Sightseeing at the Rangeley Lakes
Location: Near Rangeley
Region: Maine’s Lakes and Mountains
Activities: Sightseeing, car touring, boat touring
What’s the prettiest lake in Maine? It’s impossible to say; everybody has their favorite. Even so, the Rangeley Lakes probably place high on most lists.
Ringed with timber and cradled by the Western Maine mountains, the Rangeleys are broad, expansive and beautiful. It’s no wonder that for many years people have traveled here to fish, boat or just take in the sights. You can, too, and tour in a car, a boat or both.
The Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway rolls for 52 miles around Rangeley Lake, over the ridgelines and valleys nearby. You can make a day of it with many stops or spend just a few hours on the route. One must-stop along the route that is the fabled Height of Land, which offers a sky-spanning look at Mooselookmeguntic and Upper Richardson lakes and the mountains that surround them. This viewpoint has been deemed the finest of inland Maine, if not the best in the state altogether.
Another terrific way to see the lakes is by boat. For more than a decade, Rangeley Region Lake Cruises & Kayaking has been taking visitors across the waters —first in smaller vessels, and now on its new Oquossoc Lady II, a 36- foot catamaran. Because of the coronavirus, the company is focusing primarily on its afternoon and sunset cruises. During the tours, guests get information about the area’s long history of tourism and industry, and sneak by wildlife including loons and eagles. Visitors, especially those from outside Maine, are often surprised by the lakes’ quiet and uncrowded nature. The company also offers private cruises for families and groups. During those private tours, the boat can pick up folks from lakeside homes and offers picnics on the water. Guided kayaking tours are also available.
From Bangor: 115 miles
From: Portland: 130 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 85 miles