Androscoggin County

• Androscoggin Riverlands State Park

Center Ridge Road (off Route 4), Turner

(207) 998-4104

maine.gov/androscogginriverlands

Try the 1.1 mile out and back Homestead trail to see remnants of an old farmhouse in the forest. The trail leads to the Androscoggin River, where there’s a scenic picnic area near the shoreline, and plenty of space for kids to play.

Auburn Community Concert Band will hold weekly outdoor concerts on Wednesdays from June 19 to Aug. 21. In case of rain, concerts move to the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston. Auburn Community Concert Band photo

• Auburn Community Concert Band concerts

Festival Plaza, 112 Main Street, Auburn

In case of rain, concerts move to the Gendron Franco Center, 46 Cedar Street, Lewiston

(207) 782-3917

auburncommunityband.com/

This band, which is celebrating its 38th year performing in Auburn and Lewiston, is a committed group of volunteer musicians from 16 Maine communities. Performances are on Wednesdays starting at 7 p.m., scheduled from June 19 to Aug. 21. Each concert is themed, and visitors should bring their own chairs.

• Bates College Museum of Art

Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell Street, Lewiston

(207) 786-6158

bates.edu/museum

This museum, located on the Bates College campus with plenty of available parking, is a true gem. In addition to its permanent exhibits, there are many special events throughout the year. The German Art Posters, which went on exhibit in January, will be available through early October. And, the DeWitt Hardy: Master of Watercolor exhibit is scheduled from June 7-Oct. 5.

• FunZ Trampoline Park

40 East Avenue (Lewiston Mall), Lewiston

(207) 783-3888

funztrampolinepark.com

A trampoline park for kids of all ages that also includes a safe play area for toddlers.

• Kennedy Park Pool

Kennedy Park, 120 Park Street, Lewiston

(207) 513-3121

www.lewistonrecreation.com/

This in-ground pool and splash pad is located next to the basketball courts, and is a central focus of the park during the summer. Check the website for hours of operation. The pool is closed on holidays.

• Mr. Drew’s Exotic Rescue and Education Center

550 Lisbon Street, Suite 17, Lewiston

(207) 576-1034

www.mrdrewandhisanimalstoo.com/

Mr. Drew has owned and operated a pet store, is an animal rehabilitator and runs an outreach program for injured, neglected and unwanted exotic animals. He is a regular visitor to schools to teach children about these animals, and is a favorite and energetic presenter. For him, it’s all about the animals.

Museum L-A in Lewiston offers a wonderful mix of permanent and special displays celebrating the mill workers of Maine. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.  Museum L-A photo

• Museum L-A

Bates Mill Complex

35 Canal St, Lewiston

(207) 333-3881

museumla.org

This museum, housed in one of the city’s historic mills, is a treasure trove of industrial artifacts and emotional tales of the people who toiled in the textile and shoe mills, and in the brickyards. Wonderful mix of permanent and special displays.  The museum’s newest exhibit, called “Footwear: From Function to Fashion,” is a celebration of Auburn’s illustrious shoe industry history and will be on display until December.

• RolloDrome

12 Riverside Drive, Auburn

(207) 777-3940

rollodrome.com

Enjoy roller- or inline skating on this vintage, wooden rink.

• SpareTime Recreation

24 Mollison Way, Lewiston

(207) 786-2695

sparetimerec.com

Traditional and candlepin bowling, plus an arcade.

• Tabers on the Lake

470 Lake Shore Drive,  Auburn

(207) 784-2521

tabersgolf.com

The perfect summer evening escape with miniature golf, a driving range and ice cream. (And, a great view of Lake Auburn.)

• Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary

Off Montello Street, Lewiston

stantonbirdclub.org/thorncrag-sanctuary

This stunning 450-acre wildlife preserve is perfect for a picnic, hike or walk. No dogs, however.

Franklin County

• Fly Rod Crosby Trail, a project of the High Peaks Alliance

1232 Reeds Mills Road, Phillips

(207) 578-0306

highpeaksalliance.org

This 45-mile heritage hiking trail is well marked and split into two sections. The first, which measures 7 miles, begins in Phillips and crosses the Sandy River. Terrain is flat to strenuous. The second section is for more seasoned hikers, with moderate to strenuous terrain along the Orbeton and Hardy streams, ending at the base lodge at Saddleback Mountain. The trail is named after Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby, who was Maine’s first registered guide and an early advocate for hiking tourism.  For directions, go to: www.mainetrailfinder.com

• Height of Land Scenic Overlook

The Height of Land scenic overlook on Route 17 near Rangeley offers people a place to get out and enjoy the region’s natural beauty. The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust has plans for a Phase II of this project, which is to include a conservation walk, and a tribute to conservation icons past and present. Portland Press Herald photo by Carl D. Walsh

Route 17, Rangeley

For driving directions, go to: maine.hometownlocator.com

The road to get to this overlook is winding and rural, but the drive is worth every minute it takes to get here. The view is breathtaking, no matter the time of day or day of the year, and is a view to remember for a lifetime. The parking pullout is very small, so use caution. But, do stop and take a picture. Or, two.

