The Kennebec Valley
The Kennebec Valley is a convergence of outdoor splendor and recreational fun splashed with vibrant cultural footprints and rich history. The granddaddy of all Maine regions, the Valley spans from Kennebec County, which includes the buzzing capital city of Augusta, to the mountains, rivers, and lakes of Somerset County, all the way to the Canadian border. Stretching over 5,000 square miles, there is incredible diversity in things to do, places to go, and sights to see. There’s literally something for everyone, making The Kennebec Valley an ideal place to visit!
The region contains some of Maine's largest cities: Waterville, Skowhegan, and, of course, the state’s capitol Augusta; however, it is best known for its rolling countryside and quiet, old-fashioned villages like Belgrade and Hallowell and riverside towns like Madison and Bingham. Take in the architecture of the many period homes and buildings. Visit a working farm or hit the antique shops, many of which overlook the swift flowing Kennebec River.
For even more history, head to Augusta, where you’ll enjoy discovering the Capitol Complex, home to the Maine State Museum, Blaine House (used as the Governor's mansion), the State House, and Capitol Park. Daily tours are available. The little ones will have a blast visiting the local children’s museum or one of the many area playgrounds. Make sure to get in a little shopping at one of the many strip malls and plazas. Stock up on souvenirs to take back home!
Waterville is just a short drive away, even quicker if you jump on the interstate. “Elm City”, as it is known, is home to two colleges, Colby and Thomas, making Waterville ripe for the arts! Colby features an outstanding collection of American art at the Colby College Museum of Art. You’ll also adore the old-time Opera House, the Maine International Film Festival, and art galleries on every corner. When you’re done art hopping, enjoy a feast at one of the many local restaurants. You’ll find everything from international cuisine to diner favorites.
If you’re in the market for a little outdoor fun, Jackman and the Moose River Valley, Belgrade Lakes, and The Forks are where you want to go! The Kennebec Valley is known the world over for its whitewater rafting, and there’s no better place to experience the rush of the rapids than in The Forks. Located at the confluence of the Dead and Kennebec Rivers, the area provides some of the most challenging navigation and the longest stretch of continuous whitewater in the East. Plan on visiting the mesmerizing 96-foot Moxie Falls when you’re done. Don’t forget a towel!
Embark on a guided adventure in Jackman and the Moose River Valley, a gateway to 60 lakes, ponds, and streams as well as an extensive interconnected snowmobiling trail system and a growing ATV trail network. ATV tours, mountain biking treks, rock climbing, moose safaris, and snowshoeing trips are all exciting outdoor excursions. Need to cool off on a hot summer day? Belgrade Lakes has some of the best waters for swimming, surrounded by beautiful pines and endless wildlife. What a great place to set up a tent! Camping opportunities abound in all regions with some of the best spots found near the rivers and lakes. For a wide array of camping options, please visit The Kennebec Valley Camping page!
Top off your visit with a trip to the Riverside Towns, Madison, Solon, Bingham, Norridgewock, Moscow, and Wyman Damn. In Madison you’ll find a true hidden gem, one of the country’s oldest and most famous summer theatres, Lakewood Theatre. Catch a show while visiting the area! Solon is the starting point of the Old Canada Road. This incredible 78-mile scenic byway runs from Solon to the Canadian border, offering amazing views of all four seasons. There’s unforgettable leaf-peeping in the fall! Bingham is an outdoor sporting utopia and home to the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator. Experience the 200-year-old swimming hole at Houston Brook Falls!
The Kennebec Valley is host to many events, fairs, and festivals including the Windsor Fair and the Whatever Family Festival. For a full listing of all area fairs, festivals, and events, visit the official Events page.
- The Belgrade Lakes region inspired Ernest Thompson to write his play, On Golden Pond.
- A 62-foot tall Indian welcomes you as you enter Skowhegan.
- The Skowhegan State Fair, held in August, is the oldest continuously operating state fair in the country.
- Old Fort Western in Augusta is New England's oldest surviving wooden fort.
- Arnold's Landing in Solon is the site of Benedict Arnold's camp.
Play in a waterfall. Visit the theatre. Ride the rapids. It’s all waiting for you in The Kennebec Valley!
I like fly fishing on the Kennebec River. The ride on Route 201 above Solon is like a ride in the Alps.
–Michael K., Biddeford, ME