#3 The Maine Highlands & Baxter State Park
Maine has some of the coldest winters in the country but be sure to take advantage of the warm weather and head into the highlands. Start at Mt. Katahdin, the terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Located in Baxter State Park, Katahdin is the highest point in Maine at 5,267 feet. Backpack up and spend the night outdoors and enjoy breathtaking views, not to mention stars. Among Baxter State Park’s 200,000 acres of natural riches, Penobscot River is famous for its whitewater rafting opportunities, countless lakes and ponds for fishing and swimming, and miles of trails.
If you’d like to relax a little more, take a cruise on Moosewood Lake on the Steamship Katahdin, being sure to keep a sharp lookout for moose. The surrounding forests are some of the best moose habitat in the country. If you really want to get up close and personal with these gentle giants, you can take a Moose Safari with an experienced guide who will do the tracking.
Once you’re ready to get back to civilization, explore the town of Bangor. It’s a small, eclectic logging town on the banks of the Penobscot River. Take a relaxing walk through downtown’s shopping district, or visit the Maine Forest and Logging Museum (www.leonardsmills.com) to learn more about the rich history of the area. The American Folk Festival (www.americanfolkfestival.com), a three-day event in August, draws thousands to the region for blues, zydeco, bluegrass, gospel, and more.