Norway & South Paris
This pair of communities in Maine’s western Maine foothills was built on farming, railroads and industry. Today, they’re centers of outdoor fun with growing and revitalized downtowns.
Norway once boasted more than a dozen mills and factories and once was considered the snowshoe-making capitol of America. After a disastrous fire in the late 1800s, the downtown was rebuilt. Today, it’s worth checking out the beautiful historic buildings lining the downtown streets, many of which have been lovingly restored.
South Paris – a village in the larger town of Paris, Maine – is the administrative center of town. Like Norway, it was a mill and factory center.
Things to Do in Norway & South Paris
Head to downtown Norway and take this self-guided tour to see houses and commercial buildings dating back more than 200 years. The downtown is so striking it’s been designated a National Main Street Affiliate Community.
Enjoy the outdoors? Visit Ordway Grove and hike among the ancient oaks and pines. You can also stop by the Roberts Farm Preserve, part of the Western Foothills Land Trust. Here you can go hiking, biking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. The preserve overlooks Lake Pennesseewassee, better known as Norway Lake. Each July, the town holds a triathlon that takes place in and on this five-mile-long lake; proceeds go to support the Land Trust. Hike along the Witt’s End Trail for a 4.4-mile loop through wetlands and woods. If you visit in winter, stop by the annual Snowshoe Festival.
In South Paris, explore two acres of gardens and attend lectures at the McLaughlin Garden & Homestead. The Celebration Barn Theater is an internationally known school for physical theater that attracts touring artists, actors, dancers, mimes, jugglers and storytellers. It also features great shows!
Restaurants in Norway & South Paris
Looking for Norway, Maine restaurants? Check out 290 Maine Street, Cafe Nomad and the Taste of Eden Cafe. Norway Brewing is a family-owned microbrewery serving seasonal foods with local ingredients. Restaurants in South Paris include Maurice Restaurant Francais with delicious homestyle specials. The Lake Store has just about everything - sandwiches, meals to-go as well as baked goods.
Where to Stay in Norway & South Paris
The Norway Inn is a newly renovated motel in the heart of town and the Hillside Cottages offer fully equipped kitchens. Check here for other suggestions on where to stay in the region. For more suggestions, scroll down our list of regional businesses below.