Franklin Expedition


Wilson Lake Sue Atwood

Wilton is nestled in the foothills with a treasured lake at its hub. Year-round activities and recreation abound within a two mile radius around the lake.

Main Street, Wilton and the clear waters of Wilson Lake, are less than a mile from the junction of Route 2 and Route 4. Order your picnic lunch at Dutch Treat or Rick’s Market on the corner of Route 2 & Route 4. Explore Main Street through downtown Wilton, passing the historic G.H. Bass Shoe Co. building on your right which now houses multiple businesses. At the foot of Wilson Lake you’ll find a scenic view that will not soon be forgotten.

Spend an afternoon in Wilton trying some things like:

  • Stay to shop at some of Wilton's local businesses, or grab a bite to eat at Calzolaio Pasta Company.
  • Near Wilson Lake is a great place to relax in the shade or spend time with the family.
  • Take some time out of your summer to learn about the rich history of the Wilton area! The museum’s summer hours are Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. 
  • The selection of trails at the head of Wilson Lake allows for hiking, snowshoeing, or even skiing.



Phillips, rich in history, is one of the gems of the High Peaks Region. Maine’s first registered guide, Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby was born in Phillips, the town once boasted the only newspaper in the county, and it served as the headquarters for the state’s longest narrow-gauge railroad.

The varied and rugged landscape is home to seven of the state’s ten highest mountains, and hiking opportunities abound. The Fly Rod Crosby Trail, an 11-mile woodland path runs from the town’s old car barn to Rangeley’s Saddleback Mountain. Within minutes of the town center is Mount Blue’s challenging trail to the summit, Daggett Rock, the state’s largest glacial erratic, and Smalls Falls’ tumbling series of cascades.

The Phillips area has a library, a community center, an active arts society, three churches, a post office, an elementary school, several civic organizations, a farmers’ market, a pizza and sandwich deli, a cafe, two antique shops, a hardware store, two bed and breakfasts, a large and well-stocked supermarket, and one of the best historical society collections in the state.

There are many different events year round that Phillips' hosts such as:

  • Celtic Concerts
  • Scarecrow Reunion
  • Old Home Days


Kingfield POPS

Kingfield is a charming little historic town nestled in the foothills of the Bigelow and Longfellow
mountain ranges along the Carrabassett River and Route 27 in northern Franklin County. The town has a
selection of retail and specialty shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes, lodging, schools, and churches.

The first Friday of the month, Kingfield hosts its Art Walk. This event is open to the public and is
free of charge. The town’s art galleries and several local businesses open their doors to the public,
free of charge. The events start in late fall and continue through April offering music, photography,
book readings, book signings, and more.

Explore pieces of Kingfield’s history by visiting the Stanley Museum or the Ski Museum of Maine. The
Stanley Museum honors the Stanley twins who invented and manufactured the famous Stanley Steamer
automobile. Exhibits include family history, paintings, photography, and steam car exhibits. The Ski
Museum of Maine includes skiing and snowboarding memorabilia, Maine-made products, a history of Maine’s
ski areas, and prominent Mainers from past and present who are involved in the skiing and snowboarding

If you are visiting during late June, you may be able to take in the POPS Festival of the Arts, which
celebrates the upcoming Independence Day. A performance the Bangor Symphony Orchestra highlights this
festival. Later in July, the town holds Kingfield Festival Days, three days of events, arts, and music,
which celebrates the community and living in Kingfield.


Height of the Land

Today’s visitors are more likely to shoot the wildlife with camera or video and catch and release the abundant, yet elusive game fish than in days past. Today you’ll find folks young and old getting out on the well-marked and maintained hiking trails in the region for leisurely walks in the woods or challenging hikes up one of the highest mountains in Maine. Ten of the fourteen highest mountains in Maine are here, giving the region its “High Peaks” nickname. These same mountains provide two of the state’s largest ski resorts, Saddleback, Rangeley’s home mountain resort, and Sugarloaf, around the corner, in Carrabassett Valley.

Abundant snowfall from November to March makes the region a mecca for snowmobiling on 150 miles of locally groomed trails extending from Canada to New York and providing breathtaking views and vistas. The Rangeley Lakes Trail Center (RLTC) located near the base of Saddleback Mountain rightfully boasts the “best Nordic skiing in New England” with 55 km of exquisitely groomed skate and classic track over terrain where annual snowfall provides 200 inches of dry, powdery snow. The Trail Center is continually growing to offer 14 km of dedicated snowshoe trails as well. In the off-season, RLTC, alongside rivers and Saddleback Lake, is a fascinating place to explore on foot or mountain bike.

