This beautiful North Woods lake offers a host of family-friendly activities to pursue. Text & Photos by Tom Richardson

Exploring Millinocket Lake, Maine

By Tom Richardson; Photography by Tom Richardson
Millinocket Lake is an ideal paddling spot.

Nine miles west of Millinocket, the former paper-mill town in north-central Maine, is Millinocket Lake (not to be confused with the much more remote Lake Millinocket, just north of Baxter State Park). The nearly pristine waterbody is remarkably free of shoreline development, and offers spectacular views of Mount Katahdin to the northwest. Boat traffic is light, even during summer, adding to the lake’s serenity and making it a delightful spot for kayaking and canoeing. A noteworthy feature of the lake are the two remote sandy beaches on the northeast shore. These spots are only accessible by boat, making them ideal for shore lunches and swimming.

A pair of sandy beaches can be found on the lake’s northeast shore.

As for fishing, the lake is home to white and yellow perch, landlocked salmon, and togue (lake trout), although angling pressure is light.

Powerboaters and paddlers can access the lake via a free launch on the southwestern shore, just off the Golden Road.

A great place to stay on Millinocket is Twin Pines Cabins, a series of comfortable, clean and well-appointed housekeeping cabins that sleep anywhere from 4 to 6 people. Located on Millinocket’s southern shore, Twin Pines makes a great destination for family reunions, and offers fire pits, outdoor grills, volleyball nets, powerboat and kayak rental, sauna, and an onsite restaurant (the River Driver’s Restaurant & Pub). Many visitors use the Cabins as a basecamp for whitewater rafting trips on the Penobscot River, as the property is owned by the New England Outdoor Center, a large rafting and paddling outfitter.

The New England Outdoor Center offers cabin rentals on the lake and has an onsite restaurant.