural Areas Program, which encourages private owners to be good stewards of such areas.
Heading north on Route 1, the towns of Baileyville and Woodland lie along the St. Croix River, which forms the international boundary with New Brunswick, Canada. This family-centered community boasts ATV and snowmobile trails that connect it to four-season recreation.
A haven for fishing and hunting, Princeton provides access to the west branch of the St. Croix River, a series of lakes celebrated for their fantastic sports fishing. The town is home to several shops and services to help you stock out before you head out on the water to enjoy the beauty of the area.
Neighboring Indian Township offers outstanding natural beauty and rich Passamaquoddy heritage. Each July, the Wabanaki Cultural Days is filled with demonstrations, presentations, and a marketplace for visitors to enjoy and learn about the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac tribes that form the Wabanaki Confederacy.
The hills and lakes surrounding the towns of Talmadge, Waite, and Topsfield are full of wildlife and offer outstanding views and many opportunities for sportsmen, particularly during the autumn.
From Route 1, it is a short journey east to the at Vanceboro, a well-known outdoor recreation area with fantastic canoeing and kayaking, excellent smallmouth bass fishing, and ice fishing in the winter. There is a bridge with a 24 hour port between Canada and the US, and services such as a post office, general store and gas station.
Deep in the forests and hills of Washington County along Route 1, you'll find Brookton and Forest City. The general store in Brookton is the nearest spot to stock up before heading out. Forest City is a link between the US and Canada, with its small border crossing, but also between Spednic and East Grand Lakes, part of the Chiputneticook Lake system and headwaters of the St. Croix River. Numerous sporting lodges in the area cater to those who wish to fish, hunt, or enjoy the water. There is a system of campsites available for the public to use on a first-come, first-serve basis maintained by the St. Croix International Waterway Commission.
It is for a good reason the section of Route 1 through Danforth and Weston is called the "Million Dollar Scenic View." Stop to soak in the astounding scenery provided by the Chiputneticook Lakes, the headwaters of the St. Croix watershed, and its Canadian shores across the way. Face west for a view as far as Mount Katahdin on a clear day! Back in Danforth, stop at Union Hall, built in 1888. There is a famous Seth Thomas clock in the tower, and if you call ahead for an appointment, you can see much of the original woodwork inside as well.
In the most northeast corner of the region lies East Grand Lake. Renowned for its beauty and its fishing, you won't regret a trip to one of the many lodges and cabins in this region. Let local guides enthrall you with their tall tales en Route to their favorite fishing spots.
Accessible from the west via Stud Mill Road, off Route 2 just above Old Town, the Town of Great Pond was only recently incorporated in 1981. Previously it had been known as Plantation 33, an unorganized territory. The town has blueberry barrens, acres of woodland, geological wonders left by the glaciers that once covered the landscape, and six beautiful lakes and ponds. There are many hunting and fishing opportunities as well.
Also located at the Great Pond Outdoor Recreation Area is a US Military campground open to Active Duty, National Guard, Reservists, Retired Military, 0-100% DAV, Purple Heart Recipients, Former POW, Veteran Caregivers, DoD Civilians.
Visitor Resources: Registered Maine Guide | St. Croix International Waterway | Great Pond Outdoor Recreation Area Campground | Alexander Art Trail