Lincoln Lakes, Maine Vacation Guide
Bring your fishing pole, boat, canoe or kayak and take advantage of the many waterways found in the Lincoln Lakes Region, in Penobscot County. In winter, the region is covered in white. All you need to enjoy it is a pair of skis, snowshoes, a snowmobile or ice fishing tackle. This is a year-round wilderness area, luring the citified, the overstressed and those just wanting to get away from it all.
It all began in 1825 when sawmills went up along the Mattanawcook Stream. The area prospered, with small towns springing up, some more rural than others. Nearly two hundred years later, the towns are still small, the people still friendly and this part of the Maine Highlands still wild, still remote.
The town of Lincoln is the largest population center in Lincoln Lakes. It also has 14 lakes within its boundaries and a section of the Penobscot River that lures fishermen from far and wide in search of smallmouth bass. Eagle Lodge and Camps, on Folsom Pond, is an old fashioned Maine fish camp sitting at the end of a dirt road. Open year round, it offers fishing, hunting and is one of the best places for stargazing. Moose, deer, loons, eagles, they are all in residence.
Hotels and motels in the area range from low-key modern to the revamped 80-year old Victorian now known as the Whitetail Inn. Most restaurants are in the Main Street and West Broadway area, and range from familiar fast-food brands to a number of locally owned pizza joints. Several campgrounds are within a 20 mile radius.
The annual Homecoming Festival in July is the town’s largest celebration. It includes a parade, fireworks, craft fairs, games, music and a 5k run/walk. Each December Lincoln hosts a Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting Ceremony and a special Breakfast with Santa. In late February or early March, the Lincoln Snowcross Races are held. Lincoln is about an hour north of Bangor, via Interstate 95.
Between these two towns, barely 11 miles apart, is a total population of less than 600. Burlington is known for its Ye Olde Tavern, built in 1844. It was once part of the Old Maine Camps, housing travelers and local lumber workers. Today the pub belongs to the historical society. All the rooms have been restored by local donations. It is open on the 4th of July, after the annual pancake breakfast and then every Sunday through Labor Day. Burlington and Lowell are both rural, offer no overnight accommodations and are off Route 188 north of Bangor.
Chester, famed for its apples, is one of the smallest townships, sitting off Route116 north of Lincoln. It is the home town of state senator Mark Alton Barwise, the only public official that was part of the Spiritualistic religion. The town of Winn, named for early settler John M. Winn, sits 11 miles to the northeast off Route 2. This small town was once home to the Henry Poor & Son leather tannery, which was destroyed in 1892. The town remains rural and low-key, but does have a couple of motels and a bakery/restaurant, the Berry Land Take Out.
Enfield was once called Cold Stream, after the pond of the same name. Founded in 1835, the town is known for a story that may have influenced Hollywood movie making. In 1891 there was a failed train robbery attempt. Four masked men boarded a train that was passing through the town, intending to rob the mail car. Despite all the gunplay, they failed and disappeared into the night, never to be caught. The Enfield General Store is a block from Cold Stream Pond, and Cold Stream Beach Recreational Area offers a swimming beach and a place to put canoes, kayaks and small boats in the water. Both are off of Route 155, also known as Enfield Road.
Named for an early settler, Stephen Lee, this small town founded the Lee Academy in 1845. Today the private high school is still going strong and operates as a combination boarding school/day school for grades 9-13. Up until 2009, the Lee Academy had only the one campus. But in September of that year a branch opened in Shenzhen, China, called the Shenzhen American International School. Five teachers and a principal transferred to China. Lee is off Route 6 and includes Silver Lake and the Mt. Jefferson Ski Area within its borders.
John Howland was a passenger on the Mayflower and lends his name to the township. This is the home of the Volunteer Fire Department that oversees Howland, Enfield, Lee and other townships nearby. The Pond Farm State Wildlife Management Area is on the north-western end of town. This wildlife rich area is a draw for bird watchers and has been left in its original state. Howland is off of Interstate 5
To the southeast is Passadumkeag, famed for its schoolhouse, on the National Register of Historic Places. The Point Passadumkeag River Cabins and Campgrounds offer year-round riverfront access. Rent a cabin in the woods, pitch a tent or bring your smaller RV, they do have hook-ups. Passadumkeag is on the eastern side of the river, off Route 2.
Mattawamkeag is home to the Mattawamkeag Wilderness County Park, which takes up the southeast corner of the township. The area has been left in its natural state except for a campground, which allows tents and small RVs less than 35 feet. The campground hosts an Annual Barbeque each August and offers hiking trails and plenty of fishing and canoe paddling opportunities. The town itself, off of Route 2, does have one building, the George W. Smith Homestead, built in 1874, on the National Register of Historic Places. The town was once a major stop on the European & North American Railway that served the Penobscot Valley, and is now the eastern end of the Guilford Rail System that runs from Maine all the way to Upstate New York.
Springfield, off of Route 6, is known for its annual Springfield Fair. Now in its 162nd year, this is an old fashioned fair with heart-in-your-throat midway rides, games, a mechanical bull ride and all the carnival food you could want. Tractor pulls, livestock exhibitions and even an Ironwoman Triathlon featuring a mop chuck, skillet throw and seed spitting contest are part of the local fun. This is a main event for the Lincoln Lakes area, held over Labor Day weekend. There is one B&B in town; most other accommodations are in neighboring Lincoln and Lee.
Lincoln Lakes Area Directories
Visit the following directories to find lodging, dining, attractions, shops, services and recreational activities in the Lincoln, Maine area.
- Burlington Maine
- Chester Maine
- Enfield Maine
- Howland Maine
- Lakeville Maine
- Lee Maine
- Lincoln Maine
- Lowell Maine
- Mattawamkeag Maine
- Passadumkeag Maine
- Springfield Maine
- Winn Maine