If you’ve never visited Greenville and Moosehead Lake, put it on your travel list this year. It’s a very special place, with nice inns and restaurants and wonderful woods and waters.

I have lots of great memories of Greenville and Moosehead Lake, where I started fishing when I was a kid. My dad had a friend who owned a camp just north of Greenville and we visited there several times and fished.

My favorite times as a kid were at a camp owned by relatives at the north end of the lake at Seboomook. My family had some great trips there.

My favorite story is, when I was a teenager, I got into the rowboat and paddled out to catch salmon. And boy, did I catch a lot of fish! I didn’t even notice that I had drifted way down the lake. Eventually my dad discovered that I was out of sight and he got in the boat and motored down the lake. When he found me, he towed me back to camp. I remember being upset because I was catching fish and I did not want to stop fishing!

As an adult I fished all over the lake. One time a guide from Rockport took me out to a deep hole just off of Mount Kineo and we caught some nice fish. And one of my most memorable fishing days was when the guide Dan Legere took me to the east outlet, where the Kennebec River begins.

I also love Greenville. During the seven years that my wife Linda and I wrote weekly travel columns for the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, we wrote several columns about places to stay and restaurants in Greenville. During one visit I did a book talk at the Greenville library. You can still read those columns on my website, www.georgesmithmaine.com.


We also wrote columns about two of Appalachian Mountain Club’s sporting camps east of Greenville: Gorman Chairback and Medawisla, where we enjoyed great visits. I also enjoyed two visits to AMC’s Little Lyford camp, where I caught lots of brook trout in remote ponds.

I also enjoyed some deer, moose, and grouse hunting trips at my friend Ed Pineau’s camp right on the lake in Northeast Carry. On my first visit there, to hunt deer, one of their friends from Texas who hunted with them every year was there, and he hadn’t seen a deer in five years. On the first day, I shot a nice buck — and I don’t think he was very happy about that!

My favorite grouse hunting story occurred when I was hunting with Ed Pineau at his camp. We would drive along the road and take turns shooting at the grouse we spotted. It was my turn to shoot when Ed saw a grouse in the woods to our right so he stopped the vehicle a short ways away and we walked up the road to where the grouse was. I couldn’t see it, so Ed told me to give him my gun and he’d shoot it. But I said, no way — it’s my turn to shoot.

Ed pointed into the woods to a big stump and said the grouse was right at the bottom of that stump. I still couldn’t see it but I aimed at the bottom of the stump and shot. When I walked out into the woods to the stump, I was astonished to see that I had shot two grouse! I did not see one grouse but I shot two!

Linda and I and our kids enjoyed camping at Lily Bay State Park on Moosehead Lake, and we also stayed one time at Rockwood Cottages, which were owned by my cousin Ron Searles and his wife Bonnie for many years. The only thing I regret is that I never climbed Mount Kineo. Of course, there were no fish up there!

Because of my illness, ALS, I am not able to travel or fish anymore. But I can’t be disappointed, because I’ve had a lifetime of wonderful experiences and memories, including many in Greenville and on Moosehead Lake. Be sure to spend some time there this year.

George Smith can be reached at 34 Blake Hill Road, Mount Vernon 04352, or [email protected] Read more of Smith’s writings at www.georgesmithmaine.com.

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