People must wonder whether professional help of some kind is in order when they learn that I commute five days each week from Patten to Bangor. Why would anyone want to do that? The reason I give is: “The destination in both directions is worth the drive.” After living here for a little over 5 years, I still think of Patten as my vacation getaway. It has the same feel and attitude as going ‘uptah camp.’ When I arrive at home there is a definite ‘ahhhh’ factor. The bustling world seems far away.
Patten, at the northern tip of Penobscot County — population 1,100, is a gateway to one of the most beautiful regions of our state. Located near the northern entrance to Baxter State Park, Patten boasts a long list of amenities and opportunities for enjoying the Maine outdoors and regional culture. A leaf peeper’s heaven, Maine scenic highway Route 11 runs through the town and you’re likely to see a moose or two.
The Patten Lumbermen’s Museum near the heart of town, houses a lovingly maintained collection that preserves the regional lumbermens’ history. In early August, for more than 40 years, Patten has been rolling out the red carpet for a weeklong celebration, “Patten Pioneer Days,” that includes barbecues, a parade, ultralight plane fly-in, music, blacksmith demonstrations, teddy bear picnic, fireworks and more.
My husband and I love to find an old logging or farm tractor road and head off for walks with our four dogs or take a long slow ride on our motorcycle across The Grindstone Road (Route 11 from Sherman to Medway) taking in the sites and smells. There are four full seasons of stuff to do in Patten and the surrounding area.
— Corky Pinette, BDN
How to get there: Drive I-95 north or south and take Exit 264, Sherman-Patten (76 miles from Bangor). From the south, go left and from the north, go right off the exit ramp onto Route 11 north and drive 9 miles to Patten town center. You’ll know your almost there when you pass a spectacular view of Mount Katahdin on your left (with a turnout). Next you’ll see the sign for the Lumbermen’s Museum and will head down a long steep hill.