Pockwockamus Rock – Millinocket, Maine - Atlas Obscura

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Pockwockamus Rock

This nature mural exists to protect the surrounding environment and its own canvas from destruction. 


Driving into Baxter State Park, visitors may notice a huge colorful boulder on the side of the road. The rock is painted with a classic outdoor scene depicting streams, trees, wildlife, and the famous Katahdin peak rising in the background. The scene is emblazoned with a message that admonishes viewers to “Keep Maine Beautiful.” This is, of course, applicable to most forms of environmental destruction. The message can also be interpreted as a response to the vandalism the rock has seen over the years. 

Pockwockamus Rock was first scouted as a canvas for artistic expression by local graffiti artists, who used it mainly to display initials or expletive messages. It became an eyesore to the thousands of visitors to the state park. Finally, in 1979, a group of teenagers from the local Youth Conservation Corps decided that something had to be done. They repainted the rock with a beautiful outdoor scene and a plea to keep all Maine spaces, not just this one, beautiful.

Know Before You Go

Pockwockamus Rock is located by the entrance to the Penobscot Outdoor Center. There’s little to no data reception in this area, so download directions ahead of time if you need them.

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