The Gems of 26

The Gems of 26

Local folks and visitors from other states are encouraged to go and experience these five rare, unique places all less than an hour from each other on the picturesque Route 26 in Western Maine. Route 26 connects Western Maine to the rest of the State via Maine Turnpike’s exit 63 in Gray. Though a state highway, the road meanders through gorgeous countryside and boasts culturally, historically, and ecologically significant attractions. Just thirty minutes north of Portland, a family can spend a day or several days visiting these five important and interesting destinations for very little money – a true value.

So travel the road less-traveled to visit this group of significant attractions, which aren’t just affordable and conveniently located, they are also rich in culture, ecology and history. The Maine Wildlife Park, Shaker Village, Poland Spring Inn and Resort, Poland Spring Preservation Society, Poland Spring Preservation Park, and the grounds of McLaughlin Gardens truly are “The Gems of 26.”

MAINE WILDLIFE PARK, Gray                                                                                                                Home to over thirty species of native wildlife. Walk nature trails. Tour expansive gardens. Enjoy the snack shack, gift shop, picnic area and more. Guaranteed to see a moose! The Park serves as a permanent home for wildlife that cannot survive in the wild and are here for their protection and healing. A variety of animals are here for you to enjoy and learn more about. Open daily, 9:30-4:30pm, mid-April - Nov. 11 (207) 657-4977 ext. 0   •

Located within the perimeters of the only active and functioning Shaker Community in the world, the museum buildings encompass twenty-seven exhibit rooms which explore over 200 years of Shaker history. Daily tours provide valuable insights into Maine Shaker heritage and culture of the past and present. Gift Shop. Open Monday through Saturday,
10–4:30pm, Memorial Day to Columbus Day.
(207) 926-4597 •

Poland Spring Resort spans a vast 600 acres with an award winning golf course (the oldest golf course at a resort in the United States), 3 inns and 11 cottages. The resort offers numerous recreational and entertainment activities, water access, vacation and wedding packages, dining and room accommodations to suit any budget.
Open every weekend, Memorial Day to Columbus Day; Open daily, in summer.
 (800) 581-5171 •

Museum, art gallery, chapel and gift shop are housed in two buildings listed on the National  Registry of Historic Places, the Maine State Building (originally located in Chicago at the 1893 World's Fair) and All Souls Chapel. The non-profit society conducts museum tours that focus on the history of Poland Spring, highlighting the Victorian and Gilded ages. Located on the grounds of Poland Spring Resort.
Open Tuesday–Saturday, 9–4pm, Memorial Day to Columbus Day.
                                          (207) 998-4142 •

In the early 1900's a state of the art Spanish style water bottling facility and springhouse were constructed at Poland Spring. Today this property is known as Preservation Park, home to over five miles of recreational trails and the Poland Spring Museum and Environmental Education Center. Tour the former bottling facility and discover the rich history behind Poland Spring Water.
Open Thursday–Saturday, 9–4pm, Memorial Day to Columbus Day. 
                                                    (207) 998-7143 •

POLAND HISTORICAL SCHOOL HOUSE, Poland   The Old Poland Corner Schoolhouse is the home of the Poland Historical Society. Established in 1995, the Society’s mission is to collect and preserve historical materials that reflect the history of the Poland from inception to the present. Please come in to say hello, view our exhibits and the schoolhouse. Summer hours: Open every Thursday afternoon 1pm to 4 pm through June, July and August or by appointment. 

HARVEST HILL FARMS, Mechanic Falls       Harvest Hill Farms  started as a small operation to supply family and friends with quality, home-grown beef. Guests who toured the farm enjoyed the wholesome, old fashioned atmosphere so much that the Bolduc family decided to build a market to supply their neighbors with natural range fed meats and vegetables. Harvest Hill Farms Farm Market sells our premium brand of natural range fed beef, chicken, lamb, and pork. In addition to our meat department we carry native vegetables, deli meats and cheeses, dairy products, baked goods and made in Maine products. We also focus on seasonal favorites such as lobsters, maple products, apples and much more. Family entertainment continues as we merge the big corn maze with Pumpkin Land in the fall of 2009. We extend a special welcome to make this a part of your family’s traditions. (207) 998-5485  •

The garden features mature collections of hosta, daylilies, astibes, phlox, sedum, cimicifuga, sempervivums, Maine wildflowers and ferns. In addition there are are over 200 lilacs - all beneath a canopy of mature deciduous and coniferous trees. Vistors are also encouraged to explore the historic home and barn built in 1840. This is Maine's first NATIONAL CULRURAL LANDSCAPE. Come and enjoy the serenity of the treasure.
Garden, Homestead & Gift Shop: Open daily, May to October; See website for gift shop winter hours; Garden Cafe' re-opening planned for 2013 - check website for latest updates.
(207) 743-8820.


Join Our Mailing List
For Email Newsletters you can trust