Moose Mainea

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IMG_3520Wanna see a moose? This is the best time of year to do so, and the area around Moosehead Lake is prime moose-spotting territory. Head to Greenville, May 15-June 14, for the annual Moose Mainea celebration. Stop by the chamber to pick up maps and info sheet about the gangly critters and where their favorite grub and gossip spots are located. Then arm yourself with a camera, and go shooting. Among Moose Mainea special activities are a photo contest, canoe race, craft fair, kid’s fun day, famous moose tales, and quest fest.

Be sure to stop by Northwoods Outfitters, if you want to arrange a guided hike, moose safari, cruise, or other outdoor adventure.

Where to stay:
If you can swing it, splurge on a room at the Blair Hill Inn, an elegant, architecturally stunning hillside mansion with expansive views over Moosehead Lake. Owners Ruth and Dan McLaughlin pamper their guests, and rates include a full breakfast.

Far less pricey, yet with a location that’s practically in the lake is the Chalet Moosehead motel; pets allowed in some units ($10/night). Rates include use of dock and paddle boats.

IMG_3533For an authentic Maine experience, and the opportunity to catch a breakfast trout or view a moose swimming from your room, check into West Branch Camps (image right), a traditional Maine sporting camp. Don’t expect luxury; this is a few steps above camping, but not to be missed. Fourth-generation owner Eric Stirling is slowly fixing up the late–19th-century lodge and cabins. Rates include all meals (food is terrific!), boat, firewood, and linens; pets, $20 per stay.

Want your own cottage by the lake? Take a gander at Wilsons On Moosehead Lake, a collection of one-to five-bedroom housekeeping cottages that rent by the day or week. All have screened porches (remember, it’s black fly season), fireplaces (evenings can still be chilly), kitchens, and even Wifi.

Where to eat:
IMG_3481A couple of recommendations. First, the Rod-N-Reel Cafe, in downtown Greenville, is the most reliable restaurant in town, with excellent home-style fare and a few surprises. For a Maine woods experience, brave the drive (or arrange a fly-in through Currier’s) to Pittston Farm (left),  a 100-acre riverside farm that was once the center for timber operations along the Penobscot River.