When you are looking for a simple, yet remote, getaway in Maine, you should think of the East Grand Lake region in Aroostook County. Bordering New Brunswick, Canada, East Grand lake is 22 miles long and up to four miles wide. This is an ideal spot for ATVing, fishing, hunting, watersports, or just hanging out on the lake.
Who would be interested making the East Grand Lake Region a home for their Maine vacation? Many people! Especially if…
Probably one of the best reasons to vacation in this area is that you and your family can have a meaningful vacation on a budget!
Here is what to expect from the East Grand Lake Region
The East Grand Lake area is remote. Even in the busiest time of the year, East Grand Lake will represent a great place to get away and not have to be surrounded by crowds of people or lakes that are too busy. The lake is so large that you can go where you want to go and not have to worry about boat traffic.
There are a multitude of boat landings. You may want a GPS if your intention is to explore the lake as some coves look alike and it would be easy to get lost on the water if you do not know the landmarks. Each cove is going to have its own nuances. Be sure to ask your host or others if there are any shallow areas and/or rocks that you need to be aware of as you travel in and out of a selected cove. Typically, just stay toward the center and you are going to be fine.
According to Maine’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (https://www.maine.gov/ifw/docs/lake-survey-maps/aroostook/grand_lake_east.pdf), the following fish exist in East Grand Lake:
Fishing licenses are required for those 16 and over with resident licenses costing $25 and non-resident licenses costing $64. One, three, seven, and 15-day licenses are also available and, as of 2021, range in price from $11 to $47. Combo hunting and fishing licenses are also available. Anyone interested in these licenses should visit this page: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/fishing/laws-rules/license-requirements.html.
Fishing and boating are probably two of the most common attractions to the East Grand Lake region. Unless you plan to bring your own boat, be sure to ask your host about boat rentals prior to making your reservations. Some rentals may include boat access. Even if you decide to bring your own boat, you should be sure to read up about using watercraft in Maine’s lakes and rivers. You can find this information here: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fishing-boating/boating/protection-sticker.html. Whatever you decide, always comply with the law. Your host will be able to steer you in the right direction if you have any questions.
Cottage rentals are in abundance along the shoreline of East Grand Lake. On the United States side of the border, access can be had through multiple Maine towns, like Orient, Weston, and Danforth. So, when you search for lodging, be sure to include these towns in your search. Additionally, searching for specific coves can be an assistance. Some coves in which you may find lodging include:
However, when searching for coves, you need to be aware that there is often confusion about coves and their locations. For example, Dark Cove Road does eventually get to Dark Cove, but it is really coming in on Butterfield Landing. One place to lodge near, but not on, Dark Cove is Rideout’s Lodge and Cottages, which is technically closer to Davenport Cove than Dark Cove.
An abundance of cottage options can be found on Greenland Cove. When looking at Google Maps, you will find that there are two sides to Greenland Cove. Specifically, you can look for lodging either on the Boulder Road or Greenland Cove Road. You will find Greenland Cove Cabins is located on the east side of the cove and Cowger’s Lakefront Cabins on west side. There are many other options as well. On the east side there is a camping option by way of Greenland Cove Campground.
If you cannot find a cottage rental to your liking from the places listed above, you might find what you are looking for as a rental through AirBnB like Greenland Cove Coastal Cabin. This is a simple cabin getaway for a couple or small family. Plus, it is located on a secluded 16 acres of land.
With the limited number of restaurants in the area, you might need to plan out meals. However, you can pick up a hearty breakfast at the Mill Yard, which also serves great sandwiches, and you can pick up a lunch to go. Along with pizza, sandwiches, subs, they also serve some great homestyle cooking.
If you find yourself with too much downtime, you can plan a quick day trip out to Eastport/Lubec area. Without getting into the debate on which is the easternmost town of the United States, I can tell you for certain that it is a great place to get some seafood! Whether lobster, clams, shrimp, or anything else from the sea, you can pick from a multitude of restaurants and find something for the picky eater as well.
On your way back, be sure to check out the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. You can drive through the refuge with excellent changes on seeming some wildlife, like moose, deer, and ducks.
Some examples of what lodging might cost:
Cowger’s Lakefront Cabins can range from $400/week for a cabin that sleeps two up $800/week for a three-bedroom cabin that sleeps eight.
Rideout’s can range from $675 through $1500/week (from a studio-style cabin up to seven bedrooms).
Living Waters Bible Conference has campsites, cottages, and a few motel rooms available. Prices will vary, but cottage rates are around $675/week (which includes many activities that the camp offers). Tent and RV sites are also available.
Greenland Cove Campground offers tent and RV sites at economical rates. Additionally, they have a swimming pool and other campground amenities.
For a place to stay that is not directly on the water, First Settlers Lodge has a few rooms available and is a perfect place to wind down at the end of the day.
Greenland Cove Cabins offers various cabins ranging from $450/week to $1200/week for a cabin that sleeps eight people. Nightly options are available at as little as $105/night. So, even if you don’t have a week, you can affordably stay 2 or 3 nights and still have a great time on the lake.
Still, another great option would be Wheaton’s Lodge. For $167 per person per night, you can get your lodging, three full meals each day and access to everything the facilities have to offer. This includes kayaks, bicycles, basketball court, canoes, and more. Powered boat rentals are also available (at a rental fee of as low as $75/day). Wheaton’s Lodge also has a guide service available at $325/day.
Why does vacationing in the East Grand Lake Region seem like a well-guarded secret?
One thing you need to know about Maine is that it is a vast state. Though places like Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park dominate the search engines for best places to vacation in our glorious state, the reality is that vacations in all forms can be found across the state. It is all in what you want. When searching on any of the major search engines, take time to dig into the search results on pages two through 10. You might be surprised in what Maine has to offer.
Will I be satisfied with my Maine vacation?
Many people do not want to take risks with their Maine vacations and their hard-earned vacation dollars. If you are on the fence about taking a risk, then here is an article that might encourage you to take a step. Live Your Vacation Dream, not someone else’s.
Hanging out at the lake is not your thing?
If you are ready for even more adventure, you might want to consider Canoe the Wild. Owned and operated by David Conley and backed with over 30 years experiences, Canoe the Wild outfits full adventures into the Allagash Waterway, St. Croix River, Penobscot River, and Machias River.
Wilderness Escape Outfitters, owned and operated by Randy and Sharon Flannery, is a 4-season outfitter offering fishing, hunting, and even winter activities (like snowmobiling).
Thank you for taking the time to entertain the idea of a remote vacation in Maine.