On May 16, 2014, a group of Maine Woods guides, members of the Penobscot Nation, Henry David Thoreau scholars, and other adventurers launched a 16-day canoe trip. The adventure retraced the last of three tours immortalized in Henry David Thoreau’s iconic book The Maine Woods. The anniversary trip drew national and regional media attention as the paddlers experienced a Maine Woods landscape that remains remarkably unchanged from what Thoreau and his Native Penobscot guide Joe Polis saw 150 years previously.


"Over the years, we have done many stories that touch on Maine’s north woods. Our collaboration with Maine Woods Discovery and the Northern Forest Center around the Thoreau’s Maine feature is truly the centerpiece of these efforts. It is one of the most ambitious photo stories we’ve ever undertaken in our publication’s history, involving 16 days’ worth of photography."

—Mel Allen, Yankee Editor in Chief


Like Thoreau’s trip, the 150th anniversary tour began with a visit to Penobscot tribal territory on Indian Island in the Penobscot River just north of Bangor. After following the old stagecoach route to Greenville, participants set off for the two-week canoe expedition—paddling the full length of Moosehead Lake, crossing into the Penobscot and Allagash River watersheds, navigating Webster Stream through Baxter State Park to the East Branch and main stem of the Penobscot River and south to the starting point on Indian Island.

The expedition, organized by the Center through Maine Woods Discovery, secured local, state, regional and national media coverage of the Maine Woods as a quality destination for guided outdoor adventure.

Slideshow: Moments from the Adventure of a Lifetime