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Sightseeing around Millinocket

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Clarksville...
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Sightseeing around Millinocket

I am driving from Bar Harbor to Greenville, but plan to go through Millinocket and down the golden road to Greenville. I have heard that moose-watching and the views from the golden road are awesome. And offers some of the best views of Mount Kathahdin plus the cribworks, a waterfall and a gorge. I don't have time

to go into Baxter, but plan on at least driving by on the golden road. What is the road condition usually like? I know it is paved up to Kodajo on the Greenville side and the Telos Road on the Millinocket side. So, that leaves a 20 mile unpaved section. Also, another question is where is the painted boulder that say's "Keep Maine Beautiful"? I would really like to see that. I know it is on the baxter park road, but I don't know where. Would there be a place to crossover to the golden road? Also, what places should I watch for moose?

Thanks-

Augusta, Maine
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1. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

I will be up on the Golden Road myself next week, making my annual fishing trip up to the West Branch.

I am not familiar with the rock you mention---maybe I have driven by it and never noticed it. Hopefully someone else from this forum can help you out there.

But....you can see moose at any time of day on the Golden Road. The best time is probably just at dusk. They come out to feed in the "wallows" beside the road. You will recognize the areas where they frequent because the wallows are all muddy. During the day, look in open areas along the road. They come out of the woods to escape the bugs, and also because it is easier walking for the bulls with their horns than in the woods. You may see them standing the the middle of the roads, licking the road surface. They are trying to get the salt that is imbedded in the surface from the winter. Drive slowly, especially at dusk. You often cannot see them beside the road because they blend in at that time of day, and they aren't too bright and will bolt out across the road. You DON'T want to hit one. If you see one, which you probably will, don't get out of your car---they will just run off. (Though they HAVE been known to charge). Rather, sit quietly in you car for a couple of minutes--they will often decide that the car is not a threat and go back to whatever they were doing, and you can then take pictures. ( You can be almost certain, though, that someone will come along who WILL leap out of their car and then, bye bye moose). It is really awesome to see one. I have seen as many as 16 in one evening on the road from Rip Dam to Greenville.

I have driven the Golden Road for years. The conditions are fine. I drive it in a VW van with no problems. Watch out for large trucks. You don't need a 4 wheel drive to navigate it just fine.

This is a really beautiful area. Too often people don't get away from the coast, and then think they have seen the "real" Maine. Of course, the coast is breathtaking, too, but, for my money, this area is just as spectacular. Maybe, for those who DO venture up there, it is fortunate that it is not as well visited. You can't beat the experience of sitting on the shore of a lake in the north of Maine on a summer evening, hearing a loon call, and knowing are the only person around for many miles. Such solitude can be unnerving for some, but for others it is mystical.

Enjoy.

Clarksville...
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2. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

I know how that is. Tourists, they scare the animals away. I was hiking on this popular trail in utah, when I spotted a big horn sheep. I was taking pictures when several people came running screaming that there was a big-horn sheep. They scared it away and I only got a few picture. Another incident was in the smoky mountains. People were letting their kids get too close to the bears. I have a camera with a 10x zoom, so I can stay at a distance as long as I hold the camera steady and use a fast shutter speed. That boulder is in a lot of pictures.

Thanks-

Augusta, Maine
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3. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

Just returned yesterday from my trip up the Golden Road. I have to tell you that the conditions were NOT as good as I have seen them in the past. The road was not well graded, and there were some pretty good holes. You will have to drive slowly unless you want to beat the you know what out of your vehicle. I traversed it in my VW van, but I was beginning to think the poor old thing might rattle apart by the time I was done. The road IS passable----don't get me wrong, but it is rougher than I have seen it in the past, as I said.

Saw a lovely moose cow and calf feeding in a marshy area just past Abol Bridge. She was enormous. I drove down the road and parked and waited.........sure enough, in a couple of minutes, she came loping along with her baby through the woods. I could see a car parked back by the marsh, so they must have spotted her and spooked her. They were running all around. I don't blame tourists for stopping..........that is part of the reason they go to this area, but if they really want to get good pictures they really should drive a little way down the road, then get out and walk QUIETLY back. If they want to take pictures from their car, then they should do it from the inside of the car and not get out. They really will get better photos this way.

I am not telling YOU this for your benefit, asdaven...you seem to have a handle on it already, but maybe it will help some other moose "hunters" who pick up on this post.

Clarksville...
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4. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

Are you talking about the dirt section past the telos road or the paved section? So, there are moose out this time of year? I have a GMC with good shocks, its just that it is a new car and I don't want to cause any damage to the paint or suspension.

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Clarksville...
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5. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

Read my last post also- Would be faster to drive the Golden Road just up to the Telos Road and backtrack to Millinocket and then take Route 11 and that way to Greenville or to take the Golden Road with the ruts and stuff and slow moving?

