Being the oldest part of the United States, New England also takes pride in its warm, hospitable character and approach to life.
In terms of history, New England has so many stories to tell, including how the American Revolution started there.
Also, this region in the United States is greatly renowned in terms of seafood.
However, New England has many things to discover aside from its mainstream attractions.
For those who aren’t aware, New England also Rangeley in Franklin County, Maine, which is considered one of the best winter towns in the country.
Rangeley annually records more than 200 inches of snow, which virtually offers various outdoor opportunities.
With around 2,000 people, this small town is a two-hour drive south of Maine’s capital, Augusta.
Like any other countryside town, Rangeley has its distinct way and pace of life amidst its peaceful ambiance.
The town perfectly depicts what vacation along the lake looks like because of its pine-scented breeze and calm atmosphere.
Its proximity to huge pristine lakes, state parks, and its wide range of outdoor activities are just a few reasons why visiting this town is an awesome experience.
So, here are the 15 best things to do in Rangeley, Maine:
Discover the Mooselookmeguntic Lake
This lake on the edge of Rangeley town’s western portion is well-known for its outdoor recreational activities, similar to Rangeley Lake.
Mooselookmeguntic Lake is Maine’s fourth biggest lake, making it perfect for boating, fishing, hiking, and camping.
The area is teeming with large moose, which are frequently seen beside the lake.
Chances are, when you’re there, you might come across one along the trail.
The Mooselookmeguntic Lake is also home to numerous fish species such as white perch, brown trout, brook trout, yellow perch, and salmon.
There are several nice hotels and inns you can check in near Mooselookmeguntic Lake.
To reach this awesome place, it is along Route 17.
Explore the Vast Rangeley Lake State Park
Aside from its pristine lake, Rangeley also has a vast state park that covers more than 850 acres of land in Maine’s Western Mountains.
One of the most convenient entrances to the state park is in Rangeley along 1 State Park Rd, where you can start your journey.
You can enjoy tons of exciting outdoor activities throughout the state park, such as hiking, wildlife photography, wildlife viewing, off-road mountain bike, camping, and even hunting.
After a whole day exploring the state park, you can spend the night at its convenient campground.
The Rangeley State Park is open from 7 am to 11 pm.
Learn Interesting Stories at the Rangeley Lakes Region Historical Society Museum
To find out the story of this vibrant town, visit the Rangeley lakes Region Historical Society Museum.
The museum offers you all the interesting information about how this wilderness turned into a thriving town.
You’ll also come across some great information about how Rangeley was transformed into a vacation town, teeming with sporting camps, hotels, and steamboats.
These are found in the museum’s exhibits which display artifacts, documents, vintage films, photographs, and other memorabilia of the town’s colorful past.
To visit the Rangeley lakes Region Historical Society Museum, it is at 2472 Main St, Rangeley, and it’s open on Tuesdays to Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm.
Spend the Night at the Loon Lodge Inn
Speaking of a nice place to stay in Rangeley, check out the Loon Lodge Inn nestled along Rangeley Lake’s eastern shores.
It’s not just a beautiful and cozy place to stay in, but this inn also has a historical significance to the town of Rangeley.
This inn, built back in 1899, is a witness to Rangeley’s colorful history and has been widely known as the top choice for vacationers to stay in during the winter and summer months.
It’s also well-known for its lakeside fine dining experience and outdoor snow sports activities during winter.
Ultimately, most of its rooms are built beside Rangeley Lake, giving you a picturesque view of nature after waking up.
Loon Lodge Inn is at 16 Pickford Rd, Rangeley.
Play Golf at the Mingo Springs Golf Course
The Mingo Springs Golf Course in Rangeley is known among New England golfers for its scenic view of the mountains.
This secluded golf course in Rangeley has been running since the 1920s and was formerly the Pillsbury Farm in the 1800s.
Playing golf on the course gives you a different kind of experience, where you’ll come across different animals, like moose, fox, and deer, who commonly cross their fairways.
Whether you play golf or not, visiting this picturesque golf course is highly recommended if you’re in Rangeley.
To visit the Mingo Springs Golf Course, it is at 43 Country Club Rd, Rangeley.
It is open from 7 am to 6 pm daily.
Dine at the Red Onion
This old restaurant in Rangeley has been an icon in the region.
Despite its casual dining experience, people have kept coming back for the delicious, fresh food they serve daily since the 1970s.
Red Onion is best known for its homemade pizza, steaks, salads, and chili.
What makes Red Onion outstanding is they also serve food for health-conscious individuals with their vegetarian and gluten-free menu.
All their ingredients are locally sourced from family-owned farms and vendors in Rangeley and neighboring towns as part of their initiative to support small businesses.
Red Onion’s building is one of Rangeley’s oldest structures at Main St.
To try Red Onion’s delicious food, they are at 2511 Main St, Rangeley, ME.
Red Onion is open from 11 am to 6 pm daily.
Have a Boat Cruise on the Rangeley Lake
The town of Rangeley is named after the vast Rangeley Region Lakes, so it would be proper to travel there and explore it on a kayak or boat cruise.
The town has numerous boat tours that let you explore the entire Rangeley Lake.
It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the beautifully painted sky and the majestic backdrop of the mountain ranges while cruising on the lake’s calm waters.
