Ten Exciting Places To Enjoy Yourself Absolutely Free
There are several excellent facilities in Washington County which are open to the public at no charge. All that is asked is that visitors leave the areas clean and unspoiled.
Depending on the location of the site, provisions have been made so that people of all ages may enjoy picnicking, tenting, boat launching ramps, fishing, hiking and swimming.
Following is a brief description of each development to which you are cordially invited.
Washington County Maine -
Washington County - A Look At Downeast Maine
- East Grand Lake in Danforth: This is a boat landing, with facilities for tenting, picnicking and launching and retrieving boats. The landing is in a choice location on this 28-miles-long lake near Greenland Cove and a three-mile graveled road provides access from Route 1 south of Danforth. The fishing is superb.
- Pocomoonshine Lake in South Princeton: A short graveled road leads to a boat launching ramp and small picnic area. Boating on both Pocomoonshine Lake and Crawford Lake, which is reached by a connecting stream, and fishing is great.
- On Lewey Lake in Princeton: Right in the heart of town there is a parking area, small beach, boat launching ramp, picnic tables with benches and shelters and a roped-off swimming area complete with floats.
- On Crawford Lake in Crawford: A winding graveled road takes you from Route 9 to Crawford Lake where a lovely picnicking and tenting area, complete with fireplaces, firewood and rest rooms, is provided. A spacious parking area leads to a sandy beach where boats may be launched or retrieved. This provides access to some of the real good bass fishing in the East Machias River watershed and from here one can also reach Pocomoonshine Lake.
- At Grand Lake Stream: A beautiful village tucked ten miles into the deep woods, there are picnicking sites and in the town itself is a swimming beach and a special spot where you can launch your canoe or outboard boat. This is the heart of a group of lakes and streams known for their clean sparkling waters, uncrowded shores and superb fishing. Bass, salmon and togue, pickerel and white perch are plentiful in the area's lakes and streams. The Grand Lake Big Lake neck of the woods is ideally suited to the avid sportsman and to the family wishing to spend a day or a week or more in the outdoors.
- The Reversing Salt Water Falls at West Pembroke: A two mile long graveled road has been built into this uniquely beautiful natural wonder and on the Park's 140 acres have been provided hiking trails, picnic spots with fireplaces and sanitary facilities. It is here that the incoming tidal current passes between Mahar's Point and Falls Island, a few hundred feet distant, to alternately fill and empty both Dennys and Whiting Bays. As the salt water flows along at upwards of 25 knots, it strikes a series of rocky projections which cause an actual set of falls.
- The Machias River at Machias: A launching ramp has been built right on Route 1 just east of the business section of the town. This is the most conveniently located, and possibly the only small craft launching ramp in western Washington County which provides access to the salt water. From this spot a boating or fishing enthusiast may travel the scenic Machias River and connect with Machias Bay, Little Machias Bay, Holes Bay and, of course, the entire Atlantic seaboard if he wishes. This is a favorite spot for Atlantic Salmon fishermen as well as for those who wish to deep sea fish.
- On Six Mile Lake at Marshfield: Located just six miles from Machias on Route 192 is Six Mile Lake where a picnicking area with fireplaces and wood, shelters and a boat launching ramp. This lake has been reclaimed by the Inland Fish & Game Department and excellent trout fishing may be enjoyed here.
- At West Quoddy Head, Lubec: At the easternmost point in the continental United States is the 400-acre West Quoddy Head State Park which is adjacent to the famed candy-striped West Quoddy Head lighthouse. A large parking area, benches, picnicking tables and shelters and hiking trails have been built for the public. The park, which sits high on rocky cliffs, offers spectacular vistas of smashing surf and the rugged headlands of nearby Campobello and Grand Manan islands.
A Little Washington County History -
At Machias the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War was fought - a land and sea action which resulted in the British schooner "Margaretta" being captured by the American residents with the loss of only one man on the American side. The captain of the British craft died that night in the Burnham Tavern, a well-preserved example of a colonial inn now open to visitors. The oldest building east of Bangor, it's maintained by the local D.A.R.
Everyone Loves Blueberries -
Washington County, responsible for more than 90 percent of the nation's blueberry crop, is the world's largest producer. The glacially formed "barrens", vast rolling plains of sandy soil, are perfect for raising wild, lowbush blueberries. Thus, the growing, harvesting and processing of the blueberry is a major industry in Washington County. Nearly a quarter million acres of barrens yield an average of 30 million pounds of blueberries annually, all of which are canned within the county.
Sport Hunting in Washington County -
The face of this land is a succession of valleys with ridges between, stretching from the Narraguagus to the St. Croix and beyond. The rivers that drain the valleys are born of spring-fed lakes and ponds that lie embossed in the highlands to the north, hidden away in the forests of pine and spruce, of balsam fir and hemlock. These are the haunts of the whitetail deer, the black bear and the moose, and this is the land where they are sought by the hundreds of hunters who venture forth come fall.
