Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary
Activities: Walking, hiking, birdwatching, photography, nature preserve. Family-friendly, great for a day trip.
Region: Maine's Lakes & Mountains
Perched on the highest point of Lewiston, this wildlife preserve offers 450 acres of forested oasis including trails, wetlands and resting areas. Nicknamed “the Crag,” Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary is a well-loved landmark of the city that originally belonged to the Thorne family in the 1800s. Since that time, while the land’s habitats and wildlife have remained protected, its human use has varied considerably, from a tuberculosis sanitorium to a site for scientific research by Bates College.
Today, there is a plethora of activities to enjoy throughout its tranquil lands:
- Walking and hiking: With six well-maintained, marked trails, you can choose to explore a unique section of the sanctuary. (p.s. – leave Fido and bikes at home for this adventure—being a wildlife sanctuary means preserving vulnerable life forms and habitats).
- Birdwatching and amphibian-finding: As the name would suggest, this is an excellent place for spotting birds, from ruby-throated hummingbirds to Osprey. In addition, the wetlands and ponds are home to a variety of peeping and warbling amphibians, especially in the spring.
- Picnicking and Resting: Soak in the beauty of the park from your picnic blanket, one of the many benches or in the gazebo.
- Learn: The perfect outdoor classroom for everyone from young explorers to seasoned birders, there are many educational nature programs that take place at Thorncrag.
If you forgot to pack a picnic lunch, do not despair! There’s a variety of places to stop in-town for local flavors:
- Grant’s Bakery: try their mouthwatering meat pies and staples like hot-baked beans and homemade brown bread. Sweet-tooths will be pleased by the variety of whoopie pies and pastries available.
- Fish Bones Grill: dine on comforting, regional fare like fresh fish and choice cuts in a historic, canal-side mill building.
- DaVinci’s: Warm up with a variety of house-made soups and brick-oven pizzas.
- Forage: Pick up a batch of their freshly made bagels and a tub of cream cheese.
From Ellsworth: 130 miles
From Bangor: 104 miles
rom Portland: 38 miles