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Kennebec River Rail Trail

Activities: walking, hiking, wildlife watching, photography, history. Family-friendly, great for a day trip.
Region: The Kennebec Valley

This 6.5-mile trail spanning Gardiner to Augusta offers the best of both worlds: all-season recreational opportunities along the scenic Kennebec River and access points to several fascinating towns. Following the railroad right-of-way that once connected Portland to Augusta, the trail is as rich in history as it is present-day fun. You can enjoy a day in nature and then easily head into one of the historic towns for a bite to eat.

The flat asphalt trail is friendly to toddling new walkers, strollers and wheelchairs alike. Despite the groomed trail, you’ll still feel the presence of nature surrounding you as you pass through wooded areas along the flowing river — the perfect habitat for fish and wildlife. Be on the lookout for the rare Atlantic sturgeon and a bald eagle that may be soaring above, hoping for a bite!

Just about any outdoor activity you please is possible on the trail: biking, running and walking, as well as cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. If you’re up for a challenge, The Friends of Kennebec River Rail Trail holds yearly marathons, half-marathons and 5K races.

Whether you start the trail in Augusta or Gardiner, Hallowell is the perfect halfway point to stop for a bite to eat. Try one of these local restaurants:

  • The Liberal Cup: cozy restaurant offering house ales and tavern food.
  • Slate’s: creative bistro dishes and baked goods in a bright, artsy environment.
  • The River Room: freshly made sandwiches, hearty bowls and fresh oysters all served with a view of the river.
  • Quarry Tap Room: offers al fresco dining and a beer garden overlooking the Kennebec River — you can even bring along your furry friend.

From Ellsworth: 101 miles
From Bangor: 76 miles
From Lewiston/Auburn: 34 miles
From Portland: 57 miles

Businesses & Organizations

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  • We are a registered Maine Guide Company focused on sustainability and offering Custom Canoeing, Backpacking Adventures, and Educational Skills Courses, for individuals, organizations, and groups of all ages.

    Phone: 207-945-1944


    Address: Novelty Dr , Carmel

    Adventure Boating, Canoeing and Kayaking Hiking and Climbing
  • Viles Arboretum is a no-fee 224 acre botanical garden which features miles of trails, a rotating suite of programs and events, a full service visitor center, and a variety of habitats home to flora and fauna of Statewide importance.

    Phone: 207-626-7989


    Address: 153 Hospital Street , Augusta

    Sanctuaries, Land Trusts and Refuges Trails and Routes
  • Historic house museum, public trails, and community event space in Ellsworth

    Phone: 207-667-8671


    Address: 19 Black House Drive PO Box 1478 , Ellsworth

    History and Maritime Maine's Heritage Museums
  • Discover your next paddling adventure on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

    Phone: (802) 496-2285


    Address: PO Box 565 , Waitsfield

    Kayaking and Canoeing Public Reserved Lands Wilderness Areas
  • Viles Arboretum is a free, easily accessible, botanical garden that is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. The space includes six miles of trails, several botanical collections, and local art (all marked and signed), on 224 acres.

    Phone: 207-626-7989


    Address: 153 Hospital Street , Augusta

    Trails and Routes
  • Forests and Lakes - For People - Forever®

    Phone: (207) 796-2100


    Address: 4 Water Street , Grand Lake Stream

    Public Reserved Lands Wilderness Areas Rivers and Streams

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