Towns

Harrison

"The Friendly Village."

Harrison is located on Route 117 at the northern end of Long Lake. Art and culture are very much alive in Harrison due to Deertrees Theater and Cultural Center, The Backstage Gallery at Deertrees and several other studios. Whether it's learning to dance at The Ballroom, taking karate lessons, ice skating on Long Lake, playing at The Field of Dreams, touring Scribner's Mill or participating in one of the recreation departments many programs for young and old, there's always something to do in Harrison.

Special events in Harrison are Back to the Past events at Scribner's Mill, Old Home Days activities including a children's parade, Christmas in Harrison including The Candlelight Parade and several holiday craft fairs.

Thirty-six square miles encompass Harrison, which has a population of about 2,300 people. Like other towns and villages in the area, the population increases significantly in the summer. Clubs and organizations include Harrison Friendly Riders Snowmobile Club, Lions Club, Scouts, Masons and Eastern Star among others. Students in grades K-6 attend Harrison Elementary School before moving on to the Oxford Hills Regional Middle, High and Vocational Schools. Restaurants, tourism, summer camps, realty, marinas, excavation, construction, home businesses, retail shops and a variety of service industries form the business sector of the community.

Playgrounds: Crystal Lake Park, Field of Dreams, Harrison Elementary School*
Beaches: Crystal Lake (residents only), Long Lake
Picnic Areas: Crystal Lake, Long Lake
Boat Launches: Crystal Lake, Long Lake
FMI: www.harrisonmaine.org ; town office: 207.583.2241

*Not available during school hours.

Deertrees Theatre and Cultural Center Built of hemlock in an Adirondack Style, the Deertrees Theatre and Cultural Center in Harrison, first opened its doors in 1936. Today the theatre offers an eclectic schedule of events for young and old from late June until early September. Broadway stars and local would-be actors as well as world-acclaimed musicians and aspiring students have graced the stage of Deertrees Theater.

 

Fryeburg

The oldest town in Oxford County.

Located on the Saco River and New Hampshire border, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors in Fryeburg. The town is home to Hemlock Covered Bridge, several easy hiking trails, miles of snowmobile trails, Fryeburg Academy, twelve public parks, two public beaches, three public boat launches, two museums, two campgrounds, an active recreation department, two playgrounds, a dance school, bowling and simulated golf at Saco Valley Sports Center, an outdoor ice rink, eleven buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and Eastern Slopes Regional Airport.

Special events include Fryeburg Academy's Black Fly Festival, Lee and Joan Day Memorial Car Show, Memorial Day and July Fourth parades, Beautification Plant Sale, summertime concerts at the Bradley Park Gazebo, Maine Street Festival arts and crafts fair and Fryeburg Fair, Maine's Blue Ribbon Classic.

Located in Oxford County, over 3,000 year round residents have plenty of space to roam in the 60 square miles of Fryeburg. Clubs and organizations include SCOOPS--a local motorcycle group that rides to ice cream shops each week, Fryeburg Area Rotary Club, Lions Club, Eastern Star and Masons, Bridge Club, Scouts, Fryeburg Senior Citizens, and the Interstate Sno-goers Snowmobile Club. Though there are trails throughout town and beside the river, if you are using a 4-wheeler or skiing, it is best to ask for landowners' permission. Elementary through high school education takes place at schools in town. Farms including potatoes and turf, light manufacturing, retail stores, canoe and camp industry, tourism, education, antique, gift and specialty shops and the building industry influence Fryeburg's economy.

Playgrounds: Graustein Park, C.A.Snow School*
Beaches: Weston's Beach, Canal Bridge
Picnic Areas: Canal Bridge, Route 302 Rest Area
Boat Launches: Lovewell Pond, Bog Pond, Saco River (Swan's Falls, Canal Bridge, Walker Bridge, Hemlock Bridge)
FMI: www.fryeburgmaine.org; town office: 207.935.2805

* Not available during school hours.

Hemlock Bridge Built in 1857, of Paddleford truss construction with supporting laminated wooden arches, Hemlock Bridge in Fryeburg is a quaint and charming reminder of days gone by. The 109-foot long covered bridge spans the old course of the Saco River. Though reinforced in 1988 so you can drive across the bridge, it's more fun to walk across. Take time to admire the work of our forefathers, peer at the river and read the graffiti on Maine's oldest remaining covered bridge.

 

Waterford

"A Peaceful Village."