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Augusta, Maine
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6. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

Paved section is fine. It is the dirt section that is rough. It is about 30 miles, I believe, from Millinocket to the Telos Road, so you would have to backtrack that distance, then pick up 11 to 6&16 in Milo, which becomes 6&15 to Greenville. It is quite a long way, but you would be on good road. Of course, you would not have "done" the Golden Road if you didn't go all the way through. It IS slow going. Your best chance of seeing moose is after the Telos Road (yes, they are around this time of year), but, as I said, I saw the nice cow and calf well before the Telos Road. The most awesome view of Katahdin is just after you go over Abol Bridge, which is about 8 miles from the Telos Road (south of it). To see the Cribs, turn onto the Telos Road...it is just a very short distance. (You will cross a bridge). Ripogenus Dam is about 3 to 4 miles north of the Telos Road (following the Golden Road). I think this is the gorge and waterfall you are talking about. It is very impressive. The road is paved to this point, and is very good. However, to see the waterfall and gorge you must turn off the Golden Road to go to Rip Dam. You will see a sign that says "Pray's Store" to your right. Take it. It is dirt and not too good, but it is a very short distance in. You will come to Pray's Store and cabins. Go past them.. The dam is right there, as is the lake, gorge and waterfall. (These are, of course, directions from Millinocket..........I never come in from the Greenville side). I wouldn't worry too much about the suspension on your car unless you were really tearing along. I can't judge about the paint on the car..........my old VW van has so may nicks I wouldn't notice another one, that is for sure. Plan on about one and a half to two hours from the Telos Road to Greenville, driving time. I know people who do it in less time, but they are driving pickups they aren't too concerned about, I guess. I am not trying to discourage you. You would make it fne, I am sure. The key is to go slowly, as I have said.

Clarksville...
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7. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

I thought the best spot to see moose was just right outside Millinocket? My main goal is to see mount kathadin and the gorge. Plus see moose. What is the scenery like after the turnoff to the dam? What would you say the total time from Greenville is from Millinocket?

Thanks-

Augusta, Maine
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8. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

Moose are all over in this area, and they do have places where they frequent, but you are likely to see them anywhere. I don't think I have ever seen a moose on the Millinocket to Abol Bridge section, but I am sure plenty of people have. I don't generally go looking for them---they just appear when I am driving along, doing something else. If you just want to SEE Katahdin and not climb it, then, as I said, a fantastic view is to be had just after Abol Bride on the Golden Road. If you want to see the gorge, follow the above directions.........in my opinion, the scenery is not all that impressive after the turn off to the dam. You can always drive over to Kokadjo from Greenville.

Sorry I can't be more specific on the moose............they go where they want, do what they want, and, if you are lucky, you will see one.

Clarksville...
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9. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

What do you think I should do? I have a brand new SUV. I am not worried about it getting dirty, but don't want to take a chance on the shocks or the paint even going slow. Would you think driving up from Bar Harbor through Millinocket up the Golden Road to the dam and seeing everything I mentioned and then backtrack to Millinocket and go through Dover-Foxcroft to get Greenville would be too much in a day? I knew somebody who drove from the coast to Greenville up the golden road to Millinocket and back to the coast in a day. But, they did it a long time ago when the road was better. Other options I have is forgeting the millinocket area and driving up to The Forks and checking out that area. I know there a gorge on the Kennebac River and a hike to a waterfall called moxie falls, which is suppose to be one of the highest in maine. Another option is going into baxter, but I don't think they allow dogs. The last option is driving to Greenville and figure out something to do there. But, I would hate to miss the millinocket area and mt kathadin. Does backtracking to Millinocket and going that way to greenville make it a lot longer (in time) drive than driving on the slow-going dirt portion of the Golden Road. Sorry, I am leaving in a couple days and getting really nervous. I don't know how many times I am ever going to get up to maine.

Thanks so much for your help-

Maine
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10. Re: Sightseeing around Millinocket

Thanks a lot NativeMainer for some up to date info. You said the paved section was fine but the dirt section was bad but you said you didn't go toward Greenville and that it was paved right up to the turn off to the dam so I'm curious as to exactly what dirt section you are refering to that was bad.

asdaven one of the better spots to see moose is a section beyond the two lakes that you drive between not too far out from Millinocket but there are plenty of other good spots. If you drive all the way in to the end of the pavement it would be the way long way around to go back out to Millinocket to get to Greenville. My suggestion would be to drive the shorter distance at a slower speed but its your vehicle not mine. It would be really nice to get a report from someone who has driven all the way between Millinocket and Greenville but that probably will not happen.

Also just FYI as discussed in the other forum the view into the gorge that I have been refering to is not from the same place at the big dam and lake it is a little bit before that, although a drive into the dam would be nice too. Also the waterfall I have been refering too is not near the dam either it is between the cribworks and Abol bridge.