Winthrop Lakes, Maine Vacation Guide
While most people think of the expansive Atlantic Ocean coastline when considering bodies of water related to Maine, the fact is the state has an impressive number of lakes, as well. The Winthrop Lakes Area is one such member of Maine’s Lakes and Mountains Region. In addition to lakes, the area has numerous ponds and streams, and an abundance of rural farmlands and dense woodlands, numbering in hundreds of acres. The area thus provides a rich habitat for a variety of wildlife. The quaint towns and villages comprising the Winthrop Lakes Area offer visitors a look at rural life in Maine, through a variety of attractions ranging from landmarks and parks, to local restaurants and shops, to annual fairs and festivals.
The small town of Fayette, with a population of under 1,000 residents, was originally settled in 1781 and became a town in 1795. Fayette has no primary village center and seems to be split about even between year-round and seasonal residents. This beautiful rural community boasts over a dozen bodies of water, offering swimming, fishing, boating opportunities. Visitors to the area may enjoy the splendor of Echo Lake; four larger ponds including David Pond, Lovejoy Pond, Parker Pond, and Tilton Pond; and more than eight smaller ponds. Route 17 is the primary road through the town.
Fayette offers a beautiful bed-and-breakfast facility, Home-Nest Farm, which has the distinction of membership in the Maine Farm Vacation B&B Association. The 200-acre farm offers a number of historic buildings for guests to choose from, including the main farmhouse, a little red schoolhouse, and a cottage, as well as a more modern lakeview annex.
Visitors to this rural town will want to stop in the family-owned and operated Moose Hill Herb and Spice Company. The family specializes in homemade food products, and offers flowers, herbs, and seedlings, and seasonal items such as Christmas trees and wreaths.
Originally settled in 1775, the town of Manchester was first known as Kennebec in 1850. After annexing land and dividing into several smaller towns, Kennebec adopted the name of Manchester in 1854 after a Massachusetts town that had been home to many of its founding residents. Manchester remains a large town, covering nearly 16,000 acres of land, as well as almost 8 miles of shoreline along Cobbosseecontee Lake. Visitors can travel to and through Manchester via U.S. Route 202 and Maine Routes 11, 17 and 100.
In addition to swimming, fishing, and boating in Cobbosseecontee Lake, outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy about four miles of trails through the 708-acre Allen-Whitney Memorial Forest. People can walk, bike, hike, and ride horses along the trails from spring through fall, and ride snowmobiles, horseshoe, or cross-country ski during the winter.
Fall visitors to Manchester may want to attend the Apple Festival and enjoy apple pie baking and eating contests, as well as races, craft show, games, rides, and other activities.
Visitors needing overnight or vacation accommodations will enjoy staying at the Scandinavian Inn, owned and operated by the Axell family, who consistently receive rave reviews from guests. Manchester also features several restaurants, including local favorites, Mulligan’s and The Lighthouse Wine and Seafood Market, which also features Maine Made foods and gifts.
Settlers originally came to the area between 1776-1777, but the town was not known as Monmouth until 1792, when a military general and landowner suggested the name after its namesake, Battle of Monmouth. The town was known for its agricultural products, cattle and dairy products, and numerous factories and shops.
Today, visitors can easily find Monmouth along U.S. Route 202. Visitors who enjoy water sports and activities will appreciate that Monmouth has access to multiple lakes, including Cobbosseecontee, Annabessacook, and Cochnewagen, as well as Sand Pond and Wilson Pond. Those visitors who enjoy indoor attractions may enjoy the Monmouth Museum Complex, comprised of eight buildings featuring exhibits focusing on 19th-century rural Maine life. Monmouth also hosts the Monmouth Community Players in the Theatre at Monmouth, located in historic Cumston Hall.
The quaint town of Mount Vernon was originally known as Washington Plantation in 1774. It became Mount Vernon, the 80th township in Maine, in 1792. The northwest corner of the town, known as Mt. Vernon Village, developed around the dams, grist mill, and sawmill built by Captain William Whittier in 1792.
In addition to Captain Whittier’s accomplishments and notoriety, Mt. Vernon also attracted the likes of Elizabeth Arden, who established a health spa named “Maine Chance” alongside Long Pond, and wildlife scenic artist Klir Beck, who had a studio.
Today, nearly a third of Mt. Vernon’s residents own seasonal lakeside cottages. Mt. Vernon is surrounded by various bodies of water, including Echo Lake, Flying Pond, Long Pond, Parker Pond, Torsey Pond, and several smaller ponds. Visitors to the area can enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating in the summer, while winter offers ice-fishing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice-skating. The town also offers numerous arts and crafts shops and studios, and is known for its D.E.W. Animal Kingdom and Sanctuary.
Visitors to Mt. Vernon may enjoy staying at the Five Seasons Family Resort, a restored 1800s inn, or any number of lakeside cottages and cabins. Camp Laurel on Echo Lake offers a summer of fun for children and teens.
Originally known as Pond Town, and bordering the town of Fayette, Readfield shares its country store and volunteer fire department with residents of Fayette, right at the town line. This small town only covers about 31 square miles, and within that small area, nearly two miles are covered with bodies of water. These include sections of Maranacook Lake, Torsey Pond, Echo Lake, and Lovejoy Pond. Visitors may find and travel through Readfield via state routes 17, 41, and 135.
In spite of its small size, Readfield is home to the presitigious private school, Kents Hill School. Visitors may enjoy the exhibits in the town’s Historical Society and Museum. Readfield also offers athletic fields and fairgrounds, where it offers family fun days and activities
Originally known as New Sandwich, the town was named for General Anthony Wayne in 1798. Even though Wayne is a small community, it doubles in size over the summer. This is due to its plentiful lakes and water activities, offering swimming, sailing, boating, and fishing. The town is also known for its native blueberries and strawberries, specialty shops, and recreation center.
Wayne only covers 25 miles, but its bodies of water cover over six miles of that area. These include Androscoggin Lake, Berry Pond, Pickerel Pond, Dexter Pond, Pocasset Lake, Lovejoy Pond, Hales Brook, and Bog Brook.
The town of Winthrop is the namesake for this region of Maine. Originally known as Pondtown Plantation in 1771, it was renamed Winthrop after John Winthrop, the first colonial governor in Massachusetts. Winthrop was originally renowned for its cattle and its orchards. A sawmill, grist mill, and other shops added to the town’s rapid growth and popularity.
Winthrop is another small town in land mass that is broken up by multiple bodies of water, including Hoyt Brook, Maranacook Lake, and Annabessacook Lake, offering numerous types recreational activities. The town is also known for the only inland lighthouse, Cobbossee Lighthouse, and Mt. Pisgah, the highest land point in Kennebec County.
Visitors to Winthrop can also enjoy cultural activities, including lectures, film series, and music.
Winthrop Lakes Region Directories
Visit the following directories to find lodging, dining, attractions, shops, services and recreational activities in the Winthrop, Maine area.
- Fayette Maine
- Manchester Maine
- Monmouth Maine
- Mount Vernon Maine
- Readfield Maine
- Vienna Maine
- Wayne Maine
- Winthrop Maine