RICHMOND — When Jeremy Purington started work on a project off Interstate 295 about two years ago, it sparked all kinds of interest in town.

“There was a lot  speculation in the beginning,” Michelle Purington said. “People thought it was a housing development. Because Jeremy is a builder, they first went there.”

The 663 Main St. site, just east of Auburn Asphalt’s Richmond facility, was undeveloped and heavily wooded. Just about anything could happen there. The guesses, mostly on the Richmond community’s Facebook page, took some wild turns early on. Even when Michelle Purington chimed in with the answer — mini golf — that didn’t necessarily shut off the flow of ideas.

Starting July 1, people will get to see first-hand what the buzz has been about when Moose Mountain Adventure Park, Purington’s destination miniature golf course built on Maine themes, opens its doors to the public.


The 18-hole course follows the contours of the ledge that gives it both its height and definition.


Water flows from a tower at the top of the mini golf course Wednesday at Moose Mountain Adventure Park in Richmond. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“When we were designing it, you really couldn’t put anything on paper because you literally could dig a hole, and there’s ledge,” Jeremy Purington said. “So you decide, let’s go in a different direction, and oh, there’s more ledge.”

But when it was all dug out, Purington, his crew and his designer discovered they could work with what they had. With some blasting and concrete work to define water features, they had three tiers that could be used to make ramps and define the shape of the course.

With input from the Puringtons’ sons, they used the natural features and activities that Maine is known for like an eagle’s nest, a bear cave, a beaver dam, a campfire hole, a fisherman and a lobster shack. The built features give the course its character but some serve very practical purposes like hiding the pump needed to move water or providing a path for rainwater to flow off the site.

“It’s efficient, but it’s also a really large course,” Purington said.

Building this course was not a sudden impulse. Michelle Purington said her husband has wanted to take on a project like this for some time. When they were traveling in Florida about five years ago, she said, he announced he wanted to build a miniature golf course.

“He had me taking video footage as we were driving down the highway,” she said. “I was like: ‘You’re crazy!’ I never thought this would come to fruition, but here we are.”


To help develop the course, Purington hired Bob Horwath after talking with a number of course designers. During construction, Horwath essentially lived at the site, parking his camper at the base of the hill for the length of the project. When his part was done, he packed up and drove to the site of his next project.

An eagle carved by Dan Burns, of Burns Bears in Augusta, is featured at Moose Mountain Adventure Park in Richmond. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The site, which is fully accessible, also features an ice cream stand, where Hershey’s ice cream will be sold to golfers, but you don’t have to play golf to get the ice cream. A beverage cooler will also be set up. In the first year, Purington said, they’re starting with basics and will expand from there.

Once people learned — and believed — he was building a miniature golf course, they wanted to know whether alcohol would be available.

“I don’t drink, but I have to start thinking about what does everybody else want?” he said.

Just off the clubhouse, there’s a patio that can be gated off from the rest of the facility if in the future Moose Mountain wants to serve adult beverages. But in the shorter term, it can be rented out for birthday parties or events, as can the tree house that sits at the top of the course.

And at the base of the course there’s a parking area that can host a revolving roster of food trucks.


Moose Mountain Adventure Park in Richmond is slated to open July 1. Ashley Allen/Kennebec Journal


Miniature golf courses are popular attractions on Maine’s coast, from York and Cumberland counties up through Mount Desert Island and in several inland locations. But southern central Maine has been clearly lacking anything like that.

While the area is not known as a recreation destination outside of fishing and boating, Darryl Sterling, Richmond’s economic development director, said he can see Moose Mountain being an attraction that plays in with other regional attractions like L.L. Bean in Freeport.

“What I like about Jeremy’s project is that it ticks all the boxes,” Sterling said. “Is there risk doing a project like this? Yes. But he’s made the investment and he’s continuing to make the investment.”

Richmond, with easy access to I-295, is part of central Maine near the capital region, but it also has ties to the Midcoast and is a member of the Midcoast Council of Governments, he said.

“I can see tour buses coming here, school buses coming here specifically for the Adventure Park,” he said. “I’ve talked to all his construction crews and I’ve talked to a lot of people around the area and around the state. With the marketing and the old-fashioned word of mouth, word is out there right now.”


The facility will bring people to town, both to the business growth area where it’s located and to the village area with its restaurants and waterfront access to the Kennebec River.

“I think people will want to go, even from out of state,” he said. “There are very passionate mini golfers who like to go to different mini golf courses from state to state to state.”

Well into the construction, Purington said he learned that one of his employees travels with his fiancée on weekends to different courses around the region.

“I wanted this to be talked about two hours away and people wanting to come just to experience it.

In the final days before the opening, Purington and his crew spent time finishing final details to get the facility ready.

Michelle Purington said they’ve hired between 15 and 20 people to fill part-time positions.


Owners of Moose Mountain Adventure Park, Michelle and Jeremy Purington, stand Wednesday in front of their new 18-hole mini golf course. The business is slated to open July 1. Ashley Allen/Kennebec Journal

“We were fully staffed pretty much immediately with great applicants, great kids,” she said. “I am super excited with everybody who applied and I think they’re going to be great — outgoing, hardworking; everybody’s going to be great.

The season will run from April to October, with the course open weekends early and late in the season. For the summer, the park will be open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to the website.

While the golf course is now completed, it’s not likely to be the only attraction on the site. Moose Mountain occupies only about one acre of a 10-acre parcel.

There will be a second phase of development, the Puringtons say, but what that is they can’t say right now.

“I like to tell people this is phase one of something grand,” he said. “I don’t know what it’s going to be yet.”

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