Welcome to Westbrook & the Lakes Region
Located just northwest of Portland, Westbrook is a busy little city, a commercial hub with a history in textile and paper mills on the Presumpscot River. Much of the old mill space around the downtown district has been converted to artists’ studios, entrepreneurs’ workshops and other business startups. The towns of the Lake Region, with their myriad lakes, rivers and ponds, are leafy meccas for watersports enthusiasts, fishermen, hikers and campers.
1. Westbrook River Walk
The Westbrook River Walk, along the Presumpscot River, home to the world-famous Spinning Ice Disk of 2019, runs parallel to Main Street from Cumberland Street to Bridge Street. It offers a chance to take in a little of Westbrook’s history while stretching your legs. Stroll past the powerful Saccarappa Falls and historic Dana Warp Mill and through downtown to Riverbank Park. Parking is available at numerous free parking lots along Main Street.
2. Erin Flett Studio + Shop
Maine designer Erin Flett has been making charming textiles for a decade, most recently in an historic mill in Westbrook, but this summer she moved into her own factory/showroom space in downtown Gorham. Flett handprints her hand drawn designs on everything from pillows to wallpaper and handbags, using Belgian linen and cotton canvas woven in North Carolina. Her new shop is in an old theater building in downtown Gorham (2 Main St., Gorham). The factory is upstairs. (207–837–0763; erinflett.com)
3. Rufus Porter Museum
Housed in two historic buildings in downtown Bridgton, this museum celebrates the work of 19th century folk artist Rufus Porter, renowned for his landscape murals and miniature portraits. Porter also was a patented inventor and the founding publisher and editor of the magazine Scientific American. A collection of his art, models of some of his inventions, his books and pamphlets are on display. Follow Route 302 to 121 Main St., Bridgton. (rufusportermuseum.org)
4. Sebago Lake State Park
This 1,400-acre Maine gem at 11 Park Access Road in Casco is an inexpensive way to spend the day at Maine’s deepest and second-largest lake. The day-use area features extensive sand beaches, tables, grills, a boat ramp, lifeguards and bathhouses. There is also a 250-site camping area with hot showers and restrooms. Whether hiking on marked trails or bicycling on park roads, visitors find a multitude of ways to enjoy the park and the adjacent Sebago Lake. (207–693–6613; maine.gov)
5. Hacker’s Hill
It’s only 750 feet high, but this hilltop affords 360-degree views of the White Mountains to the northwest, Maine mountains to the north and Sebago Lake to the southwest. Hacker’s Hill Preserve on Quaker Ridge Road in Casco is open to the public, with a picnic area and bathroom at the top. Take Route 302 through Windham to the Casco town line, look for Cry of the Loon gift shop on the right and take a right onto Quaker Ridge Road. The hill is a few miles up on the right.
8. Songo River Queen II
The Songo River Queen II, a replica of a Mississippi River paddle wheeler, takes up to 350 passengers on cruises on Long Lake. The Queen has an open-air deck with sun and rain protection, and food and beverages are available. Cruises, varying in length and itinerary, leave from the causeway on Route 302 in Naples. No reservations needed, trips twice daily throughout the month. (songoriverqueen.net)
7. Naples Wooden Boat Show
If you’re looking for a classic lake country event, the Mountainview Woodies boat show in Naples is just the ticket. It’s all about vintage wooden boats (“woodies”), a picnic and fun in the sun. Events for the 26th Annual Antique and Classic Boat and Car Show start on Aug. 7 and 8 with excursions for members. The public events kick into high gear on Friday the 9th with the arrival parade at 7:30 p.m. Then on Saturday the 10th, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., expect an antique boat parade and boat rides for children from Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children dealing with major health issues. Based on the town docks in Naples. (mountainviewwoodies.org)
8. Smiling Hill Farm
This tasty detour, a 500-acre working family-run dairy farm, has an ice cream shop and a dairy store at 781 County Road (Route 22), Westbrook. In addition to majorly delicious coffee, chocolate and strawberry milks in glass bottles, this farm is offering Goat Yoga taught by Ashley Flowers, just the adventure you need to center yourself in the whirlwind of August. The store is open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with lunch served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Barnyard animal exhibits are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Goat Yoga ($20) is scheduled for the evenings of Aug. 9 and 23. Visit ashleyflowersyoga.com for specifics and signup. (800–743–7463; smilinghill.com)
9. Seacoast Adventure
Boasting a 100-foot Sky Swing, Hill Slides tubing, Crazy Apes Aerial Adventure Park, Shipwreck Cove water playground for kids, go-karts and mini golf, Seacoast Adventure on Route 302 in Windham has offerings for the whole family. (seacoastadventure.com)
10. Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival
This chamber music festival is in its 47th year at Deertrees Theatre in Harrison, a rustic setting with impressive acoustics. There are two dates in August. On Aug. 6, the program includes a Clara Schumann piano trio, Hungarian dances from Brahms and a string quartet and bass playing Dvorak. On Aug. 13 the program includes a piano trio performing Dvorak and a piano quintet playing Elgar. ($25 for adults, free to under 21; sllmf.org)