While traveling along Route 302 in Western Maine you’ll come upon the quaint lakeside town of Naples, home to Maine’s only “riverboat queen” the Songo River Queen II!
The SONGO RIVER QUEEN II is a privately built replica of the famed Mississippi River Paddle Wheelers. The QUEEN is 93 feet long, 23 feet wide, and tips the scales at 100 tons, enabling it to offer an exceptionally smooth ride for even the most timid of passengers. Built in 1982, the QUEEN is meticulously cleaned and maintained to the highest of standards. She is rated for up to 350 passengers and is handicapped accessible. The QUEEN has two decks including an open upper deck with an attractive red striped canopy for protection from the sun and rain, as well as a fully enclosed and heated lower deck, and there are restrooms on board.
This allows her to easily accommodate large groups of people for weddings, corporate outings, anniversary parties, reunions, bus tours, functions, family reunions and any other outing you might want to book. In season we have boat trips running daily allowing you to see the lakes in a comfortable and affordable fashion whenever you are in the area.
A food court is available on board for your convenience. A cocktail bar serving beer, wine, and liquor also operates on board, therefore, no alcoholic beverages may be carried aboard, per state law. The legal drinking age in Maine is 21 and a photo ID will be required to purchase alcohol.
The bustling town of Bridgton will be found traveling north from Naples along the western shore of Long Lake. Stroll the bricked sidewalk of downtown and you’ll find restaurants, gift shops, antiques and crafts and the celebrated Gallery302. Featured here are the works of more than 50 artists, which include paintings, wood carvings, furniture, ceramics, jewelry and more. For accommodations you’ll find excellent choices from rustic to cozy in charming cottages and quaint inns.
Known as the “Maine Place for All Seasons”, Bridgton is surrounded by numerous lakes, mountains and wooded hillsides and has evolved as a major resort area. In summer Long Lake (4,867 acres), Highland Lake (1,401 acres), and Moose Pond (1,694 acres) provide boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and other water sports. Swimming may be enjoyed on the lakes at public beaches (Highland Lake, Woods Pond, Salmon Point, and Plummer’s Landing).
They also offer magnificent scenic views and vacation activities throughout the four seasons that keep visitors returning.
You can pick from a variety of hiking trails that range from family-easy to heavy breathing challenging any time of year. You’ll get one of the better views of 50 nearby lakes, ponds and streams at the top of Pleasant Mountain. From here you also get an unforgettable view of the towering peaks of the White Mountains to the west in neighboring New Hampshire.
Starting in late September through mid-October everywhere you look you’ll see the brilliant colors of autumn foliage. Take along your camera, painting gear or a vivid imagination for memory keeping.
Winter brings the snows and by January the lakes and ponds have frozen. For hearty folks who love a chill in the air you can enjoy all manner of winter sports, such as ice fishing, skating, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
Take the short ride west from Bridgton center to family oriented Shawnee Peak which offers 41 trails of excellent downhill skiing including night skiing.
Another winter event that draws people to Bridgton from all over New England and Eastern Canada is the Mushers Bowl Winter Carnival. The festivities feature a dog sled race, ice sculptures and several athletic competitions including broomball and a ping pong tournament in a family oriented fun-filled snowy celebration.
Harrison, located at the top of Long Lake, is the home of the Deertrees Theater and Cultural Center. It started in l936 and audiences saw headliners like Tallulah Bankhead, Rudy Vallee and Ethel Barrymore in its 300-seat theater. During the summer it offers more than fifty productions, including standup comedy, Broadway plays and musical shows.
Travel west of Bridgton to Lovell and you’ll get more spectacular views of the White Mountains. Lovell also offers hiking trails, antique shops and art galleries.