Museums, Parks, and Peaks
Start this tour in Bangor, the gateway to The Maine Highlands Region, and home of the Mount Hope Cemetery. This spot is the second oldest garden cemetery in the nation and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Stephen King found it so fascinating that he used it as a back-drop for the filming of his movie, Pet Sematary. If you’re still in the mood for the unusual, swing by the Cole Land Transportation Museum, which displays just about every mode of transportation known to Mainers, from baby carriages to locomotives.
Take a scenic drive through the great Maine woods up Route 15 to Dover-Foxcroft. Take Route 6 east to Milo, then Route 11 to Brownville Junction, where evidence of the Katahdin Iron Works, circa 1843, can be seen in the remaining blast furnace and charcoal kiln. Continue on to Millinocket, where several sporting camps and lodges offer great bases from which to explore nearby Baxter State Park, as well as experience the area’s great fishing and whitewater rafting.
An access road from Millinocket follows a loop through the southwest corner of Baxter State Park, and offers prime moose-sighting opportunities as well as breathtaking foliage views of mile-high Mt. Katahdin, Maine’s tallest peak. Baxter State Park exists today because of a magnificent display of philanthropy; former Maine Governor Percival P. Baxter bought the entire 201,018 acres himself, after he was unable to convince the State to do so. In order to preserve the land he so generously set aside for others to enjoy, the park follows a limited admission policy—prior to enjoying the park (even for day use), contact the Park Reservation Clerk in Millinocket at 207-723-5140.
After you catch your breath from Maine’s showcase wilderness state park and you’re up for a little diversionary adventure, head up Route 11 to Patten to find quaint shops and an equally enticing view of the other side of Baxter State Park. Patten is also home to the Lumberman’s Museum. Brimming with artifacts and relics from a time past, the Lumberman’s Museum celebrates Maine’s deep-rooted lumbering tradition.
Head back down 11 and pick up Route 157 to Route 2 south. This takes you through Lincoln and West Enfield. Pick up Route 6 in Lincoln and head east to Lee. Here you’ll find the Lee Historical Society Museum boasting an exciting variety of exhibits and artifacts. Head back on Route 6 towards Lincoln and pick up Route 2 South.
Continue down 2 to Old Town. After Old Town, simply follow Route 2 through Orono, home of the jewel of the University of Maine System. Take a step back in Maine’s anthropological past at the Hudson Museum, located on the campus. Continue down 2 back to Bangor.