The mountains and lakes of northern New England have long called to the intrepid among us to test their slopes and waters. This tour takes in the best of the rugged outdoors, concentrating on the wilder country of New Hampshire  and Maine . It can be done as soon as the snow finishes thawing in April, but is best experienced in summer and fall.
Get up at the crack of dawn to climb Mount Washington , the highest peak in the Northeast. If that’s too much mountain for you, you can take the cog railway  to the top. Spend the night at the scenic Lake in the Clouds.
The next day, nurse sore muscles with a hike among the many outlet shops here. Or, if you can’t wait to get back out into the hills, take your rock climbing gear to Cathedral Ledge , known for the best climbing in the Northeast.
Take a long drive through the western mountains of Maine  to Greenville, along the shores of remote Moosehead Lake . For the most direct route, take Route 302 east to I-95, then take the exit for Route 201 north, and finally take Route 6/15 to Greenville (4 hours).
Spend the next day on the lake, canoeing, kayaking, or taking a seaplane ride. If you haven’t yet seen your moose, be sure to book a moose cruise .
Ask a local for directions along the bumpy back roads north to Baxter State Park  (3 hours). See where the Appalachian Trail begins at Mount Katahdin , and get your hiking boots dirty on 175 miles of trails that hold something for every interest and skill level.
Give yourself at least two days to enjoy the solitude of this wilderness park. Be sure to book ahead for a campsite.
Backtrack down the back roads to I-95 South, then take Route 1A and 3 to the coast for a stay in breathtaking Acadia National Park  (4 hours). On the first day, explore Bar Harbor  or one of the small lobstering villages on the southern coast of Mount Desert Island . On the second day, drive the Park Loop , giving yourself enough time to hike along the rocky cliffs that plunge straight into the ocean.