Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lily Bay State Park

Here you'll find outdoor recreation and attractive campsites by Maine's largest lake.
Lily Bay State Park on Moosehead Lake offers waterfront camping at the gateway to Maine's North Woods a destination renowned for its outdoor recreation opportunities (from hiking and canoeing to fishing and wildlife watching). Established in 1961, Lily Bay State Park was created primarily from woodland donated to the State by Scott Paper Company. New England's largest lake, spanning 117 square miles, Moosehead has cool, clear waters and relatively undeveloped shores that make it an appealing destination for boaters, fishermen and vacationers seeking a taste of wilderness. The 925-acre park provides two distinct camping areas bordering the lake with 90 campsites, a sandy swimming beach, playground, two trailerable boat ramps, and a 2-mile, shoreline walking trail.
Points of Interest
    Mt. Kineo: This impressive landmark at the centerpiece of Moosehead Lake offers 5 miles of hiking trails and spectacular summit views. Visitors can reach Kineo via a commercial boat shuttle out of Rockwood. See the Bureau of Parks and Lands' Moosehead Shoreline Lands guide for more details. Prong Pond: An attractive 427-acre pond, ringed by small mountains, is accessible to canoers, kayakers, wildlife watchers and fishermen via a trailerable boat launch. The narrow arms of the pond have interesting bog plants such as insect-eating sundews and pitcher plants. From the Park, go right 1.6 miles, turning left onto the gravel Prong Pond Road.
    Big Moose Mountain (3,196 feet): An open summit on nearby Big Moose Mountain offers spectacular views of the entire Moosehead region. The 3.75-mile hike (allow 4 hours) ascends gradually to a fire warden's cabin and then steeply to the summit. From Greenville, take Routes 6/15 west approximately 4 miles to North Road on left. Trailhead is on right after 1.2 miles.
    Big Spencer Mountain (3,206 feet): The State owns lands surrounding Big Spencer and maintains this area as an Ecological Reserve. A rough 2-mile trail (allow 3 hours roundtrip) leads to the summit offering impressive views of Mt. Katahdin and area lakes. The final ascent is challenging (involving numerous ladders), with a thousand-foot climb in elevation over the last 0.7 miles. From the Park, turn left and continue 8.3 miles past Kokadjo to a dirt road on left just after Bear Brook Campground. The trailhead is on the left after 6.3 miles.
    Number 4 Mountain (2,890 feet): For a challenging hiking destination, go left from the Park 8.8 miles and turn right before Kokadjo on the Frenchtown Road (gravel). Go 2.1 miles and turn right (gravel). Go 1.3 miles and turn left (gravel). Go 0.9 miles to trailhead on the left (park 0.1 miles past trailhead on right).
    Lazy Tom Bog: For moose-watching, go through Kokadjo (where road changes to dirt). Bear left where sign points to Baxter State Park. Go 1.1 miles and turn left at sign for Spencer Pond Camps. Go 0.5 miles, and stop by small bridge (parking on either side of bridge).
When to Visit
Boaters and campers enjoy the Moosehead region through warm weather months, followed by hunters in October and November and ice fishermen and snowmobilers in mid-winter. Fishing on Moosehead Lake for salmon and trout is usually best in the weeks following ice out (typically early to mid-May) or when the waters cool in September.