Phil McPhail

5 Things to do outdoors near Lincoln, Maine

If you love the outdoors you need to come to the Lincoln Lakes Region of Maine. Lakes, Ponds, rivers, trails and friendly people are easy to find. The following activities are just a start of what you can do in the outdoors of Lincoln.

1. Paddling the Lincoln Lakes

Dave Sandilands paddling on Cold Stream Pond in Lincoln, Photo Courtesy of Phil McPhail

 Lincoln has 13 lakes in clusters within the township. Of these lakes, some have developed shorelines with seasonal cabins and year-round homes, others are more remote and little developed. For the paddler the draw of the more remote and less traveled waters is very appealing. Check out Folsom, Crooked and Upper Ponds to find more solitude and less motor boat traffic.






2. Sightseeing and Fishing on the Penobscot River

Phil McPhail doing some fly fishing in the Penobscot River

Maine’s Penobscot River is one of the country’s most significant flowing waters. The river originates in several branches in the springs of northern Maine and flows south and east until it merges into the mainstem in Medway. The river forms Lincoln’s western boundary and is mostly flat moving water with many islands and dozens of hidden channels. Boat landings in south Lincoln and Winn provide access to this section. Bald eagle sightings are an everyday occurrence and the smallmouth bass fishing is legendary.




3. ATV/Snowmobile Trails

Photo Courtesy of Scott White                                                                                                   

Lincoln has dozens of miles of groomed snowmobile trails and maintained ATV trails system. Along these trails area views of the many lakes, the Appalachian Mountains including Mount Katahdin, small creek and stream crossings and a diverse forest landscape. These trails are lesser know than some of the busier areas of Maine and can offer the rider more solitude in nature. The trails are connected to the much larger state trail systems.




4. Explore the Forests

Fawn and mama deer in the spring- Photo by Phil McPhail

Lincoln by area is one of the largest towns in Maine. Most of Lincoln is forested land owned in large contiguous tracts by owners who for the most part allow free use by the public for hunting, hiking and exploring. Be sure when doing so to keep in mind this is a privilege not found everywhere and please respect the owner’s property by carrying out everything you bring in.





5. Local Festivals

Loon Festival Parade- Photo Courtesy of Jean Hannington


The outdoor heritage shared by Lincoln’s citizens is celebrated every year with two major festivals. July is time for Loon Vest, formally known as Homecoming. This event has parades, fireworks, downtown venders, BBQ’s and more including Thursday event kickoff with the annual River Drivers Bean Supper at Ludden Field on the bank of the Penobscot River. February is time for Winterfest, so grab your warm clothes and come to town. This year’s events include a professional snow-cross race at the Lincoln Snowhounds Club, a comedy fest and community bonfire.





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    Maine Current Use Tax Programs

    Maine has four current use programs to reduce taxes on land that is used primarily for a specific purpose. The four programs are tree growth, open space, farmland, and working waterfront. The following is a brief explanation of each program with links to guide you to more detailed information.
    Tree Growth Tax Law 
    The most commonly used current use tax program in Maine is the Tree Growth tax program. It may also be one of the most misunderstood. The basis of the program is to assess land of 10 or more acres based on its productive use as commercial timberland. Growing and harvesting must be the primary use.
    During 2017, Maine’s Tree Growth tax program came under the scrutiny of the governor’s office as did most 
    property tax reductions. It is believed, and probably rightly so, that a significant percentage of the properties enrolled in this program may not be in compliance with the law. In order to be in compliance, your forest management plan needs to be up to date and implemented. If you have purchased forestland in Maine and you have never talked with a licensed forester you may already be out of compliance. Bulletin 19 on the state website provides information for those already in the program and those considering enrolling. The web address for bulletin 19 is:

    Open Space Tax Law
    This program provides for a reduced assessed value based on the property being preserved or 
    restricted for a public benefit. Qualifying public benefits include recreation, scenic resources, game management and wildlife habitat. The open space program does not have a minimum 
    acreage requirement. In open space the tax assessor will reduce the value by either researching sale data of parcels all or partially in conservation or preservation and computing a fair value, or by applying a percentage reduction based on the public benefit or benefits being applied. The reduction, depending on the benefit, can be as high as 95% of the assessed value. See Bulletin 21 at:

    Farmland Tax Law
    This tax law requires the land to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes and must be of 5 or more contiguous acres. The land must earn at least $2,000 gross income per year to 
    qualify. The owner must file an income statement with the assessor by April 1 of each fifth year, after qualification, for the previous 5 years income of the owner or lessee.
    The assessor can use a number of factors to determine farmland values for current use 
    including farmer to farmer sales, soil types, land rents, and others. For additional information on this tax law see Bulletin 20 at

    Working Waterfront
    Land that qualifies for this current use tax treatment is for land on tidal waters or in the 
    intertidal zone used at least 50% for access or support of commercial fishing activities.
    The assessed value reduction varies from 10%, 20% or 30% depending on the percentage of use and potential deed restrictions for use. See all the details on the state site for Working Waterfront Q&A at:

    Moving Sideways 
    If you desire to change the use of your property under any of the first three laws above you can avoid any penalty for that change of use. Property changed from farmland to open space, 
    farmland to tree growth, open space to farmland, or open space to tree growth will not be 
    penalized if a parcel also meets eligibility requirements of the new classification. 



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