Down East Region

The Down East region of Maine basically encompasses the northeast part of Hancock County and all of Washington County.  Known as the Sunrise County, due its being the most eastern most piece of land in the United States, it is the only region of the Maine Woods that reaches from the ocean to great forests filled with lakes, rivers and mountains, and with only a few inland towns on Route 9, better known as the Airline, and Route 6 in the northern part of the county.

The Grand Lake chain was the first focus of fishing in this region, especially known for its salmon.  Unfortunately in the mid-eighteenth century, due to the vast amount of hemlock trees, a tannery operated at Grand Lake Village and made fishing very poor due the increase of tanic acid in Grand Lake Stream.  Once the tanning business closed, the river regained its health and it then became a center for fishing, with several sporting hotels and camps operating within the village at the head of Grand Lake Stream.

The problem for sportsmen was getting to Grand Lake, but a stage coach business began operating from the railroad at Bangor, which went across the Airline, bringing more and more sportsmen.  Later camps were built at Great Pond, Alligator Lake, Mopang Lake, Nicatous Lake, Duck Lake Sysladobsis Lake and Pleasant Lakes.  As the railroads got built it opened up sportsmen to the region around Princeton and the Chipputnecook Lake Chain on the Canadian border.

Today some of the sporting camps that are still operating are Great Pond Wilderness Lodge, Nicatous Lodge, The Pines on Sysladobsis, and Wheaton’s and Rideout’s Camps in the Vanceboro region.  There are a cluster of camps offering hospitality at Grand Lake – Grand Lake Lodge, Leen’s Lodge, Indian Rock Camps and Weathby’s, with Chet’s Camps nearby on Big Lake.