Thoreau Wabanaki Festival 2022

Gain a deeper understanding and connection to the Maine wilderness during Thoreau Wabanaki Festival 2022. This popular, annual festival celebrates Henry David Thoreau’s trips to Maine and the culture and heritage of the Wabanaki people. July 20th to July 25th, 2022 in Greenville, ME.

Naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862) first visited Mount Katahdin in August of 1846, led by backwoods guides. Entranced, he returned twice more, once in 1853 and again in 1857, guided by Penobscot Indians. The experiences transformed Thoreau, realigning his thinking on the balance between civilization and wilderness. His journeys, made famous in his book “The Maine Woods,” were taken by foot, canoe, and flat-bottomed boat, relying on Wabanaki trails.

Thoreau Wabanaki Festival 2022 loon

The Wabanaki, or “People of the Dawn,” have lived in Maine for more than 12,000 years. Wabanaki trails are traditional Native canoe routes on the Kennebec, Penobscot, and Allagash rivers. The Moosehead Lake region is well known to the Wabanaki, especially Mt. Kineo, which was once an important summering and tool-making place.

The annual Thoreau Wabanaki Trail Festival celebrates this rich land and history with a series of events designed to immerse you in the natural world. Events include specialist led nature walks, hikes, and paddling trips designed to bring you closer to the land.

The festival home base is the Moosehead Cultural Heritage Center, located at 6 Lakeview Street in Greenville, ME. Spend the day soaking up the nature, history, and culture of the Maine woods, then it’s back to the comforts of your room at Lodge at Moosehead Lake. A lovely day!

Thoreau Wabanaki Festival 2022 Events – July 20th to July 25th, 2022

Thoreau Wabanaki Festival 2022 landscape

July 20: Heaven Beneath Our Feet: Mindful Exploration of the Maine Woods 6:30pm
Naturalist, Dr. Wendy Weiger guides you through the seasons of the Maine Woods and shares her experiences living connected to the natural world.

July 21: Nature Walk 9am
Join wildlands expert Alexandra Conover Bennett for an eye-opening walk on a mountain path.

Ungava Trek 1pm
A morning nature walk with expert canoe and snowshoe guide, Alexandra Conover Bennett. See, hear, and remember the woods in an entirely new way.

Penobscot Sense of Place 6:30pm
Tribal Historian James Eric Francis, Sr. traces the origin of Maine’s Native geographic place names and teaches their meaning in Penobscot lore and legend.

Thoreau Wabanaki Festival 2022 moose

July 22: Tracing Thoreau’s Trip 1pm
Visit the places and see the things Thoreau did more than 165 years ago, many of which can are still just as they were. Led by Maine Woods Forever Board Member Paul Johnson.

All About Bees ~ Our Native Pollinators 4pm
Learn about the life of different bee species and the importance of their role as pollinators with Bee Botanist Matthew Scott.

July 23-25: Last Leg of Thoreau’s Trip with Penobscot Guides
Last Leg is a 3 day canoe trip following the last section of Thoreau’s 1857 journey on the Penobscot River. Paddlers will learn about Wabanaki heritage and the Penobscot connection to the landscape from Penobscot guides.

Saturday and Sunday are spent immersed in cultural activities on the Penobscot’s Sugar Island. Monday after breakfast, paddlers move downstream to Indian Island, load out, have lunch, and visit the Penobscot Nation Museum. Reservations are limited.

Visit the Moosehead Historical Society website for more details on this event. You can also visit the Society on Facebook.