Mount Kineo is an 800 foot tall peninsular mountain rising dramatically from the depths of Maine’s Moosehead Lake. The majestic peninsula, located on the north east side of the lake, offers a fascinating history, miles of hiking trails, a golf course, and stunning views.
There’s so much to do at Moosehead Lake that it can be hard to know where to begin. One attraction you should definitely put at the top of your list is Mount Kineo State Park.
People have been traveling from far and wide to visit the lake-bound mountain since the last ice age. Native Americans came here for the area’s plentiful fish and game. They also valued the profuse deposits of rhyolite they found in the mountain’s cliffs; a flint-like stone used for tools, weapons, and trade.
European settlers, too, were drawn to Mount Kineo. By the mid 1800’s, Henry David Thoreau and Teddy Roosevelt had visited and what was then America’s largest inland waterfront hotel sprang up on Kineo’s shores. While the hotel is now long gone, the nearby golf course, thought to be New England’s second oldest, still remains.
Today, Mount Kineo is primarily known for its stunning views of Moosehead Lake and the surrounding countryside.
One of main attractions on Mount Kineo are the hiking trails.
Four trails combine to loop around the peninsula, creating a 6.1 mile network of trails that lead to the mountain’s summit.
All the trails are rated easy to moderate, meaning just about anyone can reach the summit. Here you’ll stunning, 360-degree views of the lake and region. Those wishing for even greater elevation can ascend the old fire tower converted to a viewing platform. It’s a precarious climb but the view is worth it: WOW!
The rest of the trails lead around the peninsula to other scenic overlooks and points of interest. Wildlife lovers and photographers will find plenty to keep their attention.
Mount Kineo Golf Course
Mount Kineo Golf Course, thought to be the second oldest golf course in New England, was built in the 1890’s. It was originally constructed to accompany the iconic Kineo House Hotel, which was the country’s largest inland waterfront hotel at the time. While you can no longer get a room in the hotel, you can still play a round of golf.
The historic and well-maintained nine hole course is par 36 with 3000+ yards. Each hole offers a new challenge and the unique greens provide a serene and picturesque experience you will not soon forget.
Mount Kineo Golf Course is restricted to active players with no walk or ride-alongs permitted. Visit the golf course website for more information.
Though Mt. Kineo is on a peninsula, not an island, the only easy way to reach it is by boat from Rockwood Landing in Rockwood, ME. While there is a road that leads along the east shore of the lake to the peninsula, it runs through privately-owned lands where motor vehicles are prohibited.
The Kineo Shuttle boat in Rockwood runs many times a day, May through October. The crossing only takes 10 to 15 minutes, depending on conditions, but the ride can be excitingly rough.
Mount Kineo State Park is open all year, 9am to sunset, daily unless otherwise posted. A small, day-use fee is required to enter the park. Visit the state park’s official website for more information.