Rangeley is an ideal place for outdoorsy
family fun – and it’s budget-friendly.
The best experiences in Rangeley are free – climbing mountains, swimming under waterfalls, watching falling stars. Over 1,000 acres of recreation lands and 70 miles of trails are completely free and open to the public. Restaurants and accommodations are reasonably priced, and Rangeley is within a one-day drive of about 60 million East Coasters, so many families don’t need to buy plane tickets.
Great Outdoor Recreation
Rangeley is best known for superb outdoor experiences. In summer, it’s hiking, biking, swimming, boating, and fishing. In winter, it’s skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. In all seasons, our dark night skies explode with twinkling lights that aren’t visible in more populated areas.
TIP ♦ Lakeside Park in downtown Rangeley has a sand beach, roped-off swimming area, picnic tables, a small playground, and a bath house. Kids of all ages love it.
TIP ♦ At Smalls Falls, climb the trail above the falls. Upstream, you’ll find a series of shallow pools that are great for smaller children.
TIP ♦ Kids love the observation tower on top of Bald Mountain. The climb can be challenging for very young children, but the tower views make it all worthwhile.
TIP ♦ In winter, the best sledding in town is at Mingo Springs Golf Course.
Children will forever remember the first time they spot a 1,500 lb bull moose or hear the eerie nighttime call of loons. Keep your eyes open for deer, foxes, bears, coyotes, bald eagles, great blue herons, flying squirrels, and many other animals.
TIP ♦ Moose roam in any weather, so a moose-spotting car ride is a great rainy day activity. Click here for where to go.
TIP ♦ In winter, Gingerbread House Restaurant feeds deer daily in the woods behind their dining room. Kids can watch these beautiful animals up close.
TIP ♦ Kids love River’s Edge Sports Shop‘s impressive collection of mounted animals, including moose, black bears, and life-size battling deer bucks.
TIP ♦ Boating excursions with Rangeley Lakes Cruises are a popular family activity. Spot eagles, loons, and the occasional moose, and learn about local wildlife from a knowledgeable guide.
Tired from all the activity? Visit one of Rangeley’s kid-friendly museums, enjoy the shops on Main Street, or catch a live performance at Lakeside Theater (click here their calendar). Check museum hours before you go, since some close or reduce hours during the off-season.
TIP ♦ Rangeley Public Library has a great kids loft and story hours in summer. Click here for details.
TIP ♦ Kids love the jail cell in the basement of the Rangeley History Museum.
TIP ♦ Oquossoc Park has a great playground for young children.
TIP ♦ Rangeley’s annual July 3 celebration is very kid-centric. It starts with an open-invitation parade in which any child can walk, bike, or scoot. Kids wear costumes and decorate their rides. The parade ends with bouncy houses and games in the park, music, prizes, food, and more. It’s always one of the best days of summer. Contact the Chamber of Commerce for details.
Rangeley is a great place to base a family vacation. Click here for information on nearby whitewater rafting, zip lines, amusement parks, and hot air balloons, and overnight trips to Acadia National Park and other regional destinations.
Activities for Road Trips and Rainy Days
♦ Messing Around Outdoors in Maine (pdf)
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s activity booklet, with word jumbles, puzzles, coloring sheets, and more.
♦ Maine Symbols Coloring Book (pdf)
The Maine Secretary of State’s official coloring book, featuring moose, lobster, and other state symbols.
♦ And, of course, Road Trip Bingo cards from the Travel Channel.