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Machias River Corridor

Rocky Lake at dusk.

Rocky Lake at dusk.

Photo Credit: Benjamin Adams


A number of Maine public lands have historical landmarks in their vicinity. The Machias River Corridor may be the only such natural area that itself played a pivotal role in the course of human events. The first naval battle of the American Revolution was fought here! When the British HMS Margaretta arrived in June 1775 to protect two sloops that were there to collect lumber from the river’s many sawmills, some 40 colonialists seized the vessels. And as the area’s 3,000-year-old petroglyphs tell, the Passamaquoddy Indians relied on the Machias River for millennia to carry them during annual migrations from the coast to the woods far inland.

So if a Maine camping adventure is what you want, this public land offers a backdrop as rich in history as its forests are rich with wildlife, including moose and bear. And unlike many public lands, campsites here are not just of the primitive variety. From tent sites to full-hookups with water and power, the options here are varied enough for any visitor’s comfort level.

Flowing for 76 miles, the Machias River is home to the country’s largest self-sustaining wild Atlantic salmon run. Fishing and canoeing on this scenic waterway are very popular. And if your preferences run to even quieter activities, the corridor is a treasured destination for birdwatchers. A “Globally Important Bird Area”, the Machias River Corridor is home to more than 180 species. Don’t forget your binoculars.