My definition of a city was formulated during my childhood when my grandfather did a very wise thing. He purchased property in Forest City near the southern tip of East Grand Lake (part of the Chiputneticook chain and headwater of the St. Croix River) in Washington County.

The winter population of this charming community numbers about 12. But it’s another matter the rest of the year.

In addition to the incredible beauty of the lake and surrounding region, the attraction to Forest City is obvious. It is the least-bustling metropolis you will ever visit. While it may be off the beaten path, local sporting, fishing and hunting establishments welcome guests from around the world.

Year-round resident Jane Johnson describes it this way: “We enjoy the eagles along the stream, the moose feel free to roam through our yards, and in spring, summer and fall we have almost constant loon cries. There is a closeness to nature, the beauty of all four seasons and the lack of pressures of the world make it very stress-free!”

For nearly five generations my family, with megabusy lives, scattered across the country, has made the journey to our favorite city. The name of the camp, Idle Isle, sums it up.

How to get there:

From Bangor: I-95 north to Lincoln exit 227, then Route 6, 40.5 miles north to Topsfield, left on U.S. 1, 12 miles to Brookton then right on Forest City Road, 8 miles. Total distance, 108 miles. From Houlton take U.S. 1 south to Danforth, take a left and continue on U.S. 1 to Brookton go left on Forest City Road. Total distance, 58 miles.