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