Maine’s Three National Scenic Byways and All-American Road Offer Excellent Touring Opportunities With A Touch of History
Reprinted courtesy of Maine Office of Tourism
AUGUSTA, Maine — For visitors in search of spectacular scenery, Maine’s three National Scenic Byways and the nation’s newest All-American Road encircling Mount Desert Island offer stunning vistas with a good measure of history and local culture mixed in.
With the special designation of an All-American Road, the Acadia Byway starts on Route 3 just south of Trenton, passes through historic Bar Harbor and then loops through Acadia National Park. Craggy shorelines, granite-capped mountains, crystal lakes, old-growth forests and carriage trails blazed during Rockefellers’ heyday are among the captivating views accessed by the roadway.
One of Acadia National Park’s most dramatic, but lesser known parts is traversed by the Schoodic Scenic Byway. According to the Maine Department of Transportation, this byway travels through “one of the last frontiers on the eastern seaboard” and reveals an “unspoiled and real” Maine. Beginning on Route 1 just east of Hancock and following Route 186 to Prospect Harbor, the road passes through a working landscape of lobstering, clamming, blueberry barrens and timberland, offering breathtaking views of mountains, islands, historic buildings and lighthouses.
Maine’s two other National Scenic Highways cut through the western portion of the state. The Old Canada Road Scenic Byway, which runs along Route 201 from Solon to the Canadian border, provides a snapshot in time, tracing the route of generations of travelers between Maine and Quebec. Described as one of the most beautiful in the northeast, the scenic corridor winds alongside the Kennebec River, Wyman Lake, the Dead River and vast working forests and affords several hours of driving though remote and majestic territory where moose and other wildlife are abundant.
The Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway comprises Route 17 and Route 4 and takes a v-shaped route through the mountains of western Maine. Offering fantastic vistas of rugged mountains, cascading rivers and streams and the more than 100 lakes and ponds that dot the region, the byway passes through an area rich with history from ancient settlers to the logging industry that still shapes its character today.
All four roadways are sure to provide visitors with a unique touring experience and an opportunity to visit some of Maine’s most scenic locations.
Maine offers comprehensive information on its visitor-friendly Web site, loaded with current information, photos, and calendar of events information at www.visitmaine.com.
Additional information on Maine’s scenic byways can be found at the National Scenic Byway Web site at www.byways.org.