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Camping in the Moosehead Lake Region of Maine
If your camping has been confined to the elbow to elbow variety just off the hardtop highway, your introduction to camping in the Moosehead Lake Region and the North Maine woods is one you wont soon forget.
When you come to this region to camp, unless you have an RV, be prepared to camp! Hot showers are available at some of the commercial sites, but that is probably the most luxurious amenity that you will find. The lack of those luxuries pales beside the peace, tranquility and beauty which you will find here is beyond compare.
There are thousands of miles of maintained roads and several thousand miles of temporary, un-maintained roads. This area is not commercial in the sense that one should expect any amenities. Gas stations, grocery stores or coffee shops are few and far between beyond the state and county highways. People are friendly and helpful, but you go into this area on your own. It is important to remember that this land is for commercial use first. The paper companies are in the business of transporting logs to the mills. Trucks have the right of way on these roads. Pull over when you see a truck coming. Park all vehicles well off the road ways. Obey all the rules established by the various land management organizations for your safety and continued use. Please help us maintain the beauty and the use of these privately owned areas by carrying out your own trash and by not littering our beautiful forests.
Camping in the Moosehead Region has changed since the time of Henry Thoreau's visit in 1857. Thoreau and his Indian guide Joe Polis camped wherever they wanted, built fires, cut bushes and live trees, and made mattresses of fir boughs.
People can no longer build fires wherever, they like. Since 1955, Maine has had a fire permit law whereby a fire permit is required for any outdoor wood or charcoal fire. As of 1980, propane, sterno or Coleman fueled stoves are not subject to the fire permit legislation, but the regulations could change in the near future. There are no fees for fire permits. They can be issued over the phone or at any local Maine Forest Service Ranger station. There are no blanket permits; a fire permit is issued for a specific fire-safe site.
Still, there is freedom to find the wilderness experience you are looking for. Wilderness to many means vast, unspoiled country, unbroken chains of lakes, ponds and streams; but often a real "wilderness" adventure can take place on a woods road with a flat tire and no jack. Wilderness could be defined as one step beyond what you were prepared for.Back to top