• Kineowatha Park

Kineowatha Park Drive, Wilson Lake, Wilton

(207) 645-4825

This 63-acre municipal park features a swimming area, tennis courts, playground, paddle board rentals, disc golf and hiking trails through old pine forests with tremendous views along the shores of Wilson Lake. There are programs for children, and visitors have a very good chance of seeing a baseball or softball game in action. The park closes at sunset.

• Sandy River, Farmington

The Sandy River has many swimming options, from shallow edges to deep pools, and is easily accessible. One of the favorite spots to stop is at the intersection of routes 2, 4 and 27 by the bridge. There, visitors can picnic or put in canoes and kayaks. The put-in can be tricky, with a long set of rock stairs instead of a ramp, but it’s worth it. Interested in less strenuous beachgoing? There are plenty of sandy beaches and picnic areas on Front Street, near the athletic fields at the University of Maine at Farmington.

There is also a terrific swimming hole off Route 142 between Phillips and Salem. Park on the right side of the road and walk down the footpath to the Sandy River.

• Smalls Falls

Route 4, three miles north of Madrid, just south of Rangeley

This rest area, which features everything you’d need to rest and recharge on a road trip, doubles as a destination. The .1 mile unmarked uphill trail runs alongside the Sandy River, and features beautiful waterfalls. The gorge is colorful and there are plenty of swimming holes to explore. Bring a picnic.

• Wilheim Reich Museum

Dodge Pond Road, Rangeley

(207) 864-3443

wilhelmreichtrust.org/museum.html

Dr. Wilheim Reich was an inventor, scientist, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. A student of Freud, his life’s work was considered controversial. When Reich claimed to save Maine’s blueberry crop in 1953 by “making rain” with his experimental Cloudbuster, the FDA called him a fraud and ordered his published research burned (although copies are still available in the bookstore). He was jailed, and later died there.

This museum, in his former home and laboratory called “Orgonon,” features 175 acres of fields, forests and trails, the Orgone Energy Observatory, a conference building, bookstore, and a couple of lakeside rental homes. The museum is open in July and August.

Oxford County

• Crestholm Farm Stand and Ice Cream

167 Main Street, Oxford

(207) 539-8832

crestholmfarm.com

Homemade ice cream and a petting zoo with llamas, goats, bunnies and sheep. Opens May 12.

• Frost Farm Gallery

272 Pikes Hill Road, Norway

(207) 743-8041

frostfarmgallery.com/

This community-minded gallery, which is in an historic 1797 farmstead, offers a diverse collection of matted and framed original vintage and antique prints. According to its owners, the gallery specializes in photogravure, letterpress, contemporary and stone litho.

• Jockey Cap

Intersection of routes 113 and 302, Fryeburg (behind Jockey Cap Country Store)

This quarter-mile hike is great for children, with an easy 200-foot elevation and a great view of surrounding mountains and the Saco River valley. There are a couple of caves along the trail that are popular with children, and when you get to the top there is a map identifying features of the White Mountain range. It’s also a popular rock-climbing destination, so keep an eye out for climbers scaling the Cap’s face.

Oxford Plains Speedway on Route 26 in Oxford opened the 2019 racing season in April and will race through October. This year, the 46th annual Oxford 250 will be held Aug. 25. Pits open at 7 a.m. Sun Journal file photo

• Oxford Plains Speedway

785 Main Street, Oxford

(207) 539-8865

www.oxfordplains.com/

This  3/8-mile racetrack was built in 1950 as a half-mile track, and is a favorite for locals and those from away (including the Busch brothers). The track seats 14,000, and there’s always plenty of action in the pits before each race. Prefer drag racing? You’re in luck. The nearby 1/8-mile drag strip is under new leadership this year and ready for action.

• Maine Mineral & Gem Museum

99 Main Street, Bethel

(207) 824-3036

mainemineralmuseum.org

This museum really is a treasure, packed full of gems to see and to buy. Western Maine has long been a destination for rock hounds, and this museum honors the traditions and the heritage of gem and mineral mining in Maine. The museum has been closed for renovations but is expected to re-open soon, so check the site before heading out.

