Maine is criss-crossed with miles and miles of scenic highways and back roads that lead from the mountains to the ocean, from quiet inlet bays to secluded wooded glens set back far into the endless forests and woodlands for which Maine is so well known.
In fact, the Federal Department of Transportation through its National Scenic Byways Program has officially designated four Maine roadways as Scenic Byways and gave one – the Acadia Byway – its highest honor as an All-American Road.
The four roadways, and the description given each by the National Scenic Byways Committee are as follows:
The Acadia Byway
Accesses Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island. Captivating vistas will surround you from craggy shorelines and granite-capped mountains to crystal lakes and old growth forests. This island is perfect for exploring, with extensive carriage roads and hiking trails giving access to all areas of Acadia National Park.
The Old Canada Road Scenic Byway
Snapshot in time. Tracing the route of generations of travelers between Maine and Quebec, this segment of Route 201 is one of the most beautiful in the northeast. This scenic corridor winds right alongside the Kennebec River, Wyman Lake, the Dead River and vast working forests. Due to its remote and unspoiled character, this is a spectacular place.
The Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway
Composed of Route 17 and Route 4 and runs through the mountains of western Maine. The route offers fantastic vistas of the rugged mountains and cascading rivers and streams. The area has a rich history from ancient settlers to the logging industry that shapes its character today.
The Schoodic Scenic Byway
Travels through one of the last frontiers on the eastern seaboard (along Route 1 and 186 from Sullivan to Prospect Harbor). This region has many protected and private lands that are maintained as open space and agriculture to reveal an unspoiled and “real” Maine. Pass through a working landscape of lobstering, clamming, blueberry barons and timberland.