Maine’s public lands are a genuine wonder. Taken as a whole, all the public lands and places can seem overwhelming because there are so many to choose from. But individually, each is a beautiful green place filled with undisturbed and protected nature just waiting to be explored.
The Kennebec Valley has its fair share of these places and we welcome you to come spend time here. From places like the highly remote and jaw-droppingly pretty Seboomook, which is public reserved land up in the Maine Woods; to the more accessible Kennebec Highlands, which are easier to get to and offer vistas of the Belgrade Lakes that are no less spectacular.
These are places meant to be hiked and paddled; they are ideal for birding or even deep contemplation. You’ll often spot wildlife and have excellent opportunities to take pictures. It’s these kinds of “off the beaten trail” locales where you can get a taste of what it’s really like to be an Explorer.
Dead River Public Reserve Land Includes the north shore of man-made Flagstaff Lake and several miles of The Dead River. Anglers and bald eagles both enjoy fishing in The Big Eddy. This site also offers great vehicle-accessible camping and paddling.
Bigelow Preserve Public Reserved Land Hike the Bigelow Range along the Appalachian Trail or paddle part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail on Flagstaff Lake. A gem to visit when foliage is changing.
Holeb Public Reserved Land Ideal for paddling and wildlife watching, home to the Maine Bow Trip, a multi-day looped trip with one portage and excellent campsites. Great hikes include Sally and Burnt Jackson Mountains.
Kennebec Highlands Public Reserved Land Hike McGaffey Mountain (the tallest in Kennebec County), Round Top, and Sanders for unmatched views of the Belgrade Lakes.
Cold Stream Conservation Land This primeval and recently protected land near The Forks provides shelter to large populations of native wild brook trout and white-tailed deer, while Canada lynx prowl beneath the forest canopy.
Seboomook Lake Public Reserved Land With its remote location, Seboomook offers unfettered access to paddling, fishing, and backcountry camping in a pristine Maine Woods location.
Lake George Regional Park While not a state park, the Lake George Regional Park in Canaan, just a few miles from Skowhegan, is one of the prettiest places to spend the day. Enjoy a picnic out in the island-like peninsula or splash around in the swimming area. Later you can take a hike up the mountain for a more spectacular views.
Kennebec Valley Trail From Solon to Bingham you can travel along the Kennebec Valley Trail, which consists of 8 miles of spectacular views that take riders along the edge of the Kennebec River. This route includes the historic "Arnold Trail" on the Kennebec River. Ideal for ATV and snowmobile riding the trail is open for year-round use.
Mt. Kineo State Park Accessed from Rockwood-on-Moosehead by boat (or over the frozen lake in winter) Mt. Kineo is a treasure that you need to experience for yourself. A rich network of trails takes you to the top for panoramic views of the region. Spot bald eagles, moose, and migratory birds along the way.