Maine visitors who prefer fresh water to saltwater should grab their fishing poles or their snow skis and head for the Western Lakes and Mountains. This is where huge inland bodies of water—Sebago Lake alone covers 46 square miles—and majestic mountains meet to create a visual feast for the eyes. The scenic variety in Western Maine is only outdone by the diversity of year-round family-oriented activities to be enjoyed.
Geographically, this region of Maine borders New Hampshire to the west, and Canada’s Province of Quebec on the north. Vast in size (larger than New Hampshire and Vermont combined), it has literally dozens of lakes, rivers and ponds that provide opportunities for water sports such as boating, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, waterskiing and whitewater rafting. If fishing is your passion, you can find some of the best trout and salmon fishing in the country in Western Maine. In addition to Sebago, popular lakes in the region include Rangeley, Flagstaff and “that one with the funny name, "Mooselookmeguntic".
If your idea of exercise is finding great deals, you’ll want to visit Lewiston and Auburn, twin cities on opposite sides of the Androscoggin River. L.A., as the locals call it, is home to a wide variety of shopping choices as well as a robust arts district and the Bates College Museum of Art. If you prefer antiquing, the place to go in Western Maine is Bridgton.
Visit the region during the fall season and you will see a riot of color surrounding some of New England’s most picturesque villages. Come in the winter and you can take to the slopes of Sugarloaf, Bigelow, Saddleback, Sunday River, Pleasant Mountain and Shawnee Peak. With hundreds of well-groomed trails, these peaks (some more than 4,000 feet high) are a real draw for those who enjoy winter sports. Not a skier? Try snowboarding or cross-country skiing or snowmobiling. Or, just sit by a roaring fire in the lobby of one of the region’s rustic lodges.
For history lovers, Western Maine is replete with museums and historical societies that welcome visitors of all ages. With its large tracts of unspoiled terrain, this region of Vacationland also welcomes the avid hunter. If that’s your sport, you can track deer, moose and other wild game during the annual fall hunting season.
For more information on the Western Maine region, click on the town name below:
Sebago Lake & Naples