Old Canada Road
What does it mean to be part of the Old Canda Road National Scenic Byway? For 23 years, the people of Old Canada Road have pursued ways to attract visitors to the area along this scenic byway. Once people come here, they often try to find ways to make it an annual event. Come find out what they have discovered.
Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway will strive, with broad civic and business partnerships, to educate residents and the traveling public about the area’s history, culture, and natural features while promoting traditional scenic integrity.
Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway will be a destination where people can participate in and enjoy intriguing cultural and historical interpretation and diverse recreational opportunities and hospitality amid spectacular Maine scenery.
Recent Key Accomplishments
2023 – The Board will resubmit a funding request to the FHWA.
2022 – We pruned an area along the Dead River in West Forks. We cut two acres at Robbins Hill to establish a blueberry bush area. We submitted a funding request to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to fund, among other things, the Ball Field kiosk. We submitted funding requests elsewhere to expand our marketing efforts. We made repairs to outhouses at rest areas and picnic table shelters were repaired. The DOT Landscape Dept. repaired the entrance to Robbins Hill and cut the brush to improve access and visibility to the entrance.
2021 – We pruned an area along the Kennebec River in Bingham. Our efforts concentrated on participation to defend the byway from the encroachment of the NECEC.
2020 – We created a new website as part of our marketing plan. We advocated against the NECEC and supported concerned citizens across the state.
2020 – We partnered with Maine Grains in Skowhegan to showcase crops at the Robbins Hill Scenic Overlook.
2019 – The Jackman Kiosk was completed, and wayfinding signs were installed on the trail system in the West Forks.
2018 – We advocated for the integrity of OCR at the Massachusetts PUC regarding the CMP Transmission Corridor. Advocacy is ongoing.
2017 – We installed Interpretive panels and had two telescopes installed at Attean Lookout on Johnson Mtn.
2016-17 – We worked on a MaineDOT project to design, construct, and complete approximately 6.8 miles of recreational trail for hiking and biking, and snowmobile use (Kennebec River Trail).
2016-17 – MaineDOT improved access, including restroom improvements
2015-16 – A design for a kiosk for the Ball Field in the West Forks was presented to the Board – promotes the wildlife, the history of the log drives and Wabenaki culture, and historical aspects of the Kennebec River. This kiosk establishes a trail hub north and south along the Kennebec and Dead Rivers.
2020 – Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway was the winner of the Expanding Knowledge Award from the National Scenic Byway Foundation in its inaugural 2020 Byway organizational Awards.
Expanding Knowledge Award: Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway (ME)
The project consists of Byway participation in defense of Maine’s scenic beauty. A very real threat has been presented in the form of a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line coming from Canada to supply a request made by Massachusetts. The purchased real estate is 300 feet wide and 53 miles long and will accommodate two lines of 100-foot-tall monopole structures. The line will cross the Byway twice and bisect the largest temperate forest in the country. Fifty- three miles of this corridor is new and will be cut through the most scenic byway accessed area.
Byway directors in their entirety joined forces with concerned citizens from all over the state to garner 75,000 signatures to force a referendum next fall. The ballot question would be basically: Do you vote to require the Maine Public Utilities Commission to rescind the Certificate of Necessity and Convenience it granted to Central Maine Power Company? This certificate was granted in the spring of 2019 and is essential for the project to go forward. The project is a good fit for Byways because it raises the importance of Byways in the public conscience, and has acted as a focal point for others opposed to the project.