Scenic USA - Maine

Coos Canyon

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Coos Canyon - Lakes and Mountains Region, Maine

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA FAA Photography

   Covered in rugged mountain ranges and hundreds of glacial lakes, Maine's Lakes and Mountains Region puts on a show for sightseers, outdoor lovers and autumn leaf-peepers. This is moose country, beautified by mountain streams, waterfalls, mountain passes and deep gorges.
   Between Rumford and Oquossoc, Route 17 follows the Swift River. Just north of Byron, visitors won't have to don their hiking boots and shoulder their packs to enjoy Coos Canyon. Coos Canyon Rest Area Sign This roadside rest area features a rugged gorge that's just steps away from the parking lot. Eons of erosion by the Swift River has sliced through a tough layer of metamorphic rock and granite. Difficult to imagine, but thundering waters, laden with abrasive sand and gravel, have carved this small canyon over an incredibly long period of time. In the riverbed of sand and gravel amateur rock hounds may find tourmaline, garnet, quartz, lepidolite, feldspars, aquamarine and flakes of gold.
   A local Coos Canyon rock shop will bring out the prospector in everyone. Armed with a pan and a little know-how, nothing brings on the excitement like the sparkle of golden flakes. After a brief lesson in gold panning you'll be ready to try your luck in Coos Canyon. If a pan of gold dust is not in your future, nature's display of golden foliage in western Maine is always a given.

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