New Gloucester, Maine is filled with beautiful farm land, rolling hills, forests, and the Royal River. Located in southwestern Maine not far from Portland, New Gloucester was settled in 1736 by 60 people on 6 square miles. The town was incorporated in 1774 and named for Gloucester, Massachusetts where the original settlers were from. A productive farming community developed sawmills and gristmills. By 1858 the population was 1,848. Today the town covers 47.8 square miles and has a population of about 5,700. Farming remains an important part of the community. There are many farms, orchards, and markets to visit. New Gloucester is steeped in history, and there are many historic sites to visit when not enjoying the orchards, markets, and outdoor activities.
20. Love Point Oysters
If you love oysters, you'll love Love Point Oysters. Located in Harpwell, this oyster farm offers some of the best oysters in the world. Love Point oyster farm is located in Casco Bay. The small farm cultivates oysters for two years where oysters are grown in the cold, clean waters of Casco Bay. Love Point uses sustainable husbandry methods to cultivate fresh oysters. You can purchase oysters through Love Point and also take a private tour. The tour includes a relaxing cruise site seeing Casco Bay. The boat drops anchor at the Love Point Oyster Farm where you will see the oysters and learn about the farming process.
19. Sebago Trails Paddling Company
Sebago Trails Paddling Company is located in the nearby town of Raymond. The company is owned by Bill Allen and Katelyn Perry since 2012. They have a love of the water and water activities and want to share their experience. They rent kayak's, paddle boards, and canoes and offer lessons, tours and group outings. It's a great experience to enjoy the scenic Sebago Lakes. Tours include a Sunset Tour, a Moonlight Tour, Fall Foliage and Covered Bridge Tours, and beginners and private tours.
18. Bradbury Mountain State Park
Bradbury Mountain State Park is one of five of the state of Maine's original state parks. The large park is located in Pownel, just outside of New Gloucester. If you are a nature lover, Bradbury Mountain State Park is the perfect place to visit. The scenery is beautiful. The mountain has several scenic trails. Walking, hiking, jogging and biking are all allowed on the trails. The trails are open year round, so you can also snowshoe and cross country across the trails as you enjoy nature and recreation.
17. Poland Spring Preservation Park
Not far from New Gloucester is Poland Spring Preservation Park. Although the Poland Spring water plant is now located elsewhere in the town of Poland, Maine, the original plant still stands. Poland Spring Resort opened in the mid-1800's. Renown for the spring waters, the resort and spa was the largest and most successful inland Maine resort at the time. In 1903 Edward Ricker developed the idea of bottling the spring water. With Polish architect Harry Wickerson, they designed two buildings next to the resort. One water pumping facility and the other was a treatment facility. The buildings stand today and are listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Visitors can enjoy tours of the two magnificent buildings and the museum, learning about the early years of pumping spring water, treating and bottling it.
16. Kindred Farms Market and Bakery
Located in nearby Casco, this locally owned farm market is worth the visit when visiting New Gloucester. Kindred Farm Market offers fresh grown produce grown in Anita's Garden. You can purchase fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers in the farm's Garden Room. You can also purchase baked goods and deli meats. This farm market also offers delicious homemade meals and baked goods. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with vegetarian, vegan, and glutton free options. Kindred Farms is famous for its pizza, vegetable and fruit dishes, ice cream, and baked goods. The Market also offers catering.
15. Maine Brews Crews
Mark and Trish Lyons began Brews Crews in Asheville, North Carolina in 2009. They sold the company to Vestigo Travel Group who took the concept nationwide. Portland, Maine is home to a Brews Crews, so if you're visiting New Gloucester and are interested in learning about craft beers, try the Portland Brews Crews. The experience is a mobile tour for educational tasting at three local craft beer producers. The tours are open to individuals and groups. Tours include a brunch tour, a lunch tour, and a Local Pour Tour. It's a fun way to get to know the area around Portland and learn about how craft beer is made and an opportunity to taste different locally made craft beers.
