Dover-Foxcroft, Maine Vacation Guide
If you love scenic wilderness, tranquil forests, outdoor recreation, and that historic charm that seems to be unique to small New England towns, you won’t want to miss the Dover-Foxcroft area on your next trip to Maine. The Piscataquis River Valley Region — which includes the towns of Dover-Foxcroft, Abbott, Atkinson, Bowerbank, Brownville, Guilford, Medford, Milo, Monson, Parkman, Sangerville, Sebec Lake, Shirley, Wellington and Willimantic — is famous for its stunning Central Maine scenery, as well as its excellent hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and snowmobiling opportunities.
Bring your camera; the area encompasses miles of rich wildlife habitat and is home to moose, black bear, grouse, turkeys, eagles and deer, not to mention the myriad species of fish that populate the Piscataquis Region’s many lakes, rivers and streams.
The largest town in the region and the shire town of Piscataquis County, Dover-Foxcroft straddles the south and north banks of the Piscataquis River. The cities were incorporated together in 1922, but their shared history stretches back to 1799, when the first settlers arrived in Dover. In 1801, settlers began populating Foxcroft, which had been granted to Bowdoin College by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts seven years earlier.
The first residents farmed the land, but by 1859, the towns had harnessed the power of the Piscataquis River to run saw, shingle and grist mills. Today, visitors are drawn to this picturesque town for its year-round recreational, cultural and historical attractions. One of the most popular destinations is Peak-Kenney State Park. Set on the shores of Sebec Lake, this 839-acre park offers a mile of sandy shoreline perfect for swimming, canoeing and fishing, as well as campsites and 10 miles of hiking trails.
For a dose of Dover-Foxcroft culture, catch a show at the Center Theatre for the Performing Arts. This downtown venue offers a full schedule of plays, concerts and dance performances throughout the year. Learn about the region’s history at the two museums operated by the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society. The Blacksmith Shop Museum is housed in an 1863 building that retains much of its original equipment and the Observer Building Museum, originally an 1854 tenement, houses exhibits, displays and artifacts. Both buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dover-Foxcroft’s events and festivals include the Piscataquis Valley Fair. Held each August since 1887, this four-day event draws thousands of spectators with its animal shows, farm exhibits, carnival rides and food vendors. Summer visitors won’t want to miss the annual Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, a celebration of the famous dessert. Visitors sample different flavors and vote on their favorites.
The town of Milo surrounds three rivers: the Sebec, the Pleasant and the Piscataquis. This former mill town is now the home of the annual Blackfly Festival, a “celebration” of one of the region’s least-loved residents – the pesky blackfly – held each July in downtown Milo. Other attractions include the Milo Historical Society. Set in a renovated church building — thought to be the oldest in town – the society’s museum contains artifacts, documents, photographs and displays that bring Milo’s past to life.
The Iron Works are adjacent to the 4-mile-long Gulf Hagas gorge – nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of Maine.” The gorge contains hiking trails that wind their way through steep, slate rock walls graced with multiple waterfalls, created by the 400-foot drop of the Pleasant River. For a less strenuous hike, visitors can stroll along Brownville’s Pleasant River Walk. Brownville, along with the town of Monson, is considered the gateway to the Moosehead Lake Region.
Other Monson attractions include the Monson Historical Society Museum, which contains collections of artifacts, photographs and documents from Revolutionary War to the present. Monson’s Keep Homestead Museum preserves the former residence of one of the region’s oldest families, the Keeps. The museum is set on a 75-acre property and features period furnishings, artifacts and diaries from turn-of-the-century Monson.
Sebec Lake draws visitors year-round with its range of recreational activities, from swimming, canoeing and boating to bird-watching, ice-skating and snowmobiling. Anglers can try their hand at catching the lake’s legendary small-mouth bass population, while sailors can enter the annual Sebec Lake Labor Day Regatta.
Lodging and Dining
Visitors to the Piscataquis River Valley can take their pick of a range of lodging options. The area contains several bed and breakfasts — some set in early 19th-century homes – comfy cabins, rustic campgrounds and, of course, hotels and motels.
With all of the activities available in the region, you’re sure to work up quite an appetite! Luckily, Dover-Foxcroft and its neighboring towns offer a variety of eateries, from fast-food and diners to casual cafes, elegant restaurants to bustling pubs with live entertainment.
Dover-Foxcroft – Piscataquis Area Directories
Visit the following directories to find lodging, dining, attractions, shops, services and recreational activities in the Dover-Foxcroft, Maine area.
- Abbot Maine
- Atkinson Maine
- Bowerbank Maine
- Brownville Maine
- Dexter Maine
- Dover-Foxcroft Maine
- Guilford Maine
- Medford Maine
- Milo Maine
- Monson Maine
- Parkman Maine
- Sangerville Maine
- Sebec Maine
- Shirley Maine
- Wellington Maine
- Willimantic Maine