This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read our full disclosure policy.
The Maine Highlands of northwest Maine are home to Moosehead Lake. This glacial lake is the largest in Maine, covering almost 75,000 acres with 400 miles of shoreline.
More than 80 islands dot the lake’s surface, the largest of which is Sugar Island. The Moosehead Chamber of Commerce boasts that the region is home to more moose than people!
Whether hiking, boating, or driving, the wilderness beauty of Moosehead Lake can be enjoyed year round. Mount Kineo’s 800-foot cliffs rise dramatically from the lake’s eastern shore. The steamship SS Katahdin provides lake tours from summer through fall, passing directly beneath the mountain, where peregrine falcons are frequently sighted.
The mountain views are spectacular on clear days, with visibility all the way to Mount Katahdin, the highest point in Maine at 5,268 feet and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
The town of Greenville, at Moosehead Lake’s southern end, is a convenient location to begin a fall foliage drive around Moosehead Lake and through Maine’s backcountry. Route 6/15 winds its way along the lake’s western shore, past the ski area at Big Moose Mountain (previously Big Squaw Mountain), to the village of Rockwood where the imposing sheer cliff of Mount Kineo dominates the view.
This road heads west at Rockwood toward the town of Jackman, a 30-mile drive through Maine wilderness with scenic overlooks of lakes and ponds.
The road along Moosehead Lake’s eastern shore leads to Lily Bay State Park, where leaf-peeping and wildlife viewing are popular in the fall. This four-season park offers swimming, boating, camping, hiking and fishing during warm temperatures; when temperatures dip, the park welcomes hearty visitors for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing. Continuing northeast beyond Lily Bay State Park leads to Mount Katahdin, the centerpiece of Baxter State Park.