Bernard McLaughlin was a master gardener who cultivated a vast collection of lilacs at his home on Main Street in Paris. That home is now known as The McLaughlin Garden and Homestead, honoring McLaughlin’s life’s work. McLaughlin Garden photo

• McLaughlin Garden & Homestead

97 & 103 Main Street, South Paris

(207) 743-8820

mclaughlingarden.org

This quiet and elegant garden is the creation of Bernard McLaughlin, a master gardener who regularly welcomed visitors to tour his property and enjoy the plantings. The lilacs alone are worth a visit. McLaughlin Garden Lilac Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend.

• Shepard’s Farm Preserve

121 Crockett Ridge Road, Norway

(207) 739-2124

wfltmaine.org

Twenty-acre nature preserve with six wooden sculptures from artist Bernard Langlais that also includes 4 miles of shaded trails.

• Streaked Mountain

Streaked Mountain Road (off Route 117), Buckfield

mainetrailfinder.com

This 1.2 mile out and back trail begins on a narrow woodland pathway near pasture and continues uphill on a rock-faced mountain. View the Oxford Hills, White Mountains and Presidential Range from the top.

• Western Maine Art Group

Western Maine Art Gallery, 426 Main Street, Norway

Matolcsy Arts Center, 480 Main Street, Norway

(207) 393-3912

westernmaineartgroup.org

This active community arts group offers two venues, both worth the trip. The venues provide opportunities for local artists and artisans to display and sell their work, from paintings to sculpture to jewelry. (The Matolcsy center is open only from May through October.) The group also offers classes and hosts the First Friday Artist of the Month Receptions.

What else?

• Bridgton Twin Drive-In Theatre

383 Portland Road, Bridgton

(207) 647-8666

Try a unique family movie experience at this classic drive-in. Throughout the summer, the theatre also hosts a weekly retro film series. Hit the ATM beforehand, as this is a cash only venue.

Deertrees Theatre in Harrison is a unique and rustic theater nestled in the woods, a favorite summer destination for visitors and locals alike. Ray MacGregor Photography

• Deertrees Theatre

156 Deertrees Road, Harrison

(207) 583-6747

deertrees-theatre.org

This is a very special theater, which is tucked into the woods, offering a rustic and relaxing venue for concerts, plays and other special events. What makes this theater so unique is the back wall of the stage is actually two enormous doors that can roll open, exposing the nature behind the building. It is said, during one performance decades ago, a deer walked right across the opening along the trees, adding to the magic of the performance.

• Children’s Discovery Museum

171 Capitol Street, Suite 2, Augusta

(207) 622-2209

childrensdiscoverymuseum.org

Interactive play for young children, plus special events throughout the year.

• Maine Wildlife Park

56 Game Farm Road (Route 26), Gray

(207) 657-4977

maine.gov/ifw/wildlife-park

Little ones love seeing rescued animals up close, including black bears, mountain lions and eagles. Parents enjoy the lovely tree-lined trails and gardens. There’s a convenient picnic area and snack bar for breaks in between seeing the sights. The park also hosts special events throughout the season.

• Pineland Farms

15 Farm View Drive

New Gloucester

(207) 650-3031

pinelandfarms.org

This sprawling farm is a great resource for young families looking for fun, education-based activities, including ice cream making and salsa making. Families can also visit their farmyard or enjoy a weekly story hour. There are also trails and gardens to explore and for older kids, disc golf, bocce and tennis.

• Rufus Porter Museum

121 Main Street, Bridgton

(207) 647-2828 

rufusportermuseum.org                               

Rufus Porter was an artist, inventor and publisher who died in 1884, and this museum is dedicated to his life and legacy. Founder of the Scientific American magazine, Porter invented a number of modern conveniences, including a washing machine, a cheese press and turbine water wheels, among other things — all with the goal to ease physical labor. The museum is open from June 15 to Oct. 12 and offers events and classes in addition to exhibits.

• Sebago Lake State Park

11 Park Access Road, Casco

(207) 693-6231

maine.gov/sebagolake

This shaded park has everything you need for a full day with family. There’s a playground for little ones, a snack bar, picnic tables and grills for cookouts. When the weather warms, enjoy a sandy beach and lake swimming. There are also campsites available if you want to spend more time.

• Songo River Queen II

Route 302/The Causeway

841 Roosevelt Trail, Naples

(207) 693-6861

songoriverqueen.net

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, families can board this classic, Mississippi Paddle Wheeler for a 1-2 hour ride along Long Lake.

Jennifer Hazard, a freelance writer living in Cumberland, contributed to this directory. She is the author of “The Maine Playbook.”

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