Voted Best Lakeside State Park - Editors' Choice Award from Yankee Magazine, May/June 2016.
Location Lat 45.257700 / Lon -69.276693
On State Park Road in Dover-Foxcroft and nestled on the shore of Sebec Lake.
Hours / Season Open from May 15 to October 1. The main entrance gate opens for campers daily at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. The day-use area is open daily from 9 a.m. until sunset. Fee Charged. Visitors may continue to enjoy the park during the off season by parking outside the gate and walking in during these same hours. Please be aware that facilities are closed during the off season. See the When to Visit section at the bottom of this page for more details.
Peaks-Kenny State Park lies on the shores of Sebec Lake, offering day visitors and campers a peaceful, wooded setting in which to enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and picnicking. With 56 sites set among stately trees and large glacial boulders near the lake, the campground fosters quiet and private enjoyment of a beautiful natural setting. The 839-acre park lies in the Central Maine Highlands, an area renowned for its natural beauty and outdoor opportunities with Moosehead Lake, the Appalachian Trail, the southern end of Baxter State Park and other outdoor destinations all within a morning's drive.
The Park encompasses more than a mile of shoreline along Sebec Lake. A sandy swimming beach, staffed by a lifeguard in summer, offers lovely views across Sebec Lake to Borestone Mountain, a 1600-acre nature sanctuary with a summit trail (see Nearby Destinations). A grassy picnic area with playground adjoins the beach, providing picnic tables and barbecue grills enjoyed by both camping parties and day visitors. The camping area, a five-minute walk from the beach, has many glacial boulders that children camping at the park enjoy climbing.
The clean and deep waters of Sebec Lake, which stretches 10 miles in length, make it an appealing destination for wildlife watchers and those seeking cold-water fish like landlocked salmon and lake trout (togue). Campers can bring canoes or rent ones on site. Those with trailered boats can launch at a public ramp two miles from the campground (at Greeley's Landing where Route 153 ends at Sebec Lake).
Ten miles of gentle hiking trails within the park offer visitors of all ages and skill levels a chance to enjoy old-growth hardwood forests, hemlock and pines. For more challenging terrain nearby, see the Nearby Destinations section.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund contributed to this State Park.Learn more about LWCF.
An ice sheet that covered Maine roughly 15,000 years ago scoured out the basin underlying Sebec Lake. The entire region was shaped by a mile-thick ice sheet that carried off most of the soil, leaving exposed bedrock and a deep bowl where the lake now lies.
Not long after the glaciers receded 11,000 years ago, the first Paleo Indians came to this area, but there is scant evidence of their temporary encampments. More artifacts reveal the habits of native people from the Archaic period (between 4,000 and 9,000 years ago), who camped on lake shores and river banks - hunting deer, trapping fur-bearers, and trapping shad and salmon in fish weirs. These early inhabitants used dugout canoes initially, but about 3,000 years ago, they began using birch bark for baskets, houses, buckets and canoes.
European settlers first arrived in this area in the early 1800s, with many working in the lumbering trades (as much of the area's timber was harvested - first for shipbuilding, and later for wood sent to lumber mills and paper mills). Steamboats hauled logs across the lake. There was a spool mill along the lake for a time, along with a short-lived slate quarry and fish hatchery. Eventually these industries gave way to sporting camps (and a few summer camps), where visitors enjoyed fishing, picnics and hikes to ice caves and local mountains.
A famous landmark along the lake is a shorefront home known as the "Castle," built in 1890 by a Foxcroft attorney who was impressed with European castles. He later became Maine's first Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Game, instituting conservation measures like the single deer limit and state fishing licenses.
The land that now constitutes the developed portions of Peaks-Kenny State Park was given to the State in 1964 by a prominent citizen and lawyer in Dover-Foxcroft, Francis J. Peaks, who served in the Maine House of Representatives. The gift of this beautiful recreational site, including a white sand beach at South Cove that had long been a favorite picnicking spot, was made in memory of his sister, Annie Peaks Kenny, and their parents, Joseph and Eliza Peaks - for whom the park was named. The park first opened on July 4, 1969.
If you are interested in learning about geology around the state, check out the Maine Geological Survey Searchable Database.
- Hiking (trails)
- Watchable wildlife
- Camp only at established sites, many of which can be reserved in advance at www.campwithme.com. There's a two-night minimum for reserved sites and a 14-day maximum stay during July and August.
- Park rules prohibit use of intoxicating beverages.
- Keep pets on leash (no longer then than 4 feet) at all times and do not leave pets unattended.
- Quiet in camping areas is required between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Generators in the campground can only be operated at designated times.
- Please stay on trails to protect sensitive ecosystems.
- Observe wildlife from far enough away that they do not change their behavior: do not follow or feed animals.
- Swim only in designated areas.
- See Rules for State Parks and Historic Sites
Consider lending a hand. Contact us if you would like to help with stewardship or maintenance work.
