ROAD TRIP WORTHY: Breathtaking Views of Maine and New Hampshire’s Lakes & Mountains at the ‘Height of Land’
There are a few places in New England that offer absolutely spectacular views, like Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, or on the Mount Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire. The Height of Land on Route 17 in Roxbury, Maine is one of the best in the entire country. Just check out the geotag on Instagram, and you’ll find out why.
VisitMaine.com describes the stunning lookout over Mooselookmeguntic Lake like this:
There’s no official sign or designation but you’ll know when you’re there. Driving along Maine State Route 17, the land abruptly drops off to the west and the view opens up to the far edges of the Maine mountains at the New Hampshire border. Height of Land, on the top of Spruce Mountain in Rangeley, is a real place, but when you’re standing on the evergreen boundary looking out over the wide valley, the landscape is impossibly surreal and spectacular.
The centerpiece of this visual feast in Franklin County is Toothaker Island and Mooselookmeguntic Lake. American Indians settled here 11,000 years ago and navigated the lakes and rivers like highways to hunt abundant native fish and game. Meditative and mesmerizing, this view hasn’t changed for many millennia. 100 years ago, the road to the lookout was nothing more than a rutted oxcart path that took travelers an entire day to traverse. Eventually, it was widened to accommodate logging trucks and, in 1975, the Appalachian Trail was re-routed right through the heart of it, bringing intrepid hikers and off-roaders into the remote area.
Most visitors just stop and stare, watching patterns of cloud-dappled light move slowly over the landscape. At dusk, when the sun sinks and the sky turns rust and gold, you will often find tourists and Mainers side-by-side ingesting all of that singular Maine wilderness. No matter how crowded it gets, the vista remains open and unspoiled.