When your travels take you to the far northeast, make your way to Kokadjo, a small town in northern Maine, and revel in a setting of natural splendor. This little burg offers outdoor lovers an abundance of activities year-round, including a vast variety of wildlife that's hard to find anywhere else.
And when you stay in one of our cozy Kokadjo vacation rentals, you'll not only enjoy privacy you won't find in a hotel, you'll also have a nice home base to return to after all your explorations.
Located 17 miles from Moosehead Lake, the largest lake in Maine, Kokadjo is nestled in the center of the state almost equal distance (about 100 miles) from the Canadian borders, with Quebec to the west and New Brunswick to the east. The city of Portland is 170 miles to the south, and the tiny town of Beaver Cove is 12 miles to the south.
Kokadjo is known as the capital of moose watching in Maine, so when you visit this tiny burg, spotting one of these fascinating and rarely seen creatures isn't a matter of if - it's a matter of when. To enhance your chances, head over to Lazy Tom Bog, which is said to be the most populated moose hub in the state.
In addition to a strong moose population, deer and bobcat live in and around Maine's forested areas, lakes, and streams. If you have a keen eye and a little luck on your side, you might even spy a lynx. And if you're a birder, you'll be in heaven with opportunities to observe loon, bald eagles, and much more in their natural habitats.
Take a float down Roach River for a little over six miles to Spencer Bay on Moosehead Lake, and try your luck at catch-and-release fly fishing. Or head to First Roach Pond - which is more like a lake, considering it's seven-mile length and 130-foot depth - and pull in a few large trout and salmon, as well as whitefish and splake. Other nearby possibilities for quality fishing are West Branch Ponds and Lyford Ponds.
Die-hard fishing buffs know that dropping your line isn't necessarily determined by the weather. In Kokadjo, ice fishing is just as popular as summer fishing. Head over to Moosehead Lake, Prong Pond, Mountain View Pond, Brassua Lake, Indian Pond, or Sawyer Pond and snag your evening meal to prepare back in your rental kitchen. Ice shacks are at the ready to protect you from the frigid but invigorating elements.
As you might guess, finding the perfect hiking trail is a cinch in and around Kokadjo. Catch the free boat shuttle to Mount Kineo, and take the short (.9 miles), but difficult, Indian Trail for spectacular views from the summit. Or take Bridle Trail (1.1 miles) - you'll still get very close to the summit, but the trail is easier than Indian. Do the easy Carriage Trail (2.2 miles) and walk along the shores of Moosehead Lake, then connect to North Trail (1.9 miles) - a more moderate hike - for a more comprehensive view of the area.
One of the most challenging hikes, yet one of the shortest, is Little Spencer Mountain. Climb the nearly vertical chimney for the best panoramic views of the area. Or take Big Spencer Mountain Trail - a rough unkempt trail - that winds through a mossy floor and serves as home to the Bicknell's thrush. Take the Number 4 undeveloped footpath that has several switchbacks and offers beautiful views of Moosehead Lake, Lily Bay Mountain, and Baker Mountain.
If you want to experience what many consider one of the best hikes in Maine, tackle White Cap Mountain Trail, the highest point on the Appalachian Trail, for a half- to full-day hike, depending on your pace. You'll have no qualms pushing to reach that summit knowing you have a comfortable bed to return to at your vacation rental!
In addition to virtually endless outdoor activities, the Moosehead Lake Region offers travelers many other kinds of fun events. For instance, if your visit happens in the summer, immerse yourself in Kokadjo's July Fourth celebrations, complete with a race, a parade, and of course, fireworks. Or attend the Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival to celebrate the Maine woods or listen to live music at the Gazebo Concert Series.
In the spring, take part in Moose on the Run, a 5K and 1K fun run. In the winter, sample luscious varieties of chocolate at the Chocolate Festival in February, and buy some to take home with you. In the fall, take a few scenic drives and be wowed by the explosion of color as the leaves change with the season.
Whether you stay in one of our conveniently located vacation rentals in the thriving, urban setting of Portland or whether you prefer to keep it simple and stay next to nature, a trip to Kokadjo is essential for the full Maine experience.
Photo Credit: Diane MacDonald via Flickr