New England Scenic Byway: Old Canada Road 201

The Old Canada Road (U.S Route 201) is a scenic byway connecting Quebec with Skowhegan, Maine. It follows the Kennebec river and the old trading routes of the Abenaki native tribe, who were original to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. After European colonists arrived, many tribe members fled to the Quebec region, while few remained in Maine. To this day, the old road is still an important trade route between Canada and the US. In the fall, it offers travelers miles of enchantment and many scenic stops along the way.

We crossed the border from Canada into the US at Sandy Bay check point. The customs official chatted with us briefly and decided to take a quick peek inside of our RV. When she opened our fridge, a strong odor escaped. I felt compelled to explain that we had purchased some Camembert cheese from Canada, which was to blame for the stench…. She nodded and quickly made her way out of the vehicle.

Just past the border, we stopped at a quiet and scenic picnic area labeled Jim Mac Falls. Only a short hike away, The Falls collect water from several streams and drop 45 feet in a series of horsetail waterfalls.

We passed through Jackman and chuckled at the sign on Northland Hotel: “If you don’t stop, smile on the way by.” I wish we had more time to explore the route and attractions such as The Forks, Moxie Falls, and the Appalachian Trail at Caratunk. Here are some ideas for a future trip and further exploration: Scenic Byway 201 things to see. I didn’t expect to see so many lakes in Maine, so I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the state, displaying glorious fall colors during our early November visit.

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