Maine Day Trip - The Old Canada Road
Over Memorial Day Weekend I decided to take a day trip into the wilds of north central Maine and took off from Portland for Skowhegan to get on Route 201, also known as ÔÇ£The Old Canada RoadÔÇØ. The Old Canada Road actually starts in Solon, Maine and runs all the way to Quebec, Canada. It is a designated National Scenic By-Way and several descriptions of the road are available on the Internet. I decided to take it as far as Jackman, Maine and then peel off and do route 6/15 which takes you back along the shoreline of Moosehead Lake to Greenville, Maine. The weather was warm and calm as I left Portland and the temperature there dropped about 10 degrees or more with a stiff breeze, which made it considerably cooler. Something you may want to plan on if you choose to do this ride. I chose to take 295 for the first leg of the trip in order to save time to be better spent in the North Woods and it confirmed for me that the super slab is still quite boring even on a radio/CD equipped RT with cruise control. It really starts getting nice after you get through Skowhegan and pass through Solon where youÔÇÖll see the signpost that signifies the start of The Old Canada Road. The scenery on this road is really amazing and makes the journey well worth the ordeal of tolerating the earlier highway ride. You see incredible mountain and water vistas all along the road as the road winds along rivers, streams and lakes that are tucked in between the mountains. There are state park type rest stops along the way with covered picnic tables and toilets, so if you wanted to bring along lunch you could. If you do stop, make sure you brought bug dope youÔÇÖll need it. YouÔÇÖll also find a few interesting looking places to eat/stay along the road, most notable being Northern Outdoors Resort, which is one of our DownEast Rally contributors. The whole area is white water heaven for those that love the challenge of the foaming waves; youÔÇÖll find campgrounds all over the place and many people out on the water, even this early in the season.
Upon arriving in Jackman I found a rest stop pull off that offered a really magnificent view of the mountains and lakes, but it was a little hazy at mid-day when I arrived, so the picture really doesnÔÇÖt do it justice. It seems as though this road is one spectacular vista after another leading up to this fantastic view point in Jackman. ItÔÇÖs difficult to not feel humbled in the face of such overwhelming beauty. The trip back through 6/15 was good and the roads were great although as the signs warn you to ride carefully to avoid hitting a moose. I had a brief encounter with a young moose on this road as I came up upon him on the side of the road. I stopped and I looked at him and he looked at me and he shuffled back into the woods before I could get to my camera. The rest of the trip along Moosehead Lake was beautiful and once again I got to see the ÔÇ£Flying MooseÔÇØ that was featured in one of our club riding contests a few years ago. All in all it was a great way to spend a beautiful day and measured about 400 miles round trip. If you like beautiful sights and nice roads it doesnÔÇÖt get much better than this, hop on and go. YouÔÇÖll be glad you did.
Don Portland, Maine
2009 BMW R1200RT