Located along Routes 35, 37 and 118, the three villages of Waterford are nestled in the rolling hills of western Maine. With two public beaches, three boat accesses, six ponds, Crooked River, Mud Pond fen and Keoka Lake, there is plenty to do on the water in Waterford. Three hikes, one of those for experienced rock climbers, two public parks, two museums, a pottery studio, two campgrounds, and twenty-three buildings on the National Register of Historic Places make this a quaint place to live or visit.

Special events include the July 4th parade, North Waterford World's Fair and Waterford Chili Cook-off and Fall Foliage 5K road race plus a one mile fun run for kids.

About 1,450 people live in the 47 square miles of Waterford. They belong to the Waterford-Stoneham Lions Club, two Granges, Masons, North Waterford Friendly Senior Citizens Group and Waterford Snowpackers Snowmobile Club. Children begin their school career at Waterford Elementary School, then continue on at the Oxford Hills Regional Middle, High and Vocational Schools. The local economy receives a boost from the building industry, realty, farming, tourism, camps, light manufacturing and antique and specialty shops.

Playgrounds: Werner Park, Sandlot Ball Field, Waterford Elementary School*
Beaches: Keoka Beach (residents only)
Boat Launches: Keoka Lake, Bear Pond, Five Kezar Ponds (rough access), Crooked River
FMI: www.waterfordme.org; town office: 207.583.4403

*Not available during school hours.

Waterford Flats Historic District Sit on a park bench in the village green and look across at the home of Artemus Ward, pen name of Waterford native, Charles F. Brown, who was Mark Twain's mentor. Step into the Waterford Library, designed by John Calvin Stevens and son, John Howard Stevens. Or envision the ladies sitting on one side of the room facing their men on the other side during town meeting at the Old Town Office and Meeting Hall in Waterford Flats. Of course, the ladies were not
allowed to vote and had to keep quiet--surely an impossible task. Twenty-one buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Center Lovell

Lovell is located on Route 5. With almost every road bearing the word "Hill" in the name, you have an idea of the terrain of this area. And from those hills, the view of the White Mountains is spectacular. There are several hikes for all abilities, two libraries, six ponds, two public boat launches, five sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including an archeological site, two outdoor ice skating areas, a country club, two playgrounds, miles of trails on the snowmobile route, a multi-generational recreation department and an active arts and culture community.

Special events include the Monthly Speaker Program at the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Old Home Days activities, the annual Arts and Artisans Craft Show at the New Suncook School, the Lovell Lions Club auction, Tour de Lovell, Gasping Gobbler 5k run/walk, annual antiques show and sale at the Kimball Stanford House, and the Dave Mason/Kezar Lake Tennis Tournament.

About 975 people live in the 43 square miles of Lovell, Center Lovell and North Lovell. Clubs and organizations such as the Ladies Circle, Scouts, Lions Club, PTA, Lovell Historical Society and Greater Lovell Land Trust keep people busy. Children in grades K-5 attend New Suncook Elementary School. For the remainder of their school years, they receive their education in neighboring Fryeburg. The local economy is sparked by tourism, maintenance, guide service, realty, light manufacturing, antique, gift and craft shops plus service and professional businesses.

Playgrounds: Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Lewis Dana Hill Memorial Library (basketball court), New Suncook Elementary School*
Beaches: Town Landing, Pleasant Point, Kezar Landing (all are for residents only)
Boat Launches: Kezar Lake's Upper and Middle Bay, Horseshoe Pond, Bradley Pond (rough access), Heald Pond (6 mph limit), Farrington Pond (carry in)
FMI: www.lovellmaine.net; town office: 207.925.6272

*Not available during school hours.

Kezar Falls Gorge This gorge, located off a dirt road in Lovell, is easy to miss because it's not marked--truly a chance to get away from it all. Open your windows and listen for the rushing water, while looking for three unmarked driveways. They all lead to the same small parking area. Water flows from Five Kezars Pond in Waterford, through Kezar River and down to Kezar Falls Gorge. A chain link fence guards the open ledge at the top of the gorge, which is ten-yards deep and forty-yards long. Paths to the left and right of the fence provide a better view of the glacial stone carved by centuries of ceaseless water flow. The pool at the bottom of the gorge is emerald green and refreshingly cold.

 

Naples

The "heart" of the Lakes Region.

Naples Village is easily accessible on Route 302. At the eastern end of the Causeway, a swinging bridge spans Chute River, the shortest river in the area and the connection between Long Lake and Brandy Pond. Rides on the Songo River Queen Paddleboat, six campgrounds, several residential summer camps, an indoor swimming pool, library programs for all ages, a women's football league, the Naples Community Arena for ice skating and roller blading, a walking program at the high school, mail boat and seaplane rides, golf and a seasonal farmers' market are part of what make Naples unique.

