If you’re heading up north to see the total eclipse on April 8, the town of Rangeley in the western mountains – about two and a half hours from Portland – is one of the places closest to southern Maine where you can do that.

It’s likely to be crowded, as there are events for nearly a week leading up to the eclipse, so plan ahead. While you’re there, you could have a pre-eclipse lunch of pizza or burgers at the Red Onion Restaurant or a post-eclipse drink at Portage Tap House, with 20 beers on tap. Browse for outdoor clothing and Maine gifts at the Alpine Shop of Rangeley or shop for some new fishing gear at Rangeley Region Sport Shop. 

If the forecast was better, one way to get away from the eclipse-watching crowds would be to take the 1.75-mile hike to the top of Bald Mountain, with views of Rangeley and Mooselookmeguntic Lakes, but it’s likely to be inaccessible because of ice and snow (check maine.gov for conditions and alerts). For a scenic view without the hike, head just out of town to Height of Land, a breathtaking overlook on Route 17.

The view from the tower atop Bald Mountain. Photo by Sue Downes-Borko

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