MAINE – The Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail offers visitors a chance to experience a natural beauty seemingly untouched by man in the wilds of Maine. The trail is located in Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties and runs up from Bangor along the two branches of the Penobscot River, past the immense Moosehead Lake and through Baxter State Park. It takes in part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Whether looking to retrace the routes of Thoreau accompanied by an expert guide, or seeking a solitary adventure — camping, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, rafting, hiking or just enjoying the immense solitude one finds in the Maine woods — the Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail is an amazing way to experience Maine in a unique way that few others have.  

Retrace the routes of Thoreau with an expert guide or set out on your own adventure.
Retrace the routes of Thoreau with an expert guide or set out on your own adventure. Photo credit: Maine Office of Tourism

Next month marks the first anniversary of a 16-day expedition organized by Maine Woods Discovery in 2014 to retrace the Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail 150 years after Henry David Thoreau’s own excursions. Poet and naturalist Thoreau wrote eloquently of his experiences in Maine and his journeys accompanied by members of the Wabanaki Tribes in his seminal book, The Maine Woods, published in 1864. In the summer of 2014, a core group of eight team members completed the entire voyage, among them Thoreau scholars, members of the Penobscot Nation and the expedition’s intrepid leader, Maine Master Guide Kevin Slater. The group paddled approximately 300 miles over rivers and lakes along the original route of Thoreau’s voyage. The experience is captured in a multi-media presentation in the fourth issue of The Maine Thing Quarterly and visitors moved by the story and experiences of the group can find their own similar adventure along the Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail. View the trailer from the Quarterly here

Adventurers can choose to complete portions of the trail — there are routes along the East or West Branch of the Penobscot Rivers, and Moosehead Lake — or hike into Baxter State Park and summit Mt. Katahdin. Some portions of the trail are family friendly, with easy to moderate canoeing and hiking with the option of a well-maintained campsite or cozy B&B to come home to at day’s end. Other portions are more challenging and are often best enjoyed with a Maine Guide, a professional who knows the rivers and the land, and can provide a relaxing and enjoyable camping trip deep into the wilderness. There is a true range of experiences to be had on the water, as well — the trail offers placid family-friendly rivers to world-class whitewater rafting. 

Find your own exciting wilderness experience this summer along the Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail. For more information on this and other Maine adventures, please visit www.visitmaine.com.  

Upcoming Summer Events – Just More Reasons to Visit Maine 

Mainers love to celebrate. Whether it’s our rich history, maritime culture, fresh-from-the-ocean seafood, music and dance, our beloved blueberry, or just for the heck of it, we honor it with a fair, festival or special event. Maine has a jammed-pack schedule coming up in late spring, right through summer. It will be hard to choose just one!

L'Hermione sails to Castine. Photo credit: Castine Historical Society
L’Hermione sails to Castine. Photo credit: Castine Historical Society

The Maine Office of Tourism website, visitmaine.com, has an easy-to-use searchable events calendar with a complete list. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Moose Festival and Moose Lottery, Bethel – June 12-14. Hunting and fishing exhibitions, vendors, horse-drawn wagon rides, auction, live music, and great food and drink. There’s even a moose calling contest!
  • The Hermione Visit, Castine – July 11-15. Leading up to the arrival of the restored frigate L’Hermione, there will be a series of events throughout Castine that include music, dance, lectures, arts programs, Maine-made product vendors, Maine cuisine and a parade of boats welcoming the Hermione.
  • Maine International Film Festival, Waterville – July 10-19. During 10 days, about 100 films representing the best of American independent and international cinema will be presented. Audiences have opportunities to meet and talk with some of the people behind the movies – directors, producers, writers, musicians. 
  • Annual HarborFest, Wells – July 25. A full day of games and activities including kayak races, paddle board demos, world championship lobster trap toss, classic car show and more. 
  • 34th Annual MS Harborfest, Portland – Aug. 14-16. Casco Bay is the gorgeous backdrop for this venerable event that includes an auction, regatta, parade of sail, lobster boat races and tugboat muster, all to benefit MS.
  • Union Fair/Maine Wild Blueberry Festival, Union – Aug. 22-29. Classic event celebrating agriculture in the state of Maine. Activities and entertainment for all ages, plus homage to Maine’s favorite fruit – the wild blueberry. 
  • Crown of Maine Balloon Festival, Presque Isle – Aug. 27-30. Color will fill the sky of Aroostook County for the 12th year in a row this August as hot-air balloons of all shapes, sizes and colors take flight. Craft fair, downtown street fair, 5K race and balloon rides, of course.
  • American Folk Festival, Bangor – Aug. 28-30. This three-day event features the nation’s finest performing groups sharing the traditional arts of their region, culture and heritage. Craft demonstrations and exhibits, children’s area, dozens of food vendors offering regional specialties and traditional festival favorites, a marketplace with unique, handcrafted items and “Taste of Maine” treats.  

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Note: Click on the images above or the links below in order to access downloadable versions of the photos.

Retracing Thoreau

L’Hermione


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