14. Ten Apple Farm
Ten Apple Farm is located in nearby Gray. The owners moved into the 1901 farmhouse in 2005 and continue to renovate it as well as the barn. Ten Apple Farm sits on 18 acres and includes a heard of Alpine dairy goats as well as hens, pigs, chickens and turkeys; There is also a large garden where the family grows food for themselves and their guests to the farm. A visit to Ten Apple Farm is fun for both young and old. The owners offer goat hikes, goat milking, help with morning chores, workshops on basic homesteading skills, and cooking classes. Half or full day experiences are available to individuals or small groups.
13. Jacob Randall House
Jacob Randall House is a historic home located in nearby Pownal, Maine on Lawrence Road. The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Jacob Randall purchased 100 acres of land in 1796 and had the home built on the property four years later. The home lies along the Chandler River which Randall had dammed to build a sawmill and gristmill. Randal was one of the towns first select men and served from 1808 until his death in 1836. The two and a half story brick home is classic Federalist style architecture. The home features a side gable roof, two chiminies, and a granite foundation. The front is five bay widows wide, and the sides are two bay windows wide. The front entrance is in a recessed central bay. There is a single story addition on the left side.
12. Carousel Horse Farm
For horse lovers, Carousel Horse Farm is a must to visit in New Gloucester. The farm offers sleigh rides and guided horseback riding through 5,000 acres of scenic trails in fields and woods with views of Mount Washington and wildlife. There are five trail loops that take an hour to two hours to travel by horse. Carousel Horse Farm offers tours including for beginners, Sunset Guided Tours, and Group Beach Rides. If you own your own horse, you can bring him or her with you to ride the trails at Carousel Horse Farm. There are also places to stay overnight at the farm with accommodations for your horse.
11. Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience
If you like an adventure, don't miss Maine's Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience. Close to the town of New Gloucester, the kennel is based in Oxford with trails in Hebron, Casco, and Bethel. There are one and two hour packages and a more adventurous Mountain Tour. Enjoy a dog sled experience along well groomed and manicured trails through Maine's lush forests. A travel guide joins you for the ride. The sled dogs love to run. The are mostly Alaskan Husky and some are a mix of German Short Hair and Pointer Mix. The Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience is owned by the Therricult family. The patriarch raced professionally and began the Ultimate Dog Sledding Experience with a kennel with 20 to 40 dogs in 1987. His son Alex runs the business now. Alex was raised dog sledding and raced professionally, winning several medals.
10. Oxbow Beer Garden
Oxford Beer Garden opened its third location in New Gloucester in 2019. The main location is located in a 200 year old renovated barn in the town of Oxford, Maine. The Oxford location includes a restaurant and a tap room. It is near the Oxbow Brewing Company where all three of the Oxbow Beer Garden restaurants sell the Oxford craft beers. The New Gloucester location sits on beautiful, scenic farmland. There is a tap room, bar, and restaurant. As with the original Oxbow Beer Garden, the New Gloucester location specializes in wood fired pizza, uses locally sourced produce, and features farmhouse ales, house made sodas, and natural wines.
9. Run With Wolves Sanctuary
Located in nearby Limington, Maine, Run With Wolves Sanctuary rescues wolves and wolf dogs that are abused, neglected or abandoned, providing them with a peaceful setting where they are loved and cared for by a volunteer staff. The non-profit sanctuary hosts groups that want to learn about these beautiful creatures recovering from trauma and anxiety. Wolves are pack animals and a symbol of guardianship and loyalty, so it's lovely to see them with forming a new pack protected in a beautiful setting. The Sanctuary was founded by Brenda Foster in 1990 whose father saved small animals and inspired her.
8. Vista of Maine Vineyard and Cider Tasting Room
Vista of Maine Vineyard is located near New Gloucester in the town of Greene. It was established as an apple orchard in 1803 selling produce to local grocers. The 22 acres of apple trees and grape vines lies in the foothills of the Sabattus Lake. Several historic barns remain. Vista of Maine Vineyard has a tasting room in a big red barn that was built by the Hill family in 1833. There is also a bakery, store, and a private room for events. The Vineyard also offers workshops and yoga classes. Weddings and larger events take place in the Wedding Barn. There is also an 1800's Farm House on site that sleeps 8 to 10 people.
