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Scenic Byways

When the Federal Government creates a National Scenic Byway or All-American Road, it means something. Only the prettiest, most historic and most enjoyable drives in the country earn these titles.

Maine has seven including three designated in 2021.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Scenic Byway

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Scenic Byway begins at the southern entrance of Baxter State Park and winds its way through Millinocket along Route 11 and the Penobscot River to Patten, ending at Baxter State Park’s northern entrance at Grand Lake Matagamon. Byway highlights include boating, camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking trails, and wildlife.

St. John Valley Cultural Byway/Fish River Scenic Byway

The St. John Valley Cultural Byway / Fish River Scenic Byway, sometimes known as the Parcours culturel de la Vallee, is a 134-mile roadway situated in the St. John Valley at the northeastern point of Maine alongside the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Québec. The byway is rich with Maine’s Acadian heritage and culture. Along the St. John Valley Cultural segment of the byway, travelers enjoy a captivating cultural journey in a pastoral river valley as they wind through small towns, fertile fields, and deep forests between Dickey and Hamlin.

The Fish River portion of the byway traverses the rolling lands between the lake towns of Fort Kent and Portage. The landscape provides travelers with unparalleled views of wildflower meadows, Eagle Lake and Portage Lake. Much of the route is forested, and wildlife abounds, including eagles, moose, landlocked salmon, brook trout and beaver. Camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, and snowmobiling are popular activities, with wilderness camps lining the shores of the area's lakes. Along both stretches of the National Scenic Byway, visitors can enjoy outdoor recreation activities such as bicycling, boating, camping, fishing, foliage viewing, four-wheeling, hiking, and snowmobiling. Visitors can also enjoy the many historical sites along the way such as the Fort Kent Block House, the Allagash Historical Society Museum, and Acadian Village-Living History Site.

Bold Coast National Scenic Byway

Bold Coast National Scenic Byway features a 125-mile route that invites visitors to explore the culture, history, wildlife, and rugged, unspoiled beauty of coastal Downeast Maine. The byway route extends from Milbridge northeasterly through coastal villages to Lubec, skirts the coastline of Cobscook Bay to Eastport. The byway route winds its way along the coast, passing wild blueberry barrens; abundant farmland; tidal marshes and bays; and rivers, streams, and lakes.

Acadia All-American Road

The 40-mile Acadia All-American Road is so special that it’s been designated an All-American Road, considered the gold standard of scenic routes. The journey begins on Route 3 on the mainland before moving onto Mt. Desert Island and through the town of Bar Harbor. From there, it rolls into the primary section of Acadia National Park.

Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway

Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway travels 78 miles along Route 201 through Maine forests from Solon to the Canadian border. Towns such as Bingham and Jackman offer relaxing places to stop. Spectacular foliage, abundant moose and other wildlife make for enjoyable touring.

Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway

Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway offers many locations for outdoor fun including golfing, boating, fishing, hiking, wildlife watching, skiing and snowmobiling. The 35-mile route winds past clear lakes and tree-covered mountains. The Height of Land on Route 17 is one of Maine’s most picturesque overlooks.

Schoodic National Scenic Byway

Schoodic National Scenic Byway explores the quieter, less-developed side of Acadia National Park and its neighboring communities. Visitors drive the 29-mile route through small fishing towns, sheltered harbors and dramatic coastline.

In addition to these Federal routes, there are many picturesque Maine state byways as well.

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