Rumford, Maine Vacation Guide
Rumford, Maine nestles in the foothills of the White Mountains in the Androscoggin River Valley. Though the town was founded in 1779 – its original name was New Pennacook Plantation, named for the stunning, 177-foot Pennacook Falls – the region was a long-time hunting and fishing ground for the indigenous St. Francis Indians.
The water power harnessed from the falls and from the greater Androscoggin River powered a number of saw and grist mills over the next century, and the region grew to be an influential center of the early paper industry, as well as an agricultural community. Today, Rumford and its neighbors – the towns of Andover, Byron, Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Hanover, Mexico, Peru and Roxbury – offer a number of attractions to visitors.
Rumford and Mexico
The “sister” towns of Rumford and Mexico — named for the country of Mexico’s 11 year struggle for independence from Spain — sit on adjacent sides of the Androscoggin River. Both developed as farming communities with local economies based on paper mills, many of which are still operating. Today, visitors are drawn to the area for its range of outdoor recreational activities and historical and cultural attractions.
Learn about Rumford’s rich history at the local museum. Open on Saturdays, the Lufkin School Museum houses photos, books and artifacts that bring the region’s past to life. For a taste of local culture, stop by the Pennacook Art Center. The center runs a downtown gallery showcasing work by local and regional artists.
The region surrounding Rumford and Mexico is well known for its downhill and cross-country skiing, and the closest place to hit the slopes is at Black Mountain of Maine. This mountain resort offers skiing and snowboarding for the whole family. With a 1,150-foot vertical drop, a tubing park, and cross-country trails designed by local Olympic champion Chummy Broomhall, Black Mountain is a popular winter destination. The region also has a network of groomed trails for snowmobilers.
Like the rest of Maine, the Rumford area is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Summer visitors can try their hand at the Rumford area’s legendary bass fishing. The Androscoggin River also contains stretches that are perfect for canoeing, kayaking and swimming. The area is packed with hiking trails, from day hikes to the peak of Mt. Zircon to leisurely strolls through the Whitecap Preserve, a popular blueberry picking area from late July through the first weeks of August. The Appalachian Trail passes within a few miles of Rumford, as well.
ATV enthusiasts won’t want to miss the annual Maine Forest Rally, in which more than 100 cars speed along winding, wooded roads. Each July, the Moontide Water Festival celebrates the nation’s independence with Maine’s largest fireworks display; more than 40,000 spectators attend the festivities!
Andover is home to less than 1,000 residents, but it draws visitors year-round with its range of recreational activities, from hiking to hunting, camping to trout fishing in the nearby Richardson Lakes and the Ellis River. Andover is crossed by the Appalachian Trail, making it a natural destination for hikers, and snowmobilers can explore the town’s extensive network of winter trails.
Andover is home to several historic sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including the 1904 Andover Hook and Ladder Company Building, the 1899 Andover Public Library, and the 1791 Merrill-Poor House. Also on the register, Maine’s shortest covered bridge — the Lovejoy Bridge — is in Andover. This 70-foot-long bridge spans the Ellis River. It was built in 1868 and still carries traffic today.
Byron and Roxbury
The tiny towns of Byron and Roxbury – home to just a few hundred residents – were both incorporated in the early 1800s. Today, the towns are perhaps best known for their gold panning. The Swift River is one of several Maine rivers that contain gold deposits; the river flows through the Byron and Roxbury in the heart of scenic Coos Canyon. Visitors can bring their own equipment or rent gold panning supplies at the campground just across Route 17 from the Coos Canyon parking lot.
Lodging options in the Rumford area run the gamut, from bed and breakfasts to motor inns, chain hotels to cozy inns. And, if you feel like roughing it in a tent or RV, there are several campgrounds in the area, too.
If you’re planning a trip to the Rumford region, bring your appetite! Whether you’re craving casual pub fare, ethnic cuisine or just a quick bite to eat at a fast food establishment, Rumford and its neighboring towns can provide the perfect eatery.
Rumford – Androscoggin River Valley Area Directories
Visit the following directories to find lodging, dining, attractions, shops, services and recreational activities in the Rumford, Maine area.
- Andover Maine
- Byron Maine
- Canton Maine
- Carthage Maine
- Dixfield Maine
- Hanover Maine
- Mexico Maine
- Peru Maine
- Roxbury Maine
- Rumford Maine