Mt. Kineo

Rockwood Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 68 › view all entries
Looking down upon the Kineo Hotel

Since we find ourselves around Moosehead Lake after visiting Moxie Falls, there is another interesting hike nearby.  Mt. Kineo is a small, but dramatic peak rising about 800 feet over the lake.  Moosehead Lake is enormous, boasting over 400 miles of shoreline, and there is a tower at the summit of Mt. Kineo that offers amazing views of this beautiful lake and the pine forests of Central Maine.


In addition to stunning views, Mt. Kineo has a fascinating history.  The mountain was renowned by Native Americans because it is basically a huge pile of flint, early raw material for tools and starting fires.

A view of the peninsula where the Kineo Hotel is on the path back
  Tribes would send people from over a thousand miles away to trade for this valuable resource.  The peak is named after a local chief who was so heartless and spiteful that he actually got kicked out of his tribe and lived the rest of his life as an outcast on the mountain.


After Henry David Thoreau visited Mt. Kineo and regaled its natural beauty, a small hotel was built along the shore and eventually became a sizable resort, the Kineo Hotel (it had almost 300 rooms!).  When I hiked Mt. Kineo in 1993, the hotel was still there, abandoned but still in fairly decent shape and gigantic (it has since been razed).


The only problem with Mt.

Mt. Kineo from Rockwood Cottages (where we caught our boat across the lake)
Kineo might be getting there.  It sits on a peninsula jutting into the lake and is encircled by privately held land (owned by paper mills).  The only way to get to the trailhead is by boat and we contacted Rockwood Cottages to reserve a ride out and back.  Rockwood is the small village just across the lake from the trailhead --- to get there just head twenty miles north of Greenville on Rt. 15.  I’ve heard there is now a shuttle boat service with regular hours for $8 round trip, though we found it very easy to arrange things with Rockwood Cottages,  including requesting our pick-up time.  Asking for the boat to return in five hours was just about perfect – we had plenty of time to make the summit, return and even explore the Kineo Hotel a bit.


There are several trails to choose from, the one we picked skirted the spectacular flint cliffs most of the way (I think this was called the Indian Trail, and if I haven’t mentioned this earlier, I would rate this a ‘medium’ hike, requiring you to pack water and pay attention on the trail!).  At the top is a fire tower, which was fairly new back in 1993.  We spent some time absorbing the views from this crow’s nest --- you could see all of Moosehead Lake, which is quite a span!  Our return was more wooded, with only occasional cliff skipping.


Another off-the-beaten-path hike that comes highly recommended, so long as you remember to bring some deet along.  We hit this trail in May and the mosquito’s and black flies would have been deadly without!!!

WaltJake says:
You really know how to find all the hidden places!
Posted on: Aug 24, 2008
mellemel8 says:
i love maine :)
Posted on: Feb 05, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Looking down upon the Kineo Hotel
Looking down upon the Kineo Hotel
A view of the peninsula where the …
A view of the peninsula where the…
Mt. Kineo from Rockwood Cottages (…
Mt. Kineo from Rockwood Cottages …
Returning to Rockwood...
Returning to Rockwood...
Moosehead Lake from the tower on K…
Moosehead Lake from the tower on …
Moose caution!  (if you noticed th…
Moose caution! (if you noticed t…
photo by: vances