Farmington is a lively college town, tucked into the woody foothills of Maine’s western mountains. It’s also a perfect gateway if you’re looking for some outdoor fun.
Things to Do in Farmington
Long a center of agriculture, Farmington is girded by farms. But the downtown now surges with students and energy, all coming from the vest-pocket University of Maine Farmington (UMF). UMF’s buildings are nested in the downtown and the university’s programs are a big part of the community. You can also enjoy many of those programs, concerts and lectures as well. UMF's Fitness & Recreation Center is open to the public and features weight and fitness centers, a gym and a pool.
Much of Farmington’s downtown is historic and has been renovated into great little shops, stores and restaurants. Check out Twice Sold Tales, a long-popular local book shop. Find out more by strolling through a historic walking tour. If you visit in September, go to the annual Farmington Fair, hosted in a historic fairground. It’s been staged since 1840. In December, check out Chester Greenwood Day, a lighthearted celebration of the local guy who invented earmuffs (you read that right). There’s a parade and lots of other events.
The Nordica Homestead Museum celebrates the life and career of another local celebrity, Lillie Norton, known professionally as Lillian Nordica. Lillie was born in the house (now the museum) and grew from a Farmington farmer’s daughter into an internationally known opera singer in the late 19th and early 20th century. Nordica Auditorium on the UMF campus is also named for her.
As a headquarters town of the western mountains, Farmington is known by adrenaline junkies for its links to the outdoors, with both Saddleback and Sugarloaf nearby.
A few blocks from downtown, the Flint Woods and Village Woods trails will take you through groves of timber and past abandoned homesites. The walking is generally easy to moderate. For a longer hike, consider the Whistle Stop Trail in West Farmington. This former section of the Androscoggin Railroad is 14 miles long and connects Farmington with the towns of Jay and Wilton. The trail is open for walking as well as biking, snowshoeing, skiing, ATVing, snowmobiling, horseback riding and even dog mushing.
Also just outside the downtown is Titcomb Mountain, Farmington’s little local ski area. Titcomb has a 350' vertical drop, three lifts and 16 downhill trails as well as 16 km of cross-country ski trails groomed for skate and classic skiing. Titcomb is very popular with locals and is welcoming to visitors, too.
Looking for something bigger? Within a short drive of Farmington are Black Mountain ski area in Rumford, with Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing and Sugarloaf, in Carrabassett Valley, with extensive Alpine and Nordic skiing and snowboarding as well as scenic golfing and challenging mountain biking; and Maine Huts and Trails, a network of backcountry huts linked by trails perfect for snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, hiking and mountain biking.
Where to Stay in Farmington
For lodging in the Farmington area, check out the Colonial Valley Motel, Farmington; the Comfort Inn & Suites Farmington/Wilton; the Wilson Lake Inn, Wilton; the Farmington Motel, Farmington; and these additional suggestions. You might also scroll down the list of regional businesses below.
Restaurants in Farmington
Looking for Farmington, Maine restaurants? Consider The Homestead Kitchen, Bar & Bakery, Thai Smile, The Farmhouse Beer Garden, open seasonally, or these additional suggestions. You might also scroll down the list of regional businesses below.