Summer in Rangeley bustles with events and activities that showcase the active arts and outdoor heritage community that defines this area. Arts and crafts shows and music performances are frequent, and several play productions are offered through the year. Also keep watch for home tours, outdoor sporting days, a logging festival/competition and parade, numerous golf tournament benefitting area causes, and fun festivals.

Rangeley’s well established recreation destination offers numerous rental businesses, outfitters, and guides who make it easy to enjoy the fishing, hunting, boating, kayaking, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, and ATV riding on miles of trails in the region. Whether your adventure is a long-time favorite or new challenge, Rangeley, Maine will soon become your recreation destination—as it has been for generations of outdoor enthusiasts.

For more information about Rangeley, contact the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce at or 1-800-MT-LAKES. See their ad on page 56.


Farmington Fair

Farmington, the county seat of Franklin County, is known for its four-season recreations, busy commercial district, and a vast array of cultural and educational offerings. The town has a broad selection of retail and specialty shops and galleries, restaurants, cafes, a multi-screen movie theater, bookstores, lodging, and a busy college campus. You can spend the day shopping, or enjoy the local culture at the University of Maine at Farmington’s Art Gallery, take in a performance by the Sandy River Players, or visit the Nordica Homestead Museum.

If you would like to explore downtown Farmington, take a “Walk Around Farmington.” Walking tour signs will lead you through some significant areas in the town’s history. Signs display photographs and historical site information and offer directional guides to help visitors access Farmington’s historic resources. Stops along the walk include: Downtown, University of Maine at Farmington, Farmington Public Library, Meetinghouse Park, North Church, Abbott Park, the Depot, and the Cannery. You can stop by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce to pick up a map to guide you on your “Walk Around Farmington.”

Farmington’s location in the western mountain foothills make it easy to find outdoor activities to participate in. Whether you enjoy a leisurely stroll, a more vigorous hike, biking, watching or participating in various sporting events, kayaking, or canoeing, Farmington always allows lots to do.

Kayaking and canoeing are available on the Sandy River. There are multiple pick up and drop off locations available for short trips or if you would like to make a longer excursion, you can start in Strong, ME and paddle the 11 miles to Farmington.


Mt. Blue State Park

The Town of Weld is about twenty minutes from Wilton. The town has a population of 419 and the total area of the town is 63.0 square miles. The town is home to Webb Lake and Mt. Blue State Park and is nestled in a valley created by Mt. Blue and the Tumbledown / Jackson mountains.

Mt. Blue State Park is Maine’s largest state park, encompassing approximately 8,000 acres in two sections separated by Webb Lake. A campground in the Webb Beach section has 136 wooded sites. Visitors can swim, launch and rent boats, and walk on trails near the lake. During summer months, park staff routinely offer canoe trips, walks, and nature programs, along with a Nature Center featuring hands-on exhibits and displays.

Across the lake from the Webb Beach section is the centerpiece of the Park, 3,187-foot Mt. Blue, a popular day hike. Visitors also enjoy walks and picnics on Center Hill. Mountain bikers, equestrians, and ATV riders can experience 25 miles of challenging, multi-use trails. In winter, the park’s extensive trail system supports snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. Families also come to sled at Center Hill and skate on an outdoor ice rink at park headquarters.

Advanced reservations are recommended for the campground. Contact the State Park Reservations Office: 800-332-1501 in Maine; 207-624-9950 from outside Maine; or make your own reservations online at



Porter Lake and Beanie’s Beach are popular summer destinations in Strong, ME. The 527-acre lake offers landlocked salmon, varieties of trout, and a dozen other species. Both salmon and brook trout are frequently stocked, making a day on the lake very satisfying and enjoyable for the whole family. The clean, sandy beach has a safe wading space for the youngsters, a boat ramp, parking lot, changing station and clean restrooms. Get your picnic lunch from the Black Dog Cafe or the White Elephant Restaurant. Water enthusiasts also can swim in the Sandy River at Blue Ledge or launch a canoe or kayak at the American Legion field next to the bridge.

History and genealogy buffs will enjoy Strong Historical Society's fascinating and well organized display of artifacts and memorabilia, including the town's saga as the “Toothpick Capital of the World.” For more information, visit the Strong Historical Society's Facebook page or

The photo above depicts the 15th Alabama Civil War re-enactment troupe, which marches in Pierpole Days, the town’s annual community celebration. It takes place each year on the last Friday of June. Festivities start in late afternoon and include an assortment of barbecues and a 6 p.m. parade with floats and music.