Special events include a Winter Carnival, Memorial Day Parade, Maine Blues Festival, Classic Antique Wooden Boat Show, July 4th Parade and Fireworks, Naples Main Street at Christmas and several holiday craft fairs.

Home to about 3,300 people, Naples covers 36 square miles. Clubs and organizations include the Lions Club, Sebago Lake Anglers Association, Naples Historical Society and Naples Business Association. Songo Locks Elementary School meets the needs of students in grades K-3. For grades 4-5, the children attend Crooked River Elementary School in nearby Casco. They return to Naples to attend the regional middle, high and vocational schools. Restaurants, realty, specialty shops, a golf course, driving range, two miniature golf courses and arcades, batting cages, several marinas, excavation, construction, and tourism plus a variety of retail shops and service businesses provide work opportunities in Naples.

Playgrounds: Naples Municipal Building, Songo Locks Elementary School*
Beach: Naples Town Beach (residents only)
Picnic Areas: Village Green, Sebago Lake State Park (fee)
Boat Launches: Sebago Lake State Park (fee)
(Note: For Long Lake and Brandy Pond, use launches in Bridgton or Harrison)
FMI: www.townofnaples.org; town office: 207.693.6364

*Not available during school hours.

Holt Pond Nature Preserve Tucked away on a dirt road in Naples is Holt Pond Nature Preserve, "a magical place to explore . . ." The bog pond, Muddy River, beaver dams, a quaking bog, cattails, pitcher plants, a heron rookery and more await in this 500-acre preserve. A canoe is available for public use; bring your own paddles and PFD. Boardwalks make wet areas accessible. Trails are well-marked. Guided walks are offered throughout the year by Lakes Environmental Association or enjoy this place by yourself for quiet reflection.

 

Bridgton

"The Maine Place for All Seasons."

As the hub of the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region area, Bridgton is located approximately 35 miles west of Portland and 20 miles east of North Conway, N.H. on Route 302. The town is home to a drive-in movie theater, hiking and nature trails, community center, hospital, senior meals, four free public beaches and boat launches, Shawnee Peak Ski Area, two ice arenas, three museums, artists' studios and art galleries, five children's playgrounds, a country club, an active recreation program and many special events.

Special events include the Mushers' Bowl Winter Carnival, Big Night Celebration, July 4th concert, fireworks, road race and parade, Rowing Regatta, Art in the Park Show, Woodworkers and Artisans Show, seasonal Farmers' Market, a Festival of Lights and craft fairs throughout the year.

About 4,900 year-round residents live in this 68 square-mile town. Educational opportunities abound from pre-school through Senior College. Organizations include 4-H, Scouts, Rotary, Lions Club, PTA, Easy Riders Snowmobile Club, Lake Region ATV Club, Pleasant Mountain Ski Club, Bridgton Astronomy Club, Bridgton Historical Society, Red Hat Society, Lakeside Garden Club, antique bottles, bridge club and more. A diverse business community includes education, health, automotive, retail shops, restaurants, golfing, skiing, boating, antiques, craft and gift shops, realty and insurance, art galleries, construction and excavation, light manufacturing, tourism and the service industry.

Playgrounds: Highland Lake Beach, Bridgton Municipal Building, Jr. Harmon Ball Field, Woods Pond Beach, Bridgton Community Center, Stevens Brook Elementary School*
Beaches: Highland Lake, Woods Pond, Salmon Point, North Bridgton Beach
Picnic Areas: Highland Lake Beach, Woods Pond, Salmon Point, Willis Park, Sandy Creek
Boat Launches: Moose Pond, Highland Lake, Salmon Point, Woods Pond
Boat Washing Stations: West Bridgton Fire Station, Highland Lake, Woods Pond
FMI: www.bridgtonmaine.org; town office: 207.647.8756

*Not available during school hours.

Frances Howe Murals Tucked away in the rear of the first floor of the historic Wales and Hamblen building on Main Street in Bridgton are the Frances Howe murals, considered to be Rufus Porter's finest work. Painted in 1838, the murals were rescued from the Howe home in Massachusetts prior to its demolition in 1965. They are the only murals known to be signed by both Rufus Porter and his son, Stephen Twombly Porter. More information is available at the Rufus Porter Museum in Bridgton.