20 Best Things to Do in Ellsworth, ME

Ellsworth, ME
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Ellsworth, a quaint city in Maine, has a population of 8,399 as of the 2020 census.

Although small in size, the city has remained true to its slogan, "Business, Leisure, Life," as the city provides plenty of opportunities for work and a lot of recreational activities that young ones and those young at heart can enjoy.

The city is more popular to travelers who are just passing through Acadia National Park or Bar Harbor.

However, there are a wide variety of gorgeous spots, historical sites, and activities that make this city worth exploring.

To help you plan your itinerary for your next visit to Ellsworth, scroll down to see the list of the best things to do in Ellsworth, Maine.

Explore the Down East Sunrise Trail

East sunrise trail sign for food and gas.
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Boasting gorgeous natural landscapes and various wildlife, Down East Sunrise Trail is East Coast Greenway’s longest trail with a rough road.

This trail is perfect for nature lovers looking for gorgeous sceneries to explore.

It is an 87-mile walk and bike trail that serves as the home of various wildlife, such as moose, beavers, and white tail deer.

Sand road of the down east sunrise trail.
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Some types of birds, such as eagles and wild turkeys, can be seen here as well.

It is also open to recreational vehicles, such as ATVs and snowmobiles, to ensure that you can enjoy the outdoors during any season.

Horses and dog sleds are welcome here, too, for a more enjoyable visit.

For your convenience, there are also parking spaces and restrooms here.

A body of water at the down east sunrise trail.
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Go Hiking with Your Dog at Branch Lake Public Forest

Branch Lake Public Forest sits on a 239-acre land and features trails of 3.1 miles.

Depending on your experience and endurance, you can choose to hike any of the five trails available.

Each trail passes through a forest and ends on the shore of Branch Lake, perfect for travelers who want to escape bustling cities and wish to be closer to nature.

While hiking, enjoy the gorgeous view of pine forests and the calming sound of a stream to truly appreciate your surroundings.

The trails are relatively easy to hike and cater to all levels of hikers, so you are sure to have fun here.

For a more exciting visit, you can explore the trails with your fur babies.

Book a Train Ride at Downeast Scenic Railroad

Sit back, relax, and enjoy gorgeous views when you book a train ride at Downeast Scenic Railroad.

They offer a 10-mile round trip train ride to locals and tourists alike who want to witness the beauty of Maine.

The train ride is open to all ages and is a great experience for all kinds of travelers.

Whether you are a solo wanderer or traveling with your family, this is something worth trying when visiting Ellsworth.

Explore the outdoors in a unique way and marvel at lush forests.

If you are lucky, you might even see some beavers, herons, turtles, and moose while touring the area.

The usual travel time for this tour is 1 hour and 45 minutes, so you can definitely try this whether you are staying in Ellsworth.

Go on a Guided House Tour at Woodlawn Museum, Gardens, & Park

Woodlawn Museum, Gardens, & Park is a 180-acre historical landmark that used to serve as the home of three generations of the Black family.

Today, it serves as a museum that features exhibits dedicated to educating the public about the story of the family, the house, and their possessions.

Aside from the museum you will find here, there are also gardens, parks, and trails, which are great spots to visit if you want some fresh air and beautiful views.

If you want to join a guided tour to learn more about the house, you can reserve a slot on their website.

After touring the property, there are also other events that you can attend, such as croquet tournaments.

Drink a Craft Beer at Fogtown Brewing Company’s Beer Garden

For those who want to unwind and want to rest from touring the city, Fogtown Brewing Company offers a cozy ambiance and delicious on-tap beverages you can try.

If you want to take a breather and enjoy the cool air while drinking with your loved ones, they have a beer garden where you can stay.

They even have fire pits ready, so you are sure to feel comfortable in any weather.

Do not worry if you do not want to sit outdoors, as they offer a lot of seating areas in their taproom.

To complete your experience, make sure to try their wood-fired pizza together with your drinks.

Let Your Kids Have Fun at Knowlton Community Park’s Splash Pad

If you are traveling with your family and want to bring them to a place where you can all have fun, Knowlton Community Park is a great choice.

The park features a splash pad, perfect for guests with kids who love to have some water adventure.

