The northern interior region of Maine is a place of towering pine forests, majestic lakes and fast-flowing rivers, and lots of interesting towns that might surprise you with excellent dining, fun inns and B&Bs, family adventures, and museums about local history, Native Americans, and the historic logging industry. Of course, outdoor sports are a major attraction year-round, from exciting white water canoeing and rafting to all the snow sports. Many organizations help newcomers with gear and guided trips.
In the southernmost part of this region is the city of Augusta, the state capital. The Maine State Museum describes 12,000 years of Maine life through lifelike exhibits and thousands of artifacts. Fort Western, in Augusta, built in 1754, is the oldest surviving wooden fort in New England. Kids and families enjoy living history programs about life in the 18th century.
A bit farther north, The Forks – where the Dead and Kennebec rivers join -- is the state’s hot spot for whitewater rafting. The arrival of winter brings snowmobiling enthusiasts to the 100 miles of interconnected trails. Jackman is a major snowmobiling center.
The gateway city to the Katahdin Moosehead is Bangor, the Lumber Capital of the World, where visitors are greeted by a large statue of Paul Bunyan. The Maine Forest and Logging Museum is an authentic reconstruction of a logging and milling community. Bangor offers fun shopping in the 19th-century buildings of the West Market Square Historic District. The Maine Discovery Museum, the largest children’s museum north of Boston, is a place of wonder and entertainment. The Maine Shakespeare Festival is held every summer by the Penobscot Theatre Company. Katahdin Moosehead region is a four-season vacationland, offering hunting and fishing; rafting, canoeing, and kayaking on the Penobscot and Kennebec rivers; snowmobiling, dog sledding, and snowshoeing. The 200,000-acre Baxter State Park is a treasure.
The northernmost part of Maine is Aroostook, adjacent to the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is a 92-mile ribbon of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams where people may canoe and kayak through rugged forests. The town of Presque Isle and University of Maine is the location of the sun in the world’s largest model of the solar system, stretching 40 miles from Presque Isle along Route 1 to Houlton. Also in Presque Isle is Northern Maine Museum of Science, which has more natural science exhibits on more topics than you can imagine.