- The Washington Times - Friday, July 15, 2005

Feel an urge to spend your next vacation camping or fishing deep in a northern forest? Maine has some of the deepest woods in the lower 48 states, and the Internet has resources that will show you the way.

If you have ever leafed through an L.L. Bean catalog, you have seen references to Baxter State Park — www.baxterstateparkauthority.com — a preserve covering more than 200,000 acres of woods, lakes, streams and 5,270-foot Mount Katahdin. This is primarily a hiking and canoeing park, with very few roads, according to Our Natural Setting. Click on Hiking for details on the few day-use parking lots, trails and important tips on subjects including regulations and the changeable weather.

Before you head into the park, the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce — www.katahdinmaine.com — can fill you in on places to buy supplies and other things to do. Want to see wildlife? Click on Recreational Activities for details on moose watching (often where you least expect them) along with canoeing, fishing, white-water rafting and the popular New England sport of admiring fall foliage. If you can be there in early August, you can take in the annual Wooden Canoe Festival.

Look through the local businesses for fishing guides and other services and explore Maine Highlands for links to other communities in the area and the Moosehead Lake Region.

A unique feature of this region is North Maine Woods — www.northmainewoods.org — more than 3.5 million acres of privately owned, commercial forest that welcomes recreational users. It’s located generally north of Moosehead Lake and west of Maine Highway 11.

Although visitors are welcome, campsites are rustic, there are no rangers, and logging is a way of life. You might want to check out the section on Camps, Guides, Outfitters for people who will help you experience this multiuse area.

Inside the North Maine Woods is the state’s protected Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Go to the state Bureau of Parks & Lands — www.state.me.us/doc/parks/index.html — and click on Find Parks & Lands to search for the Allagash in the State Parks menu.

Look for Learn More for a description of this wild river and what you’ll need to enjoy it. At Google or Yahoo or whatever you use to search the Web, type in Allagash River Guide to find someone experienced who will put together a river trek for you.

Learn more about the far end of Maine from Aroostook County Tourism — www.visitaroostook.com — although it might take some digging to find events such as the Acadian Festival (look under Seasons and then Summer). You also might try the Aroostook section of Travel in Maine Today — travel.mainetoday.com/regions/ar.

Visiti the Maine Office of Tourism — www.visitmaine.com — click on Where to Visit and then on Aroostook County and the Maine Highlands. The state Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife — www.state.me.us/ifw/index.htm — has what you need to know about fishing licenses.


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