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Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary

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.

Activities: Walking, hiking, birdwatching, photography, nature preserve. Family-friendly, great for a day trip.
Region: Maine's Lakes & Mountains Mileage:
From Ellsworth: 130 miles
From Bangor: 104 miles
rom Portland: 38 miles

Businesses & Organizations

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  • Historic house museum, public trails, and community event space in Ellsworth

    Phone: 207-667-8671


    Address: 19 Black House Drive PO Box 1478 , Ellsworth

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  • Moose Safaris Eagle Safaris Loon Safaris Wildlife Safaris

    Phone: 2076952860, 8776952860


    Address: PO Box 1354, 15 Wilson Pond Road , Greenville

    Bird Watching Wildlife Photography Moose Watching
  • Open every day and easy to access, it's a place to discover.

    Phone: (207) 646-1555


    Address: 342 Laudholm Farm Rd , Wells

    Guided Hikes and Walks Hiking with Kids Kayaking and Canoeing
  • Full service fishing and hunting lodge and cabins, guides, meals, lodging, instruction, fly shop.

    Phone: (207) 796-5558


    Address: 112 Milford Road PO Box 69 , Grand Lake Stream

    Fly Fishing Registered Maine Guides Registered Maine Guides
  • 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
  • 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

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