5 Photo-Worthy Winter Drives in Maine to Take This Year

I get it. When you think road trip, you think summer, and maybe fall. But there are plenty of places that are just as beautiful and equally photogenic during Maine's winter months.

So maybe this year, instead of heading somewhere warm, why not plan a road trip (or two or three) around the state of Maine? It's beautiful here in the winter, and if you find that perfect tim to drive (shortly after a snowstorm, as soon as the roads are clear), you'll enjoy some of the most picturesque views available on any road in the nation.

Just in case you're up for the long haul, here are 5 (totally photo-worthy) winter drives in Maine you should take this year.

Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park
One of the most scenic drives you can take any time of year, the Park Loop Road through Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor should be on your list of ultimate road trips. Stretching for 27 miles through the park's mountains, forests, and lakes, there are plenty of places to pull over and explore (not to mention take Instagram-worthy pictures). This drive also offers breathtaking views of Maine's rocky coast, and snapshot sunsets.

Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway
This one is a 52-mile loop via Routes 17 and 16. Famous for its lakes and high peaks, be sure to pull over for sights such as the Small Falls waterfall, endless mountains, valleys, and forests, and of course, Rangeley Lake; Route 17's Height of Land offers incomparable views of Toothaker Island, Mooselookmeguntic (what a mouthful) Lake, and Upper Richardson Lake.

Moosehead Lake Region
Clocking in at 75.2 miles, you can head over the river and through the woods well, you can stop to take in the views of Moose River at the Attean Outlook, and drive through miles of the North Woods, to be accurate. Full of green in the summer and spectacular color in the fall, this stretch of road up near Greenville becomes a frozen fairyland in winter, just be sure that your timing is right and the road is clear. My advice is to be sure to stop in local towns, take a hike to Moxie Falls, and of course, stop to see beautiful Moosehead Lake (and do some ice fishing, if that's your cup of tea!).

Old Canada Road Scenic Byway
It may be named Old Canada Road, but it has actually earned a place among the 125 National Scenic Byways. Its 78 miles of history and the great outdoors is sure to peak any traveler's interest. Along the way, you can check out plenty of historical sites (from Revolutionary War landmarks like the Benedict Arnold Trail, to tourist traps like the "World's Tallest Indian"), different aspects of the lumber industry, lakes, and trails – including the Appalachian Trail.

The Coast of Maine
Coastal Route 1 (or U.S. Highway 1) is a whopping 300 miles long, stretching from Canada down to New Hampshire; but don't worry, I'm only suggesting you travel the coast of Maine (a.k.a. The Lobster Trail). Sure to rock your world any time of year, you can stop and experience several idyllic coastal Maine towns like Rockland, Portland, and Bar Harbor, miles and miles of nature, and more than 60 lighthouses. If you only take one of these trips, take this one (mostly because you can include some of the other great Maine drives listed here, such as Acadia National Park). And seriously, give yourself plenty of time for this last one take a week's vacation and get to know Maine in a way you never took the time to, by spending a week exploring it's beautiful coastline by car.

Joe Hessert has lived in Southern Maine for most of his life, and works in the marketing department at Auto Europe Car Rental. He earned his MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and writes about business, marketing, and travel for numerous publications. You can learn more by visiting joehessert.com or connect with him on Twitter or Linkedin.