Peaks-Kenny State Park offers a 10-mile network of hiking trails, some of which are interconnected.
Cove Trail (0.7 miles) leaves from the beach picnic area, offering a short loop through the woods.
Loop Trail (0.5 miles) provides a centrally located loop for those seeking a quick woods experience.
Birch Mountain Ledge Trail (2 miles roundtrip): This trail winds through mature forest to ledges atop Birch Mountain.
Brown's Point Trail (distance/time): (5.5-mile roundtrip, allow 2 hours) provides a more challenging hike through varied forested terrain.
View the Maine Parks and Lands EVENT CALENDAR
- Group picnic shelter
- Picnic area
- RV dumping station
- Trailered boat launch
- See Visitor Accessibility
All motorized boats using Maine's inland waters must purchase and display a Lake and River Protection Sticker, which helps fund prevention and monitoring efforts for aquatic invasives. If you trailered in a boat, make sure your boat, propeller, trailer, anchor and fishing gear are weed-free before launching to prevent the spread of invasive plants like Eurasian milfoil. Place any plants found on high, dry ground or in the trash.
All those fishing (age 16 and above for Maine residents and age 12 and above for non-residents) must have a valid license and review the State's open water fishing regulations. Fishermen are asked to use lead-free sinkers and jigs to prevent metal poisoning of loons, eagles and other wildlife. Licenses may be purchased online or at local sporting goods stores, convenience stores and the Dover-Foxcroft Town Office.
Maine has a freshwater fish consumption advisory due to mercury (which enters waters from airborne pollution and accumulates in fish - posing significant health threats). The State sets strict limits on recommended consumption of fresh water fish: see the open water fishing regulations for details.
When boating or hiking, be prepared with extra clothing (and appropriate footwear), map and compass, and adequate water and food. Always inform someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
Be prepared for black flies and mosquitoes, particularly in May and June. Check yourself for deer ticks daily to prevent Lyme disease.
Moving firewood can transport exotic insects & diseases that pose a serious threat to our forests. Don't transport firewood, buy it from a local source. Burn It Where You Buy It
Boaters and campers enjoy the Sebec Lake region through warm weather months, followed by hunters in October and November and ice fishermen and snowmobilers in mid-winter. Fishing on Sebec Lake for salmon and trout is usually best in the weeks following ice out (typically early to mid-May) or when the waters cool in September.
Advance reservations are recommended for this popular campground. On the first workday in February, the State Park Reservations Office 800-332-1501 in Maine, 207-624-9950 from outside Maine or online at www.campwithme.com) begins accepting campsite reservations for dates between May 22 and September 10. Reservations must be made at least 2 business days in advance with a minimum 2-night stay required.
On sunny days in June, July, and August, the day-use area can fill to capacity (and a waiting line is established). To avoid waiting in line, plan to arrive before 11:00a.m.
Peaks-Kenny State Park
401 State Park Road
Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426
Park season: (207) 564-2003 from May 15 - Oct 1
Off season: (207) 941-4014
download park brochure - color, 16x9 inches (939KB/pdf)
download park map - color (826 KB/pdf)
download campground map - black & white (188 KB/pdf)
download campground map - color (93 KB/gif)
download Campground Photos on Google Earth (Google Earth)
Directions and Parking
Peaks-Kenny State Park lies on a peninsula along the South Cove of Sebec Lake. From the center of Dover-Foxcroft (the closest shopping area), take Route 153 approximately 4.5 miles and turn left on State Park Road just before the public boat launch at Greeley's Landing.
The Maine Highlands
Peaks-Kenny State Park lies within The Maine Highlands region that encompasses Baxter State Park and other notable North Woods attractions in Piscataquis and Somerset Counties. Nearby points of interest include:
Seboeis Public Land
Offers 13,000 acres bordering two lakes with camping, boating and fishing opportunities and views to Mt. Katahdin.
Lily Bay State Park
Offers 91 wooded and lakeside campsites and two boat launches along 925 acres bordering Moosehead Lake nine miles north of Greenville.
Katahdin Iron Works
(11 miles northwest of Brownville Junction) offers hiking trails, beautiful scenery and historical landmarks at the site of a former iron ore mining operation and blast furnace. There are hiking trails and campsites nearby that are part of the North Maine Woods system (which charges fees for their use but the historic site is free).
A National Natural Landmark known informally as the "Grand Canyon on Maine," provides challenging hikes and an impressive gorge six miles west of Katahdin Iron Works (see above). This property lies within the North Maine Woods system (which charges a day use fee at the nearby checkpoint).
A 1,600-acre Maine Audubon sanctuary, offers four possible trails (spanning ten miles and covering varied terrain), some of which lead to a 1,947-foot open summit. There is a visitor center with educational displays during summer, and a modest fee is charged for hiking.
The Piscataquis River affords 10 miles of Class I-III whitewater (between Blanchard and Route 15) enjoyed by canoers and kayakers (in spring) and fly fishermen.