Take part in Maine’s rich and storied history by visiting the Kennebec-Chaudiere Corridor. Running 230 miles from Quebec City to Popham Beach, Maine, the corridor extends sixteen miles on either side of Route 201 (Maine) and Route 173 (Quebec). Formed by two mighty river valleys, the Kennebec in Maine and the Chaudiťre in Quebec, the Corridor offers visitors to Maine a glimpse of our past as inextricably linked to our present.
Upper Kennebec, often referred to by Mainers as “Up North,” is every bit a working forest: bristling with spruce, bursting with white pines, and boasting a huge gathering of birch trees. Trees cover close to ninety percent of Upper Kennebec and the restorative effects of unblemished wilderness on the soul are profound. It’s no surprise that the wilderness stretching northward towards the Canadian border is referred to as the Upper and Lower Enchanted Region, with accompanying Maine myth extolling the transformative power of the woods on those who wander within its reaches.
As you’d imagine, outdoors activities abound in Up North Maine: the legendary Appalachian Trail crosses the Kennebec-Chaudiere Corridor at Caratunk, Moxie Falls is sure to impress with its ninety foot drop, and some of the best whitewater rafting in the Northeast exists where the Kennebec River joins The Forks by the Dead River.
The true wilderness found in the North Woods of Maine attracts inhabitants looking for the solace of cohabitating with nature, the challenge of living on the edge of civilization, and the unbreakable bond that comes with having to depend on your (often few and far between) neighbors.
Old Canada Road
Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway travels along Route 201 through Maine’s vast forests from Solon to the Canadian border. Small villages such as Bingham and Jackman offer relaxing places to stop for food or shop for that uniquely Maine gift. Spectacular foliage, abundant moose, and other wildlife make for enjoyable fall touring.
The central area of the Kennebec-Chaudiere Corridor moves away from the wilderness of the North to a place with a more pronounced human imprint. Early settlers transformed the landscape into farmland and mill towns. Family, community and heritage make up most of this region’s cultural identity, with much of what goes on in the Franco community beginning around a kitchen table or living room hearth.
This is where the Kennebec meets the “head of the tide.” From here on, the ocean shapes both the landscape and its people. Sea breezes, strong currents and maritime traditions shape everyday life. Home to a thriving ecosystem and a main stop for migrating birds, the Tidewater area represents Maine’s unbreakable bond with the sea.