Look at a map of inland northern Maine , and all of the squiggly lines disappear. Instead, they are replaced with a uniform grid of square timber plots stretching halfway up the state to the Canadian border. Inside that vast expanse are acres and acres of pine and spruce trees teeming with moose, black bear, and coyotes, with any places that might be considered “towns” few and far between.
The North Woods  encompasses some 3.5 million acres of forest, making it the largest area of undeveloped forestland in the United States. The area isn’t quite “wilderness,” however, since 3,000 miles of timber roads crisscross its boundaries and provide a livelihood for lumbermen and mills like they have for centuries.
Within this area of enticing remoteness, several areas have been designated for preservation and outdoor recreation. Maine’s wilderness jewel is Baxter State Park , a rectangle of woods and mountains a third the size of Rhode Island. Flowing down from Canada, the extensive waterways of the Allagash  and St. John’s Rivers  empty into Moosehead Lake , which gets its name from its uncanny similarity in shape to Maine’s state animal, and draws many of its namesake quadrupeds to drink at its twisting banks and estuaries.
The southeast corner of Maine has a character—and remoteness—all its own. Named “downeast” by the ship captains who were carried downwind in that direction, the area is one of the least visited of the state and is also one of the poorest regions in New England. Those taking the time to get to know the Mainers here are rewarded with a salt-of-the-earth sensibility and flinty sense of humor that captures the best of the New England character. Downeast  has its own star attraction in Acadia National Park , the only national park in the six-state region. Situated on the rocky cliffs of Mount Desert Island , it has some of the most dramatic scenery on the coast.
Those really looking for a coastal getaway head to the Blue Hill Peninsula , a rocky roller coaster of country lanes that skirt and plunge into the sea. Home base here is Castine , a colonial-era village that has become a haven for passing yachtsman. On the other side of one of the most stunning bridges in the world, Deer Isle  is spoken of in quiet tones by its summer devotees, who are understandably reluctant to share its magical shores with outsiders. In fact, Deer Isle may be the perfect mix of what visitors come to the region for, a low-key getaway that seems to accommodate everyone from rich boat owners to backwoods artists, and, of course, those two essential Maine  ingredients: lobsters and lighthouses.