Only 150 roads in the United States have been designated National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads and Maine boasts four of them. Each of Maine’s scenic byways includes archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities that make them well worth the visit – especially in fall.
Acadia Byway travels through Acadia National Park and the historic villages of Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island. Along this route, the rugged Maine coast and old-growth forests remain much as they were when the island was first discovered by Samuel de Champlain in 1604. Fine accommodations and many dining opportunities complement the natural amenities along this route.
Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway travels 78 miles along Route 201 through Maine’s vast forests from Solon to the Canadian border. Small villages such as Bingham and Jackman offer relaxing places to stop for food or shop for that uniquely Maine gift. Spectacular foliage, abundant moose and other wildlife make for enjoyable fall touring.
Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation including golfing, boating, fishing, hiking, wildlife watching, skiing and snowmobiling. Crystal clear lakes and rolling mountains set the backdrop for fantastic vistas along Routes 4 and 17. The Height of Land on Route 17 is one of Maine’s most picturesque vistas.
Schoodic National Scenic Byway explores a less developed and unspoiled area of the rugged Downeast Maine coast. Visitors can experience lobstering and other traditional ways of life in the sheltered harbors and discover the work of local craftsmen and artisans along this pristine coastline. Granite outcroppings make up a dramatic coastline that is dotted with blueberry barrens and covered with fragrant evergreen forests.
In addition to National Scenic Byways, there are many picturesque Maine state byways as well.