Did you know…
Use Camp Kirkwold in Readfield as your base for your troop’s next outing and explore the many fun and educational opportunities in the local area. Camp Kirkwold is just minutes from Augusta, as well as many other local fun spots. Don’t forget to check Safety Activity Checkpoints and follow all GSME policies!
History and Science
Maine State Museum, Augusta
Something new always awaits you at the Maine State Museum. The museum’s four floors of world-class exhibits all feature great stories, lots of opportunities for discovery and learning, and stunning objects from the museum’s world-class collections. More information
Fun GS fact: Troops can call ahead to ask to see a birch bark canoe that was made by hand on the Kirkwold property when it was still Camp Merrywold: “In May 1930 Jock Gabriel, an Indian who was believed to be Miss Kirk’s handyman, found a huge white birch which had fallen in a storm and made the canoe which now hangs in the dining room. The birch fell around the council ring area.” The canoe hung at Kirkwold for many years but now is in storage at the museum.
Old Fort Western, Augusta, ME
Home of the country’s oldest wooden garrison building, built in 1754, Old Fort Western is a living history museum offering tours to groups and individuals, engaging hands-on activities and unique interactive experiences involving the history of the Kennebec Valley and New England during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. More information
State Capitol & Blaine House (Governor’s Mansion),
Check out the seat of Maine’s government. Interested in a tour? Contact the Maine State Museum at 207-287-2301. (Sorry – weekend tours are not available.) More information
LC Bates Museum, Hinckley
The museum includes amazing natural history exhibits, fun local history, Native American collections, rocks and minerals, fossils, outside nature trails, picnic tables, and an arboretum behind the museum. Many educational programs available (fees apply). More information
Nature and Hiking
Readfield Fairgrounds Church Rd, Readfield
A network of easy trails through fields and forest on the 35-acre town property, which was the former site of a major agricultural fair, and the adjacent 300-acre+ property of the Maranacook Community School. Walking trails, nature study, second growth forest and wetlands. More information
Mt. Pisgah, Tower Rd, Winthrop
1 hr. easy hike with great views. Mount Pisgah is a very well-maintained trail. You can either take the gravel road to the top or hike the well-marked trail off to the left. It’s accessible all year long; you can even showshoe it in the winter. There’s a water tower at the top, with an awesome view of Winthrop and the surrounding area(s). On a clear day, you might see the White Mountains from the tower. It’s absolutely beautiful! It’s a great place to go if you just want to do a short hike. More information
Torsey Pond Nature Preserve, Readfield
The preserve’s trail network has 2 miles of easy to moderate trails that travel through mixed forest to the edge of Torsey Pond. The terrain is fairly level though footing may be tricky in some areas because of roots and long bog bridges. More information
Viles Arboretum (Geocaching Badge Opportunity!)
The 224 acres of fields, forest and wetland make for an ideal setting in which to learn how to geocache. Your girls can learn basic map reading and using a GPS device, go on a nature-focused treasure hunt that takes everyone on a cross country adventure to find a geocache. Fees apply (approximately $60 for a 1.5-2 hour session) or you can just explore the arboretum and learn about the plants and trees. Contact Mark Desmeules at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-626-7989 for details.
Capitol Park, Augusta
A botanical garden and 20 acres of land in front of the State House. Includes walking paths all around it to stretch your legs. It’s also near the Maine State Museum and the Kennebec River Rail Trail. More information
Kennebec River Rail Trail, Augusta
A stunning gateway to Maine’s capital city, the Kennebec River Rail-Trail follows the railroad right-of-way that once connected Portland to Augusta. The trail parallels the inactive railroad tracks, which have been maintained in the hope they will one day be used again. Granite quarter-mile markers mimic the original larger markers the railroad once used.
The trail also follows the 120-mile Kennebec River, a historic waterway named by the Abnaki Indians and meaning “long, quiet waters.” Once extremely polluted, the river is now a thriving habitat for fish and wildlife, largely because of clean water laws and the removal of Edwards Dam, built in Augusta in 1837. Atlantic salmon, striped bass and American shad, as well as alewife, blueback herring, and rainbow smelt, visit the Kennebec. The river also shelters one of the few extant breeding populations of the rare Atlantic sturgeon. Don’t be surprised if you spot a bald eagle soaring the river hoping for a good catch. More information
Vaughn Woods & Historic Homestead, Hallowell
Vaughan Woods is a nature preserve featuring three miles of trails, six stone-arch bridges, towering pines, and waterfalls. A beautiful respite from the rush of everyday life. Must make prior arrangements for group visits. For directions/parking info: More information
Kennebec Highlands, Belgrade
A beautiful four-mile hike with free guide! More information
Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, Turner
Androscoggin Riverlands State Park is a 2,588-acre expanse with abundant forested habitats for wildlife and 12 miles of pristine riverfront. Less developed than some state parks, Androscoggin is primarily a nature refuge, but it still offers some 23 miles of recreational and historic multi-use and hiking trails, space for wildlife observation and hunting, and river access for boating and fishing.
Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary, Lewiston
Forming the largest protected conservation land in Lewiston and enclosing its highest elevation, the Stanton Bird Club’s Thorncrag Sanctuary is an ideal bucolic escape from the busy city, featuring over four miles of trails to explore and birdwatching, picnicking, hiking, walking. More information