You get to the Farmington region by heading northwest from Augusta, the state capital.
If your holiday brings you here in the summer you have a multitude of lakes, ponds and rivers for swimming, boating, fishing and other water sports. Mountains and valleys provide great hiking, camping and stunning views.
In autumn the hillsides transform into a painter’s colorful pallet. Winter brings out sports enthusiasts who love to ski downhill and cross country, ice skate, snowmobile and ice fish.
In addition to the natural wonders of the region each town around Farmington takes pride in its rural roots and work ethic. You get a sense of the impressive character of the people who settled in the area from the names they gave their towns, such as: Wilton, Industry, Strong, Temple, Vienna – just one of the many Maine towns linked with foreign locations, New Vineyard, Chesterville and Weld.
When you reach Farmington you’ll find an unpretentious, yet charming downtown with a wide array of restaurants, gift shops, bookstores and the Historical Society. Nearby is the 85-acre Historic District. It houses more than 100 Federal and Colonial Revival buildings and other historic resources that illustrate the growth of the community from the 1800s through the mid-20th century.
Just south of downtown is the campus of the University of Maine at Farmington, the oldest public institution of higher education in Maine.
While on the campus be sure to visit Nordica Auditorium. Named for the famous 19th century opera singer who resided here, Lillian Nordica who performed in New York and Paris.
You’ll enjoy more of the performing arts at the Arts Institute of Western Maine, famous for presenting a variety of musical productions, including chamber, classical, opera, Broadway show tunes and jazz.
You may want to plan your visit to coincide with the Franklin County Fair. It’s been a tradition since 1840 and takes place in September. Highlights are harness racing, livestock shows, entertainments, rides and games.
A way to stay warm in December in Farmington is to join in the parade and festivities honoring Chester Greenwood born in 1858. A high school dropout, at age 15 he invented the earmuff, just one of the many ideas he patented. Every participant marching in the parade, including farm animals, dons “ear protectors,” as they were once called
The town of Industry has the 800-acre Clearwater Lake that is popular four seasons of the year. If you have a hearty streak in you join the Polar Bear Club and take a quick dip in the lake on Chester Greenwood Day.
Vienna offers you nine ponds for year-round fun. Milton Bradley, creator of popular board games grew up here. So did Carrie Stevens, well know to fly-tying fishermen for creating the famous Gray Ghost Fly.
In Chesterville paddle your canoe on the gentle and winding Little Norridgewock Stream in the Wildlife Management Ares. With acres of bogs, ponds, hills and wildlife to enjoy outdoor trekkers have compared its lush scenery to the Everglades – without the alligators.