7. Maine Wildlife Park
Maine Wildlife Park is located at 56 Game Farm Rd. near New Gloucester. The park has a visitor and nature center, a snack shack, a small wildlife museum, trails, gardens and picnic spots. From May to October, Maine Wildlife Park offers guided tours and education programs. The park features 30 species of wildlife that were saved when injured, orphaned or raised illegally in captivity. Animals are finally in a safe place where they are well taken care of. Wildlife to see include black bear, bobcat, cougar, lynx, coyote, fox, moose, deer, bald eagle, barred owl, beaver, peacock, hawk, pheasant, porcupine and a variety of reptiles and amphibians.
6. Thompson's Orchards and Bakery
Thompson's Orchards sits on 40 acres of land and has been family owned since 1906. Arthur and Myrtle purchased the land with 800 trees. They grew the orchard to include 2,500 trees and grew strawberries and blueberries while raising cattle and running a sawmill. Herbert Thompson, Jr. added a cider mill in 1968. Today the Orchard remains rich with fruit including fifteen varieties of apples. Guests can pick their own and enjoy a hayride. Thompson's bakery is decadent with freshly baked pastries, donuts, pies, cakes and breads. Jellies and jams and fresh apple cider and coffee are also available. An onsite shop sells crafts made by local artesans. Thompson's also sells Christmas trees and tree wreath.
5. New Gloucester Veterans' Memorial Park
When visiting New Gloucester, you'll want to see the Veterans' Monument which pays honor to veterans of all American Wars that are from New Gloucester. The All Wars Monument was erected and dedicated in 2014. It was made by Collette Monument Maker and sponsored by the Hunnewell AMVETS Post No. 6 and the New Gloucester Historical Society. The gray and red granite monument is impressive. It features a center monument that was dedicated in 1968 and originally at the Masonic Hall lot. It's flanked by red granite stone with all of the service emblems and six granite tablets listing the name of all of the towns men and women who served in the American wars.
4. Pisgah Hills Preserves
The Royal River Conservation Trust owns and manages the beautiful Pisgah Hills Preserves. The site has two trail heads, one at 74 Dougherty Rd. and one at 159 N. Pownal Road. The trails are great for hiking and snowshoeing. They can be used for horse riding with permission and responsible hunting. The trails feature a large wetland area, forests, vernal pools, beaver ponds and are a rich wildlife habitat. Pisgah Hills Preserves are a great place for recreational use and exploring the outdoors year round. During the winter months, Pisgah Hills Preserves serve as a great place to enjoy the sunset and moonrise.
3. New Gloucester Historical Society and Museum
When visiting New Gloucester, don't miss a visit to the Historical Society's museum. There, you will take a trip back into time into the rich history of this quaint New England town. The museum has archived books, biographies, manuscripts, journals, pictures, and genealogical information. The town was established in 1736 as a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Grant. The first 60 settlers built cabins and fished but soon found the ground was fertile and perfect for farming. The settlers abandoned the area for several years due to Indian attacks. In 1753 they built a block house to protect the settlement. Today the blockhouse is located on a nearby farm.
2. Pineland Farms
Pineland Farms has 5,000 acres of farmland and rolling hills. It is a working farm and offers educational programs for both adults and children, recreational events, and serves as a beautiful wedding and event venue. Guests can enjoy the market that offers fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. Guests can also enjoy the beautiful 1 acre garden where they can picnic eating fresh cheese and berries. There is a trout pond to fish in. There are groomed trails on the site where guests can ski, bike, hike, and bird watch. There is also an equestrian center. Guests who have an event at Pineland Farms can stay in the guest houses.
1. Sabbathday Shaker Village
Sabbathday Shaker Village is the last Shaker community in existence in the United States of America. The community was started by five families of Shaker missionaries in 1783 in New Gloucester, Maine. The community was initially called Thompson's Pond Plantation. The community grew to 200 people within a year and was officially recognized by the Shaker Church in 1794. The area, museum and shop are open to visitors Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. The site offers workshops and retreats. Seventeen historic buildings built between the 1780's through the 1950's remain on 1,800 acres of farmland and forest.
Written by Liz Flynn
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