Moosehead Lake in 48 Hours

Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or heading upta camp for a longer stay, Maine’s largest lake and its sporting heritage offer something to everyone who enjoys the great outdoors.

The public beach at Lily Bay State Park.

Home sweet campground

No trip to Moosehead Lake can begin without first stopping in at Indian Hill Trading Post. This one-stop shopping experience has you covered before you head into the woods. The trading post has a wide variety of outdoor apparel, as well as gear for boating, hunting, and fishing. There is also a fully stocked grocery store. Lily Bay State Park has long been a go-to home base for visitors. With 924 acres on the shore of Moosehead Lake and 90 campsites, this park makes for a perfect gateway to the region. Many of the sites are on the water, but for those who prefer to be a bit more tucked into the woods, there is easy access to a public beach. The campground also has several walking trails, a boat launch, and a comfort station with restrooms and heated showers. Firewood and ice can be purchased on-site.

After a long day of travel, prepping a camp meal might seem like a lot, so head back into Greenville for dinner at Stress Free Moose Pub. This local staple is always buzzing in the summer months. The restaurant has an expansive menu, two outdoor seating areas, and live local music.

By woods, air, and water

Feeling up for a day hike? Gulf Hagas, or the “Grand Canyon of the East,” offers views of the Pleasant River as it plunges through three miles of tall slate gorges and waterfalls. The complete experience will take you on an eight-mile loop with the dramatic Screw Auger Falls at the halfway point. Another hike for the bucket list is Mount Kineo. This iconic mountain in the middle of the lake is accessible only by boat or ferry. The hiking loop is about three and a half miles and gives you excellent views of the water.

Maybe you prefer to explore by vehicle? Get your four-wheel drive ready and head down the logging roads to find some off-the-beaten-path destinations. Elephant Mountain has a trail where hikers can visit the B-52 Crash Site Memorial, where a Cold War–era plane crash of a B-52 bomber can be seen scattered throughout the woods. Only two of the nine passengers survived the tragedy. The Number Four Mountain Trail is a primitive footpath following the traditional route taken by fire wardens who once staffed the Number Four Mountain tower.

A sea plane from Jack’s Air Service sits at the docks in downtown Greenville.

Alternatively, you can easily spend a day on the water. Take a paddle around the banks of the lake, or head to nearby Prong Pond and paddle out to the island for a picnic. There are several amazing opportunities for anglers as well. If you’re got access to a boat, Moosehead has a legendary population of salmon and trout to troll for in the summer. Fly-fishers can also take a quick drive to the Roach River, in the Kokadjo region. If you’d rather just sit back and relax, book yourself a ticket on the Katahdin, affectionately known as the Kate. This steamboat was used to haul cattle and livestock across the river and is now a popular option for sightseeing.

If land and water exploration still leave you hungry for more adventure, take to the skies. Book an aerial tour of the region with Currier’s Flying Service or Jack’s Air Service. Both outfits offer several packages and options.

After a day of exploring, head back to downtown Greenville to unwind. For dinner, watch the sunset from the back deck of Dockside Inn & Tavern, then head next door to Rowboat Joe’s waterfront bar for a cocktail.

The Stress Free Moose Pub is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike.

Safaris and shopping

Visitors to Moosehead always have their eyes peeled to catch sight of a moose. Northeast Whitewater offers guided rafting trips, but you can also sign up to join them on a Moose Safari: start your Sunday off early, throw some eggs and bacon on the grill, and head out at sunrise to catch a glimpse of the iconic Maine mammal.

Downtown Greenville has several small businesses to support while you’re in the area. Kamp Kamp Moosehead Lake Indian Store has a little bit of everything: antiques, handcrafted Maine furniture, and of course, plenty of camp decor. While you’re downtown, stop in at Northern Maine Minerals, Crazy Moose Fabrics, Maine Mountain Soap and Candle Company, and the Rock Room Candy Shoppe. On your way out of town, be sure to stop and grab lunch at Spring Creek Barbeque in Monson. The fall-off-the-bone ribs will leave a lasting impression, and Moosehead will be calling you for a return visit soon.

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