Traveling to Greenville, Maine
Driving into Greenville Maine, the road dips down and suddenly you can see the New England’s largest lake on the horizon, dotted with islands and framed by mountains and clouds. This nearly 4-hour drive from Boston to upstate Maine, far from the coastal area, brings something impossible to find nearer: a total bonding with nature. No wonder that Henry Thoreau, great American author from Concord, made two memorable and trailblazing excursions here.
Stuck in the city, it can be easy to forget that the remote corners of New England offer a relaxing alternative to hustle and bustle. The major highways to New Hampshire, Cape Cod, and the Maine seacoast bring with them enough tourists that you must share their scenic areas with others who are often noisy or crass. Greenville shows you what an off the beaten path town has to offer.
Although only 1,400 people live in Greenville year-round, being a tourist town, you’ll find plenty of things to do. Go hiking along the Appalachian Trail or the local hills, rent a boat, or take a flying tour in a seaplane. In warm weather you can rent an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) for long journeys through the forest. Greenville is unique in that ATVs are also allowed on its town roads, so you can really go everywhere with them.
You can visit a museum, see the old timey railroad station, go on a moose tour, try whitewater rafting, go for a swim, or take a tour on the Katahdin, a steamboat that just had its 100th anniversary. Stay in an upscale hotel, rent a cabin, or camp at a campground. If you rent a boat, you can sail right up to Kelly’s Landing or Lakeshore House in Monson for a meal.
In the winter, you can rent a snowmobile. Maine’s snowmobile paths run all across the state, so you can travel a great distance that way. They also have ice fishing and auto races on the thick ice of the winter lake!
The big find on my journey was Gallery on the Lake, the best local gallery in Northern Maine. You won’t find any lighthouses there. Instead, they have remarkably creative and original artworks for your home and for giving as gifts. You’ll find original gemstone and beadwork jewelry, fossil stone art, wood spirits carved from butternut trees, and more.
My favorite restaurant in town was the Stress-Free Moose, where you can spend an entire evening socializing while listening to live music. Every year events include the International Seaplane Fly-In and Lumberjack Competitions. You can even hike into the woods to discover a waterfall or the site of a B52 bomber that crashed 50 years ago.
Or just sit on the dock and admire the view. You can get a long view from on top of New Hampshire’s mountains, but here in Maine, because of the lake, you get long views from the ground.
Greenville is highly recommended as a hidden gem where getting away from it all means getting away from other tourists, too. For more, see the Moosehead Lake Region Visitors’ Center.