Maine Map

Old Canada Road Scenic Byway

Basics
Location:
Location This Byway is located in the northwestern section of Maine
Length:
78.16 miles (125 km)
Time:
2.5 hours to drive or a day to enjoy this Byway
Season:
Year round
Fees:
There are no fees.

Description

With forests to the north and rivers to the south, Old Canada Scenic Byway sweeps past the villages of Solon, Bingham, and Moscow which seem to have been frozen in the Colonial era. It treks along the Kennebec and Dead Rivers on Route 201 and the shores of Wyman Lake.

The Byway runs past The Fork, a crossing of the Kennebec and Dead rivers where rapid waters make rafting a popular sport. Other outdoor activities include canoeing in Moose River, snowmobiling in Jackman, and fishing in Wyman Lake.

Small islands are perched here and there in the waters of Wyman Lake, dressed in thickets of white birch. A 68-mile bike path winds its way around Kennebec River Valley where groves of trees thicken into forests. And just north of West Forks, mountain crests peek over the horizon.

The Old Canada Road Byway begins at the intersection of Routes 43 and 201 in Twelve Corners and runs northward to the Canadian border at Sandy Bay.

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Along The Way

Appalachian Trail (ME)

Eighty years ago, Benton MacKaye dreamed of a footpath running along the eastern mountains. The dream became a reality in the form of the Appalachian Trail which extends more than 2,160 miles from Maine to Georgia. The section of the trail between central Maine and western New Hampshire offers some of the most rough and challenging terrain coupled with some of the harshest weather conditions. Some people have hiked or walked the entire Appalachian trail -- a feat that can take from six to eight months.

Old Canada Scenic Byway crosses through the central portion of the Appalachian Trail in Maine. This part of the Trail has a short, rugged stretch, but is then the least strenuous hiking in Maine. However, hikers do have to cross the widest unbridged river along the Trail, the Kennebec. Luckily, there is a free canoe service that ferries hikers across the Kennebec at specific times from late May through mid-October.

Directions

The trail is perpendicular to the byway and intersects it at Caratunk.

Dead River (ME)

Dead River is nationally known for its whitewater and has a number of rapids with varying levels of difficulty and interesting names. The Mile Long rapid is a long rapid that gradually increases in difficulty as one heads downstream. Elephant Rock, The Mine Field, and Popular Hill Falls are just a few examples of the rapids the river offers. Dead River also offers spectacular scenery along the way and chances for recreation.

Holeb Falls (ME)

Holeb Falls is located in Holeb Public Reserved Lands, a beautiful area known as "the Switzerland of Maine." It is settled against backdrops of Attean Mountain and Sally Mountain. Along with viewing and photographing the falls, you can also swim in the rapids at the base. This whole area is popular with anglers and is well worth a visit.

Directions

On the Moose River, and two miles north of Jackman.

Kennebec River (ME)

Kennebec River is famous for the remote wilderness through which it passes and the huge roller coaster waves that are so popular with rafters. The river stems from Moosehead Lake, Maine's largest body of inland water. Kennebec River has summer-long flows and most of the rapids are class IV or higher.

Some well-known rapids are Rock Garden, Three Sisters, the Alleyway, and Magic Falls. Once past the gorge, the opportunity for wildlife viewing is great. It is common to see deer, river otters, and eagles if the whitewater gives you a chance.

Kennebec River Gorge (ME)

The Kennebec River Gorge is one of the most fantastic and beautiful gorges in the east with the steep granite walls on both sides. For miles, the river is surrounded by these sheer cliffs. The rapids are turbulent with waves from four to six feet high. Paddle through rapids with names like Big Mama and White Washer. The gorge is accessible only by experienced white water raft groups.

Directions

Access the Kennebec River Gorge via the Kennebec River using white-water rafts.

Moose River (ME)

A trip along Moose River has long been one of the favorites among Maine outdoorsmen. For over a century, the lakes and areas associated with the Moose River make it one of the best rivers for trips and canoe camping. Only a few sections of the river are Class II rapids, so canoes and kayaks can easily negotiate it.

Spectacular scenic views surround the paddler on both sides, and wildlife such as eagles, osprey, deer, moose, and coyote abound in the surrounding mountains. Moose River includes Holeb Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Maine.

Visitors would be well advised to enjoy the twists and turns of the river, relax in the moonlight, swim, and take some pictures on a wonderful river trip.

Directions

From SR-201 in Jackman, take ME 6/15 east past Long Pond for approximately 8 miles. Moose River is north of the road.

Moxie Falls (ME)

At a vertical drop of over 30 yards, Moxie Falls is one of the highest falls in Maine. A short walk is necessary to reach the falls, and the walk will take you through Maine's true wilderness. Towering pine trees surround you as they amble through deep greens emitting the sounds of small animals and birds.

Moxie Falls itself is stunning and truly enjoyable. The wooded area around the falls also contains a network of hiking trails for the more adventuresome. Make an outing of the experience and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy by the sound of the falls.

Directions

Access Moxie Falls along SR-201, just south of The Forks near the junction of Dead River and Kennebec River.

Snowmobile Trails (ME)

If you love to snowmobile, you will love these trails. Thousands of miles of maintained snowmobile trails, with Jackman as the major center, criss-crosses this area of Maine and extends up into Canada and over into New Hampshire. The network of trails is always growing and is groomed regularly to allow for the best experience. Many of the trails interconnect, allowing you to cover plenty of ground. While the groomed trails are exciting, the area also offers miles of off-trail options if you are itching to get away from the crowds. These areas are unplowed, of course, so don't reach past your limits.

Directions

Access the snowmobile trails just south of Jackman on Altean Road.

Wyman Lake (ME)

With waterways to the Atlantic, fishing enthusiasts will find that Wyman Lake provides opportunities for recreation and sport to rival other fishing hotspots in the area.

Visitors may catch smallmouth bass, yellow and white perch, and sunfish. Extend the fishing experience even further and go ice fishing for landlocked salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, and smelt in January.

Wyman Lake is 13 miles long and fed by the Kennebec River as well as hydroelectric development.

Details

Location:
Location This Byway is located in the northwestern section of Maine
Length:
78.16 miles (125 km)
Time:
2.5 hours to drive or a day to enjoy this Byway
Main Roads:
US-201 N
Season:
Year round
Fees:
There are no fees.

Map + Directions

Customizable Directions


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