Mount Kineo State Park is an 800-acre public lands area on the shores of Moosehead Lake. The end of the peninsula where the park is located is reached by boat.
The mainland end is almost an hour and a half drive from Greenville and three hours from Bangor. The easiest way to get to the park is via a shuttle boat from Rockwood. More on that later in this posting.
This is a popular northern Maine destination with spectacular views from the top of Mount Kineo. Even the view of this rock edifice from the water is amazing as it can be seen from all over!
This Maine state park is a destination for hikers with both easy and moderate trails taking you to the top.
Activities at Mount Kineo State Park
The park’s main activities are hiking, birding, boating, and fishing. The site has historical and geological interest for those who are so inclined. After all, this has been a destination dating back centuries when native people came here to collect rhyolite for making arrowheads and tools.
Regardless of which activities interest you, one key message for all is “be prepared.” After all, you’re at Moosehead Lake which is an alpine lake at a northern latitude. It’s also massive and rather remote, including limited or no cell service. While all of this adds to your sense of adventure and stepping back in time, a wise traveler is prepared.
Boating at Mount Kineo State Park
The most direct water route is from Rockwood where there’s a public boat launch. Regardless of what type of craft you use, read up first on Moosehead Lake’s conditions as they can quickly change. That applies as well to riding the shuttle boats that go from Rockwood over to Mount Kineo.
Water and wind conditions can also determine the number of passengers a captain will transport. The same factors affect departure and arrival times. Be sure to get off the trails on time to catch the boat back to Rockwood.
Swimming at Mount Kineo State Park
Yes, you can take a dip in the water at Hardscrabble Point. Just keep an eye out for choppy waves, chilly water, and unsure or slippery footing.
Hiking at Mount Kineo State Park
Hiking is likely the main reason you want to visit this unique park. Adventure and scenery await you, including climbing the fire tower at the top of Mount Kineo. There are sweeping view of the lake and over the edge of the mountain’s magnificent sheer face with its 700-foot cliffs.
You’re in for a treat as the trails here are rated easy to moderate. Added to that, they wind around the park as they lead you up the grade on varied surfaces. Please note that some are more rugged and rooted, thus requiring extra careful footing. You can enjoy winter adventures here as you arrive via snowmobile or snowshoe once the ice is safe. Be prepared for a long day.
Biking at Mount Kineo State Park
Biking is not a featured activity here. It’s worthwhile to check in on the Maine Outdoor Alliance as the group is intent on promoting mountain biking in the area. And there certainly are public roads around the lake that are suitable for cycling.
Fishing at Mount Kineo State Park
Hardscrabble Point at the northwest end of the peninsula is a suitable fishing spot. You’re most likely to reel in landlocked salmon, togue, or brook trout. Trolling is common in this deep lake. Fishing around here is in Maine’s Northern Zone, so you’re obliged to follow those inland fishing laws.
You can also check out Maine’s Angling Tool to assure your outing goes well. That includes ice fishing adventures off the park’s peninsula.
Birding at Mount Kineo State Park
Peregrine falcons are the main bird attraction at the park. That’s in part because they were successfully reintroduced here in the late 1980s. They live on Mount Kineo’s ledges and dive for their prey in the waters below.
From the park’s shoreline you’re likely to see Canada geese, common loons, mergansers, kingfishers, ducks, and heron during the warmer months. The wooded areas are inhabited by partridge and the owls that live here year round, including the barred, great horned, and northern saw-whet. You’re likely to spot a variety of warblers plus boreal chickadees.
Nature & Wildlife at Mount Kineo State Park
The park and its expansive surroundings are known for wildlife. The list of course includes moose, bear, and deer. Added to that, there are Canada lynx, bobcats, fox, fishers, weasels, porcupine, and ground hogs. The bear and ground hog hibernate during winter with a few of the others hiding out during bad storms. Otherwise, they’re out and about.
Pets at Mount Kineo State Park
Your leashed pet is welcome here, including on all the trails. Please clean up and use extra caution with your fur buddy near the cliffs.
Camping at Mount Kineo State Park
Although camping is not listed on the Mount Kineo State Park site, there are three public land primitive sites noted on the Moosehead Lake Shoreline Guide. These are at Hardscrabble Point and are first come, first served.
Your best bet is to call the designated Bureau of Public Lands office at (207) 778-8231 before setting out. Or look into camping at Lily Bay State Park where there are almost 90 campsites for tents or RVs and two boat launches.
Mount Kineo State Park
Greenville, ME 04441
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Aroostook State Park: