Madison, Maine rose to fame for the wealth of its manufacturing and papermaking mills. Today, it’s known as much for its tomatoes; millions of pounds a year are exported from the Backyard Farms’ gigantic greenhouses in Madison (sorry, no public tours). And of course The Lakewood Theater, which has brought theater lovers to Madison since 1901.
Things to Do in Madison
If you want a taste of Madison’s local produce, head up to North Star Orchards, which invites visitors year-round. The orchard has a farm store with gifts and much more, apple picking in the fall, maple sugaring and a cider mill.
If you’re downtown during the warmer months, you can enjoy Madison-Anson Days. The annual festival in August, organized by the neighboring towns, features a parade, fishing and golf tournaments, food and other family friendly activities.
How about dinner and a show? The Lakewood Theater is the longest-lived summer theater in the nation and you can enjoy a wonderful meal at the Lakewood Inn Restaurant during the theater season beforehand. The theater began with “The Private Secretary,” opening on June 15, 1901. What became the longest-running play on Broadway, “Life with Father,” premiered at Lakewood in 1939. Back in the day, the theater was a training ground for young stage and screen talent and a haunt for the already famous. Today, Lakewood is a non-profit amateur theater with an annual summer program for kids.
The Lakewood Golf Course was founded in the 1920s as a nine-hole course, which expanded to 18-holes decades later. This course is not only historic, but it’s also challenging. The back nine includes the only par six in Maine. In the winter, enjoy snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on groomed trails.
The Kennebec River, which runs through Madison, once provided power for its mills and factories. Today, it provides a scenic backdrop for walks and a great spot for fishing. The Historic Pines Trail is a short, easy meander close to the banks of the Kennebec and is a favorite haunt of anglers. It also takes you to important sites of early European and Native American interaction in western Maine. The Weston Woods & Waters Trail follows the Kennebec from downtown. It’s groomed in winter.
Where to Stay in Madison
Looking for places to stay in the Madison area? Consider Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Yonderhill, with cabins, and tent and RV camping, or hotels in nearby Skowhegan and these additional suggestions.
Restaurants in Madison
For places to eat in the Madison area, grab a lobster roll or other specialty sandwich at Fonzo’s Pizza, Seafood & More or make a reservation at the Lakewood Inn Restaurant or try these additional suggestions.