17 Oct 09 Maine Kennebec River – Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway
Cruising north out of Skowhegan on U.S. Route 201, you top a hill and a view opens up before you – mountains roll to the horizon and the sky doubles in size. On your left, in a grassy area, is a sign announcing you are now driving on the Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway. A few hundred feet past the sign is an unmarked turn onto a gravel road that twists up to a picnic pavilion and another spectacular view. Everything is new and this is obviously the beginnings of a larger project – below the picnic area you can see signs of work in the woods. where walking trails are in the process of being cut. Hmmm…a place to return to and explore some more on future trips. Informational plaques on stands offer information about the mountains before you and the history of the area, it’s clear they are the first of many you can stop and read along 201 north.
Breath in the view for a while, then continue north, into history, into wilderness and into adventure. A National Scenic ByWay has to be more that a pretty drive – it has to be a route with history significant to the region and offer much to see and do. The Old Canada Road is a prime example, with historical markers, spectacular scenery, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure from Kennebec River rafting, ATV trails and resorts, and Hut to Hut Hiking trips to wintertime Maine snowmobile vacations. The houses and towns along the way are small and hardy, the people tough and friendly, the journey worth taking!