This kind of activity perfectly introduces what Rangeley is all about.
To get the best recommendations for boat tours, you can visit the Rangeley Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce office at 6 Park Rd, Rangeley.
The Rangeley Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce office is open from 10 am to 4 pm on weekdays.
Traverse the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway
The Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway is along Route 4 and 17, which covers the towns of Madrid, Rangeley to Township E. Noteworthy.
It’s one of the most recommended Rangeley outdoor activities that you shouldn’t miss.
The main purpose of traversing this road is its majestic backdrop of the Appalachian Trail, the Rangeley Lake, Saddleback Mountain, and the wildlife that freely roams around the area.
There’s a big chance you’ll come across a giant moose on the roadside and other animals like deer and foxes.
Don’t forget to drive through the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway when you’re in Rangeley.
Stay at the Cozy Country Club Inn
This inn in Rangeley is perfect for people who want to highlight their visit to the town with outdoor activities like swimming, golf, hiking, boating, and loan games.
It’s one of the most visited places in Rangeley during winter because of its skiing and snowshoeing activities.
Also, the Country Club Inn is very near and accessible to Rangeley’s top attractions like its lake, state parks, and the town’s Main St.
Plus, the inn has a restaurant and a pub for added convenience to guests.
To visit the Country Club Inn, it is at 56 Country Club Rd, Rangeley, ME.
Join the Rangeley Snodeo
Held every January, the Snodeo is a three-day event in Rangeley’s winter wonderland.
The entire town is filled with thousands of visitors who want to participate in the region’s biggest winter event.
There are snowmobile races, musical performances, parties, lots of food, drinks, and Monty the Moose, the event’s official mascot.
One of the event’s organizers, the Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club, aims to promote the town as a top-notch snowmobile destination in Maine, which features more than 150 well-maintained trails.
The Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce also holds the annual Chili/Chowder Cookoff during the event featuring the best cooks in town with their version of these favorite dishes.
Taste the Best of Local Produce at the Classic Provisions
Head to the Classic Provisions if you want to taste unique local specialties in Rangeley.
This family-owned eatery and store at 2455 Main St in Rangeley is widely known for its home-cooked specialties.
This unique place is frequently visited by locals, especially tourists or visitors who taste local dishes prepared fresh daily and fresh produce, meat, seafood, gourmet food, beer, and wine.
Classic Provisions also has a gift shop to buy locally handcrafted souvenirs.
Plus, the Classic Provisions has a rotating menu depending on the available ingredients of the season.
This well-loved shop and eatery in Rangeley is open from 8 am to 3 pm.
Birdwatching at the Hunter Cove Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the most interesting experiences in Rangeley is birdwatching.
You’ll come across more than a dozen species of birds, ducks, chickadees, geese, jays, owls, and waterfowl freely roaming in the wild.
To experience this kind of outdoor activity, head to the Hunter Cove Wildlife Sanctuary, which offers bird-watching tours.
The entire sanctuary covers more than 100 acres of land in the heart of Rangeley.
Many of these birds make stop-overs while migrating, while some consider the Rangeley region their home.
To visit the sanctuary and watch these magnificent animals in the wild, visit the Hunter Cove Wildlife Sanctuary along Route 4.
To find out more about its bird watching activities and tour, check out Hunter Cove Wildlife Sanctuary’s official Facebook page.
Roam Around the Historic Rangeley Main Street
The town of Rangeley has a vibrant community you can witness at its Main Street or downtown area.
The place is perfect for leisure, especially shopping and eating, with more than a dozen restaurants and shops to visit.
Spending an afternoon in Rangeley’s downtown area also provides you the opportunity to rub elbows with its very hospitable locals.
Or perhaps grab a pint of beer at its pub, and if you’re hungry, you have many restaurant options you can choose from.
Hike at the Hatchery Brook Preserve
The Hatchery Brook Preserve is highly accessible since the trailhead of the preserve is in Rangeley’s downtown area.
If you’re looking for an exciting morning or afternoon hike without traveling far away from the town, Hatchery Book Preserve is your best place to go.
It has more than 50 acres of forest and wetlands inhabited by different animals.
The trail stretches for 1.2 miles and has picnic areas beside the stream.
Up north, the trail and the stream along Hatchery Brook led to Ross Pond, which offers an excellent fishing spot.
Score Great Finds at the Alpine Shop
The Alpine Shop is widely known by many as the best place to shop for outdoor apparel, winter and summer clothes, and outdoor gear in Rangeley.
Popular outdoor brands such as Patagonia, Woolrich, Merrill, Columbia, and Sigrid Olsen are available in Alpine Shop.
So, if you’re planning to gear up in your outdoor adventure in Rangeley, visit the Alpine Shop to score great finds.
They also have ski and snowshoe rentals.
The Alpine Shop is at 2504 Main St, Rangeley and is open from 11 am to 5 pm, but closed every Monday to Tuesday.
After reading through this list, you might already imagine what great things await you there.
The town of Rangeley perfectly visualizes what an outdoor vacation destination should be.
It perfectly combines the laidback atmosphere of a countryside town and an outdoor adventure destination.
Because of its secluded location, Rangeley maintained its natural beauty.
If you’re seeking an outdoor adventure while connecting with nature, visit Rangeley soon, and don’t forget to visit any of the places listed in this post.