Travel Writers Visit Piscataquis RegionJune 26, 2006 - TRC Travel writer Hilary Nangle and her photographer husband Tom spent several days last week exploring Piscataquis County. The Nangles, who also do some freelance work, are currently in the process of writing the 2007 edition of Moon Handbooks Maine, a travel guide to the state. While the Nangles were familiar with the Greenville area, they had not spent as much time in the rest of Piscataquis County. When Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (PCEDC) Community Development Specialist Sheila Grant met the Nangles in southern Maine this spring, she invited them to visit the Dover-Foxcroft area. The travel writing couple took Grant up on this invitation, and PCEDC coordinated a two-day tour of some of the highlights in this region. The Nangles spent the weekend touring in Greenville, arriving in Guilford on Tuesday, June 20. Guilford Bed and Breakfast owners Lynn and Harry Anderson generously offered to provide lodging during the Nangle’s southern Piscataquis fact-finding mission. On the first day of their visit, Grant was able to take Hilary Nangle to the Harold Melvin Memorial Park in Guilford, the Guilford River Walk and Stutzman’s Farm Stand in Sangerville. The pair then met Maine Highlands Guild Executive Director Tracy Michaud-Stutzman, Ph D., at the Moosehead Manufacturing/Maine Highlands Guild Outlet in Dover-Foxcroft. Nangle also toured the first and fourth floors of the “old bank building,” (home of Paradise Cakes and the Past Time Pub). Nangle visited the Penquis Higher Education Center and the office of PCEDC, where she learned more about the 2006 Penquis Leadership Institute class project, “The Villages of Piscataquis County,” an audio driving tour and interpretive signage project that will soon supplement many scenic, historical and notable natural resource sites throughout the region. Roger Merchant of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Office put on his Piscataquis Tourism Task Force hat for an hour and poured over maps with Nangle, helping her locate family-friendly paddling pools and more challenging waters for experienced paddlers, as well as hiking and wildlife watching destinations. Center Theatre Executive Director Patrick Myers met Grant and Nangle at the theatre and treated them to a tour and background information. Then they took a quick drive out to Brann’s Mills Pond (one of Merchant’s picks for a calm paddle) and to Infinity Farms equestrian facility. After that it was off to meet Tom for dinner, provided by Covered Bridge Restaurant. On Wednesday, June 21, Grant took the pair through Derby to see the train yard and former company houses, then for a tour of the Down Home Bed and Breakfast on Elm Street in Milo. Along the way she pointed out historical buildings and other assets with development potential in “The Friendly Town.” The group hiked a ways on the Brownville River Walk, then stopped for a quick visit at the Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District Demonstration Forest in Williamsburg Plantation before heading off to explore Sebec Village and enjoy the lunch provided by Sebec Village Café. They also visited the beach at Peaks-Kinney State Park, where Tom could be seen burning up quite a bit of film ! Although unable to visit Abel Blood’s or Valerie Jeans this trip, the Nangles were provided with menus from both and a gift certificate to enjoy Abel’s during their next visit to the region. A hefty welcome package was provided, with information and goodies, through the support of the Moosehead Lake Region, Piscataquis and Katahdin Region chambers of commerce, the Maine Highlands Corporation, the Maine Highlands Guild, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Moosehead Messenger Editor Ben Bragdon (who donated a copy of “Up North”) and the PCEDC’s Cultural Heritage Eco-tourism Committee, who provided a copy of their newly released “Southern Piscataquis Regional Recreation Map and Guide.” The Nangles said they thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the region and that they had gathered a great deal of information that would appear in the upcoming Moon Handbooks Maine travel guide.Submitted by Sheila Grant, PCEDCNOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.