Golden Road Review
For a scenic backwoods trip, travel the Golden Road from Greenville east toward Baxter State Park and Millinocket (about 4½ hours with stops). This private logging road (no fee) is reportedly named for the large amount of money it took the Great Northern Paper Company to build it.
From downtown Greenville, take Lily Bay Road north to teeny-tiny Kokadjo, tucked at the end of lake-size First Roach Pond. You can grab a bite or shop for a souvenir at Kokadjo Restaurant & Trading Post, which rents waterfront cabins and is an outfitter (canoe and kayak rentals; snowmobile rentals and guided trips; guided ATV trips). Shortly after the "pond," bear left on the dirt Sias Hill/Greenville Road, taking this to its end, then turn right on the Golden Road (it soon becomes paved but is quite rough in places). Note: keep to the right, as logging trucks have the right of way.
Turn left on Rip Dam Road to drive across Ripogenus Dam, at the head of Ripogenus Lake (east of Chesuncook Lake) and granite-walled Ripogenus Gorge, about 20 mi northeast of Kokadjo. The turnaround north of the dam has the best gorge views. The Penobscot River drops more than 70 feet per mile through the gorge, giving white-water rafters a hold-on-for-your-life ride. The best spot to watch the rafters is from the overlook at the rock-choked Crib Works Rapid (a Class V rapid). To get there, continue on the Golden Road and turn left on Telos Road. The parking area is to the right immediately after the single-lane bridge (don't stop or loiter on the bridge, this is also a logging road).
Returning to the Golden Road, take photos of Mt. Katahdin from the footbridge alongside one-lane Abol Bridge—this view is famed. Park well off the road: either at the parking area before the bridge or just beyond it at Abol Bridge Campground and Store (there's also a restaurant, Abol Bridge Grill). Continuing on the Golden Road, turn left at North Woods Trading Post to connect with Baxter Park Road; turn left again for the park or right for Millinocket. From here, you can return to Greenville in about 2½ hours by taking Route 11 south to Milo, then Route 6 west (Route 15 north joins the highway in Dover-Foxcroft).
- Address: Greenville, ME
- Location: Greenville
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