Down East 2013 ©
Photograph by Susan Cole Kelly
This wild river wends through one of the largest outdoor recreational areas east of the Mississippi, a natural wonderland with 1,200 miles of hiking trails and twenty-three campgrounds. The whole of it encompasses 784,000 acres west of Augusta, an area about four times the size of Baxter State Park. And very few people know it’s in Maine. This picturesque waterway, a tributary of a major river, cuts through the woodland’s eastern edge, an area of mountains and gorges. Its 17.2-mile run takes it through a small logging company town named for the man who ran the place, a Civil War major whose family had deep roots in a western mountain town. The U.S. Forest Service purchased 41,000 acres from the major’s enterprise in 1914, making this area public land. Today the region is popular with fly-fishermen, campers, and hikers, who enjoy the footbridge shown here and the neighboring Appalachian Trail. The river itself typically dries up in late summer and fall, but it remains as photogenic as ever as the hardwoods explode into color. Can you identify the river and the town it’s in? Send us a note at P.O. Box 679, Camden, ME 04843; whip off an email to email@example.com; or post a comment at DownEast.com if you can identify this autumnal waterway.