You are also sure that this is a clean and safe environment to bring the young ones as smoking is prohibited.

Changing room facilities are also available for your convenience.

There are also a lot of open spaces where you can lounge and have a picnic with your loved ones.

You can even bring your pets with you for a more memorable experience.

Just make sure that they are on a leash when you go to the park.

Buy a Unique Item at Old Creamery Antique Mall

For travelers whose itinerary always includes a little shopping, Old Creamery Antique Mall is a great place to find unique items with great value for money.

The shop is family-owned and operated.

They feature a wide variety of items to choose from, such as furniture, glassware, and other home improvement products.

If you need help in figuring out which items best suit your needs, fret not, as the staff are knowledgeable in helping you.

They also offer complimentary coffee, making people's shopping experience a lot more enjoyable and memorable.

Enjoy the Interactive Displays at The Telephone Museum

Perhaps one of the most used modes of communication today is the cellphone.

But before cellphones were created, wired telephones were the most preferred communication tool back in the day.

When you pay The Telephone Museum a visit, you will see how big the telephone industry was.

The museum features actual working telephones, including the switching systems used to power the network.

What's great about this museum is that it is an interactive museum so that you can experience most of the displays, such as all-mounted phones, hand-crank magneto phones, dial phones, and manual switchboards first hand.

Go for a Walk at Ellsworth Harbor Park and Marina

If you want to go out for a walk, Ellsworth Harbor Park and Marina offers plenty of places where you can stroll around and sit while watching the amazing view of boats on the water.

The park is well-maintained, clean, and peaceful, perfect for travelers who just want to take a break from their busy schedules.

There are also picnic tables available so you and your loved ones can bring some snacks and enjoy relaxing here.

This is also a great spot to just sit back and read your favorite book.

Stroll around Jordan Homestead Preserve

Another top attraction in Ellsworth is Jordan Homestead Preserve.

It is situated on a 31-acre property and showcases the city's gorgeous landscapes and serene waters.

Go through a mature forestland and immerse yourself in a beautiful fenced-in garden when you explore the preserve's scenic trail.

Take photos of the wonderful sceneries and feel nature's calmness when you reach the trail’s secluded area.

For guests who are animal lovers, you'd be delighted to know that deer, bald eagles, and osprey are usually seen here.

This trail is relatively easy to explore, making it accessible to everyone.

Go on a Shopping Spree at Maine Coast Mall

Maine Coast Mall is a wonderful place to visit if you want to experience the city's shopping scene.

It houses a great selection of apparel for men, women, and children.

There are also home furnishing and sporting goods stores, so you are assured that there are plenty of items to choose from when you visit this mall.

People come here not only to shop but also to enjoy a good meal with their loved ones, as the mall is also brimming with dining options such as Aroma Joe's and Governor's Restaurant.

They also feature a lot of events that visitors of all ages can enjoy.

To stay updated with these events' schedules, you can check out their website.

There are also cinemas where you can watch a movie if you want to unwind after your shopping spree.

All in all, this is a great place to visit when you want to shop, eat, or just relax.

Learn More about Atlantic Salmon at Green Lake National Fish Hatchery

One of the most interesting places in Ellsworth for animal lovers is Green Lake National Fish Hatchery.

It is one of the few national fish hatcheries in the country dedicated to restoring, enhancing, and maintaining heritage fisheries.

The hatchery focuses mainly on Atlantic Salmon.

While here, you will learn that they raise eight specific kinds of Atlantic Salmon and release them every year.

For those planning to visit, make sure to call them first before going, especially if you are with a group, as the hatchery occasionally closes due to weather.

If you want to get involved in the efforts taken by the hatchery to build up fish populations, there are a lot of opportunities where you can also volunteer at the hatchery.

Grab a Hot Cup of Coffee at Rooster Brother Coffee Roasters

Rooster Brother Coffee Roasters is an amazing place to visit for people who love preparing their own meals and those who love cooking for their loved ones.

The store is housed in a beautiful Victorian building, which is also a good spot for sightseeing beautiful architecture.

When you enter the store, you will be welcomed with different specialty cookware, linens, and other gorgeous items for the home.

If you are planning a romantic dinner for your partner, there is a floor dedicated to specialty food, wine, and cheese, which are also great gift items to give to your friends back home.

