Fall is the Time for a Romantic Wilderness Getaway
Fall has finally arrived, the temps are dropping, the flannel is coming out and it’s time to enjoy the rich colors, dry days, and adventures of autumn with your sweetheart. If you’re looking for a getaway that offers exceptional lodging and dining, unbelievable wilderness, and access to extraordinary outdoor activities, then the New England Outdoor Center’s NEOC/Twin Pines on Millinocket Lake should be at the top of your bucket list. Here are five extraordinary activities you can do while you’re up there:
- Wildlife Tours– The majestic Maine Bull Moose is at its peak of splendor in the fall. Fully antlered and ready to breed, a mature bull can weigh over 1000 pounds and stand 7 feet tall at the shoulders. Because they are active and sometimes aggressive at this time of year due to rutting season, it’s important to be cautious and not approach them. The New England Outdoor Center offers Moose and Wildlife tours twice daily (morning and afternoon) from their resort at Twin Pines.These guided tours are offered either in a luxury pontoon boat or air-conditioned van. Depending on weather, your guide will choose the location with best likelihood of viewing moose and other wildlife. Learn more at www.neoc.com/moose-and-wildlife-tours-in-maine/
- Mountain Biking and Fat Biking—A new 5-mile loop at Katahdin Area Trails Millinocket Lake trailhead was completed in June 2019 and is now open to mountain bikers of all experience levels. Designed by the International Mountain Bike Association and overseen by expert Josh Tauses, the force behind Carrabassett Valley Trails in the Sugarloaf area, this new trail system is expected to evolve over the next two years into a full-blown single-track mountain biking system with beginner, intermediate, and expert options. Come check out the trails and the views and enjoy a few hours of adventure and fun.
- Penobscot River Trails – This 4,375 nature preserve offers bicycling, walking and boating on an extraordinary and downright elegant network of trails, warming huts, and visitor center on the East Branch of the Penobscot Riveroff of Route 11 near Medway. Enjoy more than 15 miles of Acadia National Park-style carriage trails on this exquisite pristine riverside wilderness. A small hand-carry boat launch is available for small-boat recreationists wishing to paddle on the East Branch. This facility is free and open to the public (but does not allow dogs). Learn more at www.penobscotrivertrails.com
- Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument – This acclaimed monument celebrated its third birthday this summer and is now operated by the National Park Service. If you haven’t made to the trek into Maine’s first National Monument, fall is a perfect time to see it. Miles of historic logging roads give visitors relatively easy access to the monument, and a mountain bike will give you access to remote scenic sites, such as Grand Pitch, Stair Falls, and Orin Falls, on the East Branch of the Penobscot River. Dogs are allowed in the Monument. Detailed maps and visitor information can be found at the Friends of the Katahdin Woods & Waters Monument website. Learn more at www.friendsofkww.org/visit/
- Baxter State Park– A few minutes up the road from NEOC is the south “Togue Pond Gate” entrance to Baxter State Park. The southern end of the park offers easy-to-access opportunities for those who seeking a short foray into the park.
- Togue Pond Paddle. Situated right on the southern edge of the park, Togue Pond is a painless – no blisters way – way to view the park, especially Katahdin, which dominates the view on a clear day. A paddle and picnic make for an easy and stunning fall activity. Baxter State Park rents canoes, life jackets, and paddles for only $1/hour.
- Cranberry Pond Walk. This walk starts at Togue Pond Gatehouse and winds 1.4 miles through the forest to a small pond abundant with bog plants, including cranberries. The fall colors afforded by this trip are extraordinary.
- Caverly Pond Trail. About 1 mile from Togue Pond Gatehouse, this walk takes only a few minutes into Round Pond/Cavelry Pond. This excursion is rewarded with magnificent views of Katahdin. Here again, the park rents canoes, life jackets, and paddles for only $1/hour
Bottom Line:The Katahdin Region of Maine abounds with extraordinary outdoor opportunities, from one-hour excursions to week-long wilderness trips.