Seaplanes on Moosehead Lake

After our summer in Canada, we decided to start off with fall in Maine. We chose an RV park in Medway so that we'd be close to the airport in Bangor (about an hour away). However we also wanted to be close to the highest mountain in Maine, Mount Katahdin.

After parking the RV in late August, Annette headed to Salt Lake City to work with the Jordon School District in Sandy, Utah. Then, we both flew to Dallas for nephew Alex's Baptism on Labor Day Weekend.

Between Annette's hearing problem, travel, and the beginning of the semester, we were swamped with work when we got back from Dallas. After a week of nonstop catchup work in front of the computer, we decided it was time for another break.

seaplane closeupThe Day Trip

Annette got on the Internet and explored festivals we might attend in Maine.

She found the International Seaplane Fly-in Festival on Saturday, September 11 in Greenville, Maine on Moosehead Lake. Let's go!

Our trip began with a drive through Millinocket and down a backroad. A cute little rest stop on the side of the road at Partridge Cove provided a great view of Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine.


Katahdin Ironworks State Historic Site

Just north of Brownsville Junction, we turned west onto a dirt road and found the Katahdin Ironworks. The facilities were built in 1843 and produced 2000 tons of raw iron per year.

Katahdin Ironworksinside furnace

Much bigger than the furnaces we'd seek in the midwest, the area includes a restored blast furnace (above) and a brick charcoal kiln (below). At one time there were fourteen kilns.

Katahdin Ironworks kiln


The Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest Area

Maine contains a strange mix of private and public land. For example rather than driving the long way to Greenville, we paid admission to drive the gravel road through the Jo-Mary Multiple Use Forest Area. This is a privately owned, commercial forest that allows hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and logging for a fee.

It was like if you fenced off the area between the old family farms in Iowa and started charging to drive the gravel roads from Coon Rapids to Jefferson. Or, charge to hunt pheasant in their corn fields or to dry camp along Willow Creek. It cost us $12 to drive a gravel road through a wooded area where people could camp, hunt, or whatever. We just wanted to get from Millinocket to Greenville.

Our drive took us across the Appalachian Trail and we soon arrived in downtown Greenville.


Seaplane Festival

We parked on the side of the road and walked to the pier. We spent some time watching the seaplanes fly low over the town and land on Moosehead Lake.

Plane over Greenville to Moosehead Lake

The events included takes-offs, landings, accuracy "bomb" drops, stop landings, and much more!

Seaplane takeoff

It was fun to listen to the roar of the engines and search the skies for their approach. There were usually two or three in the air above us at once. Sometimes three or four planes would fly side by side above the town and lake.

There were many different kinds of planes such as Cessnas, DeHavilland, and the ultralite below.

UltraliteUltralite in air

We also browsed the many craft booths. Annette bought a bright red hand-made cotton sweater. The woman who made the sweater said that technically it was made on a machine and finished by hand, but we won't be picky. Larry bought a compass embedded in a piece of deer antler from Maine Antler Design. It's much more handy than getting out the GPS for simple directions!

Seaplane in Greenville



The little town of Greenville had some great shops. We bought play clothes at the local outfitter and browsed the gift shops. A booth was selling BBQ pork, beef, and chicken. We sat on the grass enjoying our BBQ pork, corn on the cob, and fresh lemonade, while we watched the planes fly over and land on the lake in front of us. On the way back to the Jeep, we stopped for some Moose Tracks ice cream at the Dairy Bar. The building below is at the main intersection in downtown Greenville. The lake is directly behind it.

Greenville Maine

As evening came, we decided to head back to the campground before dark.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/04.