In the middle of this vast and diverse state is a region full of natural wonders. The Maine Highlands Region where the north woods and lakes of Maine reside. A region containing 200,000 acre Baxter State Park, thick with mountains, lakes, streams and forest. Mt. Katahdin, Maine’s highest summit where the northern end of the Appalachian Trail sits. Truly the center stage for those looking to discover the North Woods and Lakes of Maine. Soft or vigorous, adventures can be experienced in all four Maine seasons.
Henry David Thoreau was literally overwhelmed with the landscape when he and his companions attempted the summit of Mt. Katahdin in 1846. In Thoreau’s 19th century robust and elaborate language, he describes his views.
“This was that Earth of which we have heard, made out of Chaos and Old Night. Here was no man’s garden, but the unhandled globe. It was not lawn, nor pasture, nor mead, nor woodland, nor lea, nor arable, nor wasteland…Man was not to be associated with it. It was Matter, vast, terrific…rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! the solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact!”
Wow. Sounds like he was impressed at what he discovered. (Had to look up the word ‘unhandled’. Translation; not tamed or disciplined: WILD.)
You can still find the wild and untamed in the region, but as the 20th century loomed, change was inevitable. First hikers then logging companies and small settlements. Then in 1920 Maine Governor Percival Baxter took a hike similar to Thoreau. He began acquiring the 200,000 acres with his own money when the legislature refused to fund the purchase. Thus, the origins of Baxter State Park.
His motivation was preservation.
“Everything in connection with the Park must be left simple and natural and must remain as nearly as possible as it was when only the Indians and the animals roamed at will through these areas.”
We are thankful for his foresight.
This summer, Rick and I, with family visited the region. We knew the perfect place to stay. 5 Lakes Lodge Bed & Breakfast on the shore of South Twin Lake. Part of a beautiful string of lakes with Mt. Katahdin rising in the near distance in all its splendor. The lodge common areas and guest rooms all have that mesmerizing view of the mountain.
The choice of hikes, walks, water adventures and drives are endless. It is a plus that the innkeepers at the lodge have the knowledge to match their guest’s adventure wants and needs. We were guided to a trail that fit our timing and fitness! It even took us through a section of the Appalachian Trail. So we got that goin’ for us!
On our return to the lodge, a real treat was waiting. We were taken on a pontoon boat voyage in search of bald eagles and loons. With our sippy cup adult beverage, we relaxed with camera and binoculars in hand. We viewed a pair of bald eagles soaring in search of food for their nest of eaglets. As the sun dipped, loons were spotted. Perfect day.
Have you ever fallen asleep to the sound of calling loons and distant train whistles? A tranquil sleepy time bonus when you stay at 5 Lakes Lodge.
Discovering this magical and wild region of Maine, even for just a day and a half was so worth the journey. We plan on returning in the winter. The lodge offers luxury suites with king size beds, whirlpool tubs, fireplaces and hearty breakfast. Maybe snowmobiling is in our future; you can take off from the lodge’s back door. Sounds like a plan.
Ready to take a hike into the land of Innkeeping in the Maine Highlands? Take a look at the Lakeside Lodge Bed & Breakfast for Sale. Then give us a call. The B&B Team is ready and able to guide you and help you discover if Innkeeping is the correct trail for you.
Thanks for Listening,