Do not forget to buy some beans as well before heading home, so you'll have something to remember from this place.

Attend a Glass Blowing Class at Atlantic Art Glass

If you want to channel your inner artist and express your creativity, you can attend a glass-blowing class in Atlantic Art Glass.

Do not worry if you do not have prior experience in this craft, as beginners are welcome here.

The instructors here are also patient and will guide you throughout the entire process of glass blowing.

For those who do not like to take classes but love the craftsmanship of the products at the studio, you can buy one of their fine glassworks.

You can also watch creative glass blowing demonstrations.

Purchase Healthy Products at John Edwards Market

John Edwards Market is Downeast Maine's earliest health food shop on Main Street in Ellsworth.

A comprehensive line of grocery items and a spice display including over 125 different premium herbs and spices are part of their distinctive shopping experience.

It provides a selection of gourmet, regional, and organically grown whole food.

Drop by for farm-fresh, seasonal local vegetables, dairy products, meats, imported and local cheeses, exquisite wines, vitamins, and all-natural cosmetics.

They provide an extensive assortment of vitamins, medicinal herbs, homeopathic treatments, and floral essences in their supplement section.

Enjoy all-natural body and face lotions, soaps, hair products, and bathing oils.

The Wine Cellar Art Gallery features works of art created by several talented local artists.

Bowl with Friends at D'Amanda's

D'Amanda's is a creative bowling alley that entertains the whole family.

Whether a visitor is young or an adult, their assortment of attractions will satisfy their wants to enjoy the game.

Their finest Bowling Alley provides something for everyone to experience, whether you're searching for a good time or simply want to explore a new activity.

They provide Candlepin Bowling Lanes intended to amaze and maintain fun times.

The dart boards at D'Amanda's Arcade Games are perfect for having a great time and delight.

D'Amanda's is also ideal for recreational enjoyment or league play.

Admire the Ocean Views at Patten Pond Camping Resort

There is a 749-acre lake at Patten Pond Camping Resort.

Thanks to Patten Pond Camping Resort, your camping excursion in Maine will be a breeze!

It is perfect for a few hobbies, including swimming, canoeing, and fishing.

After that, play a volleyball match on land to cool down.

Several options are offered, some of which even have ocean views, including large pull-throughs, tent sites, shabby huts, and forest apartments.

Remember to venture beyond the resort as well.

Acadia National Park, close by, is great for hiking, and lighthouse excursions are a tranquil way to experience a mainstay of Maine.

Have a Complimentary Drink at Big Chicken Barn

The Big Chicken Barn is located in a sizable artifact from Maine's heyday of chicken production.

The Big Chicken Barn serves the needs of today's modern antique and paper enthusiasts with anything from 19th Century armoires to Zen texts.

Their 21,600 square feet of floor area is filled with an interesting assortment of things that are always updating and diversely arranged for leisurely and unhurried viewing.

Whatever the season, a laid-back vibe fills the barn.

As you explore the stacks, they provide complimentary coffee, tea, or chocolate to drink.

Visitors can sit and read on the sofas and chairs set everywhere.

Explore Nature at Birdsacre Sanctuary

A historic home museum and wildlife refuge, Birdsacre Sanctuary, formerly recognized as Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary, is located at 289 High Street in Ellsworth, Maine.

The sanctuary has 200 acres, pathways, an orchard, and a natural facility with a collection of art forms and natural history items, including Cordelia Stanwood's bird notebooks and a sizable picture collection.

Explore the sanctuary's woodland streams and fern-covered hills while hiking the three miles of interconnecting nature paths at Birdsacre.

A layover for migrating birds in the spring and fall, Birdsacre protects essential animal habitats, is inhabited by various species of native Maine flora and fauna, and is a destination for migratory birds in the summer.

Discover amazing wildlife publications along with artwork and exhibits about Maine birds.

Final Thoughts

Whether you are planning on staying at Ellsworth or simply passing by, you will find that this city is full of surprises that will make you want to stay longer.

With lots of amazing sites that showcase the city’s beautiful landscapes and shops that offer one-of-a-kind items, this city is truly worth the visit.

To make the most out of your trip to Ellsworth, Maine, make sure to check out the places listed above.

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