A Little History
Rediscovering Maine’s Forgotten Trail
In the mid 1930’s (after the Great Depression), Maine was looking for ways to bring more revenue into the state by way of tourism.
1936 was the first year “VACATIONLAND” appeared on license plates. In 1937 the 88th Maine State Legislature passed an act to designate a certain route as the “Pine Tree Trail." With the devastation of WWII and new road planning by the Maine Turnpike Authority, what would eventually become “Maine’s Forgotten Trail” never had its chance to shine.
The year was 2012. A man walking an early 1900's rock pile along a town line in Aroostook County came across what looked like an old rusty bent up piece of sheet metal with bullet holes in it. Brushing leaves, rocks & dirt off it and inspecting it further, he realized it was a steel embossed road sign. The sign read "Pine Tree Trail" and had an evergreen tree embossed in the center. It was in such rough shape the man nearly discarded his find but ultimately decided to hang on to it. He stored the sign for years.
In the spring of 2019 the man decided to look into the origin of the sign, the route, and knowledge about it from others. He found that there was a real lack of information available about the trail.
The man became more intrigued when he discovered its rarity. He then went on a mission to bring back the history and awareness of the route.
It would become known as “The Pine Tree Trail Project."
The image of the sign would emerge from the past and Maine's longest auto trail would finally have it's chance to shine...
Photo of new old stock 1937 Maine license plates. Notice the original masking on the one plate.
Photo: Road Rte.2/ Pine Tree Trail Molunkus Twp./ Macwahoc Plt. line