48 Hours in Greenville

A place many Mainers are referring to when they head “upta camp,” Greenville is most notable for Moosehead Lake, the largest lake in Maine and home to countless outdoor recreation opportunities.

Stock up and settle in

The only place to start your trip to the Moosehead Lake region is Indian Hill Trading Post. Everything you will need for your extended stay can be found here. A fully stocked grocery store is bordered by a retail shop selling everything from outdoor clothing to supplies for camping, hunting, and fishing.

If you’re looking for lunch before heading deeper into the woods, visit the Stress Free Moose Pub. This camp-style restaurant offers a full bar, several beers on tap, and a large menu of classic Maine pub fare.

Looking to get straight into some adventure? Northwoods Outfitters has a full retail shop and a friendly staff which offers over 30 outdoor guided trips.

Moosehead Lake has several lodging options, including the historic Greenville Inn. The inn’s unparalleled lake and mountain vistas make it a popular destination. If you’re looking to get a little closer to the wilderness, Lily Bay State Park makes for a great home base. The state park’s two campgrounds on Moosehead Lake have 90 sites, including many on the water.

In the woods and on the water

Begin your day with a hearty breakfast from Auntie M’s. This diner is a Greenville staple, and for good reason. The reasonably priced meals and friendly service will fuel you up for a day of adventure.

An all-day hike through scenic Gulf Hagas, known as the Grand Canyon of the East, will prove challenging, but you will be rewarded with some of the most unique vistas in the state. The hike follows a rushing river between high stone banks. Pack a lunch and bring your fishing pole to space out the hike with frequent breaks. The hike is part of the 100-Mile Wilderness stretch of the Appalachian Trail, and has trailheads on the east and west sides of the gorge. A complete loop is about eight miles, but you can do shorter hikes from either trailhead.

Another hiking option is Mount Kineo. Accessible by boat, the mountain’s dramatic profile juts out from the middle of Moosehead Lake. If you don’t have your own boat, a ferry from Rockwood is available from late May through mid-October for $13. A 3.4-mile loop will bring you to the summit and fire tower at the top and back, but follow the Indian Trail for the best views of the lake.

For a slightly easier expedition and a bit of history, head to Elephant Mountain and look for signs leading to the B-52 memorial. The 2.8-mile loop trail will take you past the site of a United States Air Force Boeing B-52C crash and memorial. Only two of the nine crew members survived the 1963 crash.

To take in Moosehead Lake by air, book a trip with Currier’s Flying Service. Flights start at $45 per person for a tour of sites around Greenville, and go up to $175 for an aerial tour of Mount Katahdin. You can’t miss the building, with vintage seaplanes in the massive garage bay, on Greenville’s main drag. Seaplanes are a big part of the Moosehead community, which hosts the annual International Seaplane Fly-In each September.

If you want to take a leisurely paddle by kayak or canoe, try starting from a Lily Bay campsite or, alternatively, Spencer Bay Camps. For an even more laid-back trip on the water, head over to Katahdin Cruises and Moosehead Marine Museum, which offers tours on a historic steamboat called the Katahdin, or “The Kate,” as locals know it.

At the end of a rigorous day outdoors, head to Flatlanders Pub for dinner. The restaurant’s famous “broasted” chicken dinners are a must-try for fans of fried chicken. Afterward, wander down the street to reward yourself with ice cream from window service at the Dairy Bar.

Local flavor and kampy collectibles

There is an assortment of shops to check out in downtown Greenville. Moosehead Lake Indian Store at Kamp Kamp houses room after room of antiques, furniture, home decor, crafts, and souvenirs. If you’re looking to restore some vintage camping gear or get a new tackle box, it’s all here. Nearby, Maine Mountain Soap and Candle Company sells a variety of natural candles, beauty products, gifts, and pet supplies.

On your way out of Greenville you’ll pass through Monson, where you’ll find the Monson General Store, offering breakfast and lunch by counter service, groceries, and locally made gifts. If you’re looking for something sweeter for your drive home, ten minutes south will get you to Abbot Village Bakery, home of the “skidder tire” doughnut and a variety of other baked goods. After a weekend of outdoor adventures, you’ve earned it.

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