Native American Indian History -
Although the earliest European settlers found Indians of the great Algonquin stock throughout Maine, evidence unearthed and correlated in the last fifty years has firmly established the belief that these Algonquin tribes had been preceded by an earlier, different group of men who are called Pre-Algonquin or Red Paint People. Red Paint People have been so named because each of their ancient graves contains from less than two quarts to a bushel of brilliant ocher, usually red but occasionally yellow or brown. The burial with the bodies of ocher (a mineral from which paint may be made) and stone implements, which are unlike Indian implements, distinguishes these people.
Natural Wonders -
TIDES: The greatest rise and fall of tides on the shores of the continental United States occur along the Washington County coast. The tall pilings at Jonesport, Lubec and Eastport attest to the gigantic fluctuations of the ocean's level where 18-foot variations are average. Actually, the greatest tides occur way up the St. Croix River at Calais where the average is 20 feet. At certain times of the year, however, the water level will vary 28 feet every six hours or close to one inch every minute!
Beaches And Tidal Pools -
No visit to Washington County would be complete without the thrill of discovering the beauty of the beaches and rocky cliffs that form the boundary between the pounding sea and the land. This narrow band between the low and high water mark is a world of its own populated with plant and animal life peculiarly adapted to living part of each day submerged by the ocean water and the rest of the time exposed to the drying sun and wind. The scene is an ever changing one as each tide slowly rearranges the pattern of the rocks, the sand and the residue from the sea.
Campobello Island -
Campobello Island, N.B. is nine miles long and about three miles wide. It has two fishing villages, Welshpool and Wilson's Beach, both of them home port to many colorful vessels which go out many miles to catch fish. After you go through customs and get a friendly nod you'll climb a hill. When you get to the top, stop and turn around so you can take in the view of Lubec, Maine across the "Narrows", where, according to the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the strongest tidal currents on the east coast flow --around 12 knots or 15 miles an hour.
Ten Exciting Places To Enjoy Yourself Absolutely Free -
There are several excellent facilities in Washington County which are open to the public at no charge. All that is asked is that visitors leave the areas clean and unspoiled. Depending on the location of the site, provisions have been made so that people of all ages may enjoy picnicking, tenting, boat launching ramps, fishing, hiking and swimming.
Moosehorn Wildlife Refuge -
The Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, an area comprising 28,686 acres, was established in 1937 for the protection, study, perpetuation and management of certain species of wildlife, particularly waterfowl and other migratory birds, in the area. Moosehorn is the only one of more than 540 national wildlife refuges that is devoted to the study and management of the American woodcock.
Five Great Places To Hike -
If you're looking for some interesting hiking trails, you've come to the right place. Here are five locations you might want to try some of these.
Washington County Wildflowers -
From the time the first Mayflower blooms between the patches of melting snow on the sunny hillsides until late in the fall the great natural lands of Washington County are filled with hundreds of varieties of wild flowers and greens. Plants have structures and abilities which suit them for living in particular environments and therefore each distinct area of seashore, woods, fields and roadsides brings forth its own individual bouquet.
Points Of Interest -
When the phrase Down East came into common usage is unknown but some historians feel the description goes into the early 1600's. It is rather a puzzling phrase but as you can see from examining a map, the coast of Maine does go east but, at the same time, it runs northward too, or up. However, what early explorers quickly found out was that the prevailing winds blew from the southwest, as they do today. Therefore, they most frequently sailed with, or down the wind, as they moved to the eastward. Thence, Down East.
The Glaciers Did It -
A million or more years ago the world grew very cold. Great sheets of ice formed over the northern lands, retreated, grew again, drew back and for the third time advanced far south of what is now Maine. As recently as 15,000 years ago there were tongues of the huge glaciers extending into Washington County.
The Communities Of Washington County -
St. Croix Island, set about midway between the United States and Canada in the beautiful St. Croix River, was the scene of the first white settlement in the New World north of St. Augustine, Fla. It was here, in 1604, that Samuel Champlain and his fellow French explorer, Sieur de Monts, led a band of about 100 soldiers and traders and spent the winter. It was from this island that Champlain explored the coast of New England as far south as Cape Cod.
Boat Launch Sites -
Washington County has some pretty good boat launching ramps on lakes and the salt water. Here is a fairly complete list of the fresh water launching sites.
Salt Water Fishing -
A salt water sports fisherman, to borrow author Kenneth Roberts' words; "has always with him the clean, salt tang of the sea, the roar of waves on the ledges, the fatalistic scrutiny of clownish seagulls and is never annoyed by mosquitoes, black flies, midges or horseflies." A description which should knock fresh water fishing into a cocked hat, but won't. Nevertheless, salt water fishing in the county can offer every member of the family some wonderful thrills whether you cast from a ledge or wharf or dangle a line from one of the charter boats that ply from Red Beach, Jonesport, Cutler or Eastport. The fish to be caught include flounder, sculpin, cod, pollock, smelt, mackerel, halibut, sea bass or "stripers" and tuna, although tuna are very rare. In fishing for flounders, we notice that the most successful fishermen use worms, either the garden or sand variety; this keeps the bait from being eaten by the sculpins.
State Parks -
Washington County offers several nice public parks including the ones listed on this page.