We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Planning a trip to Auburn & then to Glen, NH. Ideas?

Bridgewater...
3 posts
Save Topic
Planning a trip to Auburn & then to Glen, NH. Ideas?

Hi all,

My inlaws moved to Auburn from Florida and we are planning a long weekend in August to stay and visit with them (we're from southeastern Mass) and are looking for things to do in and around the area, as we've never explored that area of Maine. We are looking to come around the time of the L-A Hot Air Balloon Festival so we know we'll hit that. Before our son came along, hubby and I would love to just jump in the car and head out with no destination in mind, finding little towns, antique shops and other places along the way. We have a 4 year old son so it's a little harder to just jump in the car and go without some idea of what's up the road but we still would love to explore this area. Looking for great little drives, towns to see, places to visit, anything to do with railroad would be a big hit with the boy, parks with child friendly hikes, places to swim, etc.

We are planning to leave Auburn and drive via Rt 302 to NH to go to Storyland in Glen for an overnight before coming home as I believe (if Google maps is right) is less than 2 hours from Auburn and looking for ideas of places to stop along the way to shop, sight see, etc.

Thanks!

Edited: 24 June 2010, 23:32
Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
6,653 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Planning a trip to Auburn & then to Glen, NH. Ideas?

First, the easiest one -- if the little guy is into trains, be sure to check out the Conway Scenic Railway in North Conway, NH while you're staying in Glen. Their website will give you some idea of what they have for rolling stock, train rides, etc. Even just walking around the station (in the heart of downtown North Conway) and seeing the equipment in the yard is exciting.

Now, for your trip from Auburn to Glen -- If I could be so bold, I'd suggest an alternate route.... From Auburn, take Rt 121 to Mechanic Falls, then Rt 26 north to Bethel, where you can pick up Rt 2 west to Gorham, NH and NH Rt 16 south to Glen -- takes you right past the front entrance to Storyland.

This route should take about two and one-quarter hours, plus perhaps a slight slowdown through a highway work zone on Rt 2 between Bethel and Gorham. This road takes you through the hills and small mountains of Western Maine (very scenic) and a corner of the White Mountains National Forest.

From Gorham south to Glen, much of the route is on National Forest land, and parallels a small river that can be lively at times.

Part way down Rt 16, you'll pass the base station for the Mt Washington Auto Road -- an opportunity to drive to the top of the tallest mountain on the Atlantic seaboard in your own car, or ride one of the Mt Washington Auto Road vans, with a professional driver, to the top for a view clear to the Atlantic on a good day. Well worth the ride if the weather is good, but bear in mind that the weather at the base may differ from conditions at the summit -- and be sure to take along a jacket, sweater, etc -- temperatures between the base and summit can vary by 30 degrees or more.

As you enter the village of Jackson, NH, there's a New England covered bridge on your right.... Drive through it and on to the village center, where you'll find a nice deli/bakery next door to the Post Office.... great chance for a lunch or snack, which you'll want to get to-go. Take it across the small bridge in the center of the village and turn right up a steep hill. Near the top, you'll find space to park on your right so you can take your lunch out on the rocks next to the stream where it cascades over the rocks. You'll need to keep your eye on the little guy, but it's a great, relaxing spot.

Once you leave Jackson, it's only a couple of miles to Storyland on your left.

Before you leave Auburn, the entire family might want to take the short drive down to Gray (US 202 or I-95 will both get you there) to get onto Rt 26 north. A few miles out of town on your right will be the Maine Wildlife Park -- a state-operated game farm where most of the animals were either orphaned, abandoned by their parents, or recovered from injuries that made them unsuitable for returning to the wild. You can see numerous species of animals native to Maine in habitats created to resemble their natural environments. The walkways and paths are level enough for the four-year old and in-laws, with enough shade to be comfortable most days. Deer, bear, moose, woodchucks, raccoons, rabbits, bobcats, etc. etc. You can Google their website for additional info.

Bridgewater...
3 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Planning a trip to Auburn & then to Glen, NH. Ideas?

Thanks so much for all the tips! We're pretty familiar with North Conway and have the RR on our list if we have time. Wasn't sure if there was anything in the greater Auburn area in terms of RR.

Thanks for the alternative route and the rest of the tips.

The Wildlife Refuge was already on our "to do" list as my inlaws had heard about it.

Thanks so much!!!!

Southern Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
3,585 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Planning a trip to Auburn & then to Glen, NH. Ideas?

I second MainerOnTheGo's route and all of the suggestions! Just as an FYI, there is also construction on Route 26 between Gray and Poland.

If you like New Balance shoes, there is a factory outlet in Oxford, just past the Oxford Plains Speedway. Also - if you are still able to hit antique shops (with a 4 year old), there are two you should check out - one almost directly across from the New Balance Store and one a little further north on your left called Pa's Trading Post.

Your son will LOVE Storyland! It has been a hit in our family for generations :-)

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
6,653 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Planning a trip to Auburn & then to Glen, NH. Ideas?

Thanks for the reminder about the Rt 26 construction, CB. Knew I'd suggested Rt 121 from Auburn to Mechanic Falls for getting to Rt 26 for some reason.....will bring them onto 26 well north of the construction. Drove through the work area myself about a week and a half ago -- roughest temporary road surface I think I've ever seen.

Sorry MC -- no RR activities that I know of in Lewiston-Auburn. There is an intermodal freight facility in Auburn, but, so far as I know, they're "all business" and don't have anything to offer public visitors..... Closest RR-related things to Lewiston-Auburn that come immediately to mind would be the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunk and the Boothbay Railway Museum in Boothbay, but both are a bit of a haul (think hour or more) from Lewiston-Auburn.

5. Re: Planning a trip to Auburn & then to Glen, NH. Ideas?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 23 December 2010, 11:47
Get answers to your questions about Auburn