Three decades of travel have taken me to 127 countries (at last count), but nothing beats a late summer week in Maine. To test this assertion yourself, check in to the eight-room Blair Hill Inn ($250, including breakfast; blairhill.com). The 1891 country estate overlooking Moosehead Lake offers true Americana, from pocket doors and stained glass to wicker-chair verandas. And Maine’s fabled North Woods, a wilderness larger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined, begin just beyond the garden walls. Hiking, rafting, climbing, and fly-fishing are only a few of the outdoor high arts practiced among the peaks and waterways. But for how much longer is the looming question: Plans have been drawn up by Plum Creek Timber Company for a 20,000-acre residential resort development nearby.