Mount Kineo, with 700-foot cliffs rising straight up from Moosehead Lake, is an unforgettable setting that has lured people for centuries. Native Americans once traveled great distances to Mt. Kineo, relying on its flint-like rhyolite to make stone tools. In recent centuries, Kineo’s spectacular scenery and the amenities of Moosehead Lake drew “rusticators” and summer guests to vacation at the base of this imposing precipice. Other species as well appreciate this unusual geological formation: peregrine falcons and an assemblage of rare plants rely on Mt. Kineo’s cliffs and steep talus slopes.
Recognizing the importance this landmark holds for the people of Maine, the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program provided funding for its acquisition in 1990. The purchase from its long-time owner, a Greenville resident, was negotiated with help from The Nature Conservancy and Department of Conservation. Local residents and municipal officials in the nearby communities of Rockwood and Greenville strongly supported the LMF proposal, recognizing the recreational significance of this land and the contribution it makes to the local economy.
The Bureau of Parks and Lands now manages Mt. Kineo, which offers 3.5 miles of lake frontage, a primitive campsite, and four hiking trails with spectacular views, as part of its Moosehead Lake Reserve.
Maine Highlands – Piscataquis, Penobscot
Directions from nearest town
DeLorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer Map 40 A-5; Map 41 A-1. Kineo is accessible by water, with public boat landings in both Rockwood and Lily Bay State Park. A boat shuttle goes to Kineo from Rockwood. The route from Kineo Dock to the public hiking trails on Mt. Kineo is surrounded by private property so please stay on the designated path. From the dock, turn south and follow the old gravel Carriage Rd. (which makes several sharp right turns). Upon reaching a lakeshore cove and a Parks & Lands bulletin board, bear right and follow the foot trail along a wooded stretch of shore to reach trails that access the summit and Hardscrabble Point.