Rangeley is a family-oriented destination in the beautiful lake region of western Maine, and has plenty of activities for active families, as well as those who may enjoy slower paced hobbies. From downhill skiing and riding jet skis to stargazing, birdwatching, nature photography, and everything in between, it’s all waiting for your family here in Rangeley. Read on to see how you can plan a children’s journey to Rangeley with your young family members!
Head to Saddleback Mountain for Rangeley Family Friendly Activities
This family-oriented resort has year-round activities for the entire family. Saddleback offers equipment rental, lessons, and guided tours for most of their activities. It’s the perfect place for the kids to learn a new sport.
If there’s snow on the ground, hit the slopes for downhill skiing and snowboarding. Saddleback has two different terrain parks with a variety of challenges for all ages and experience levels. Or maybe your kids would like to spend the day on a snowmobile? Rangeley has an extensive, well-maintained trail network.
During the summer months, have fun mountain biking, hiking, paddling, (on canoes, kayaks, and SUPs) and birdwatching. And as serious as Saddleback is about skiing and snowboarding, they are just as serious about hiking and biking. The Appalachian Trail crosses the summit of the mountain, and there are two main hiking routes up the ski resort side. The resort now has lift-serviced mountain biking.
Take the kids on a Loon Watching Paddle Trip on Saddleback Lake. It’s a full-day excursion with a packed picnic lunch and plenty close encounters with those red-eyed loons. The mountain is a stopover for migrating birds too and is home to the rare Bicknell thrush. In summer, you can take guided birdwatching hikes up the ski resort side or go birding on your own.
Take a Hike
If your family enjoys a nice hike to a waterfall, you’re in the right spot. Angel Falls is a short hike with a big reward at the end of the trail through an old growth hardwood forest – a 90-foot waterfall shaped like an angel’s wing. Other short hikes that are kid-friendly and worth the trip are Small Falls (which features a series of shallow pools perfect for smaller kids to cool off in) and Coos Canyon.
Hiking to the top of Bald Mountain may be a little tough for very young kids, but just take things slow. They’ll have fun looking for mountain lion and coyote tracks and bald eagles along the way. And they’ll love climbing the observation tower, too. Adults will appreciate the amazing views from the tower and the summit.
The network of trails wandering through the Hunter Cove Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect place to spot birds, reptiles, deer and more. The nearby South Bog Conservation Area has a short interpretive trail and a longer multi-use trail down to Rangeley Lake. South Bog is a dark sky trail and a great spot for birding, wildlife viewing and other Rangeley family friendly activities. Kids of all ages will enjoy the frog pond.
Go on a Moose Hunt
No trip to Maine, especially western Maine, would be complete without spotting at least one moose. Hunt for these majestic animals by kayak along the lake’s edge or hiking along around the lake. Book a guided tour and increase your kids’ chance of seeing a moose or two. Watching a moose slowly lumbering along is an amazing experience, one your kids will never forget. If you don’t have time for a guided tour on your list of Rangeley children’s activities, wait until dusk, then drive to “moose alley,” the stretch of Route 16 between Rangeley and Stratton or Route 17, just south of Height of Land.
Enjoy the Water
Everyone will enjoy a boat tour or fishing cruise on Rangeley Lake. Rangeley Region Lake Cruises and Kayaks is just one tour company with plenty of options, including a sunset lake cruise. It’s an easy way to spot loons, osprey, bald eagles and more. Book a floatplane tour! It’s fun way to get a panoramic view of the spectacular Lake District.
If you’re here in winter, head downtown and skate under the twinkling stars on the public rink on Haley Pond. In summer, head to Haley Pond, Rangeley Lake, or another area waterway for kayaking, boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing and more.
If the weather isn’t cooperating, (it happens sometimes) head to Moose Alley for bowling, billiards, an entertainment arcade, indoor fire pit and live music. Big Adventure Center in nearby Bethel has plenty to keep the kids occupied with Rangeley children’s activities like miniature golf, water slides, indoor rock climbing, pool tables, and an arcade.
Whether your family plans on hiking and kayaking (or skiing and ice skating) every minute you can, or spending your time with lake cruises, taking that fun sea plane tour, and a guided moose hunt (a must-do), we have a vacation rental in the right spot – close to Saddleback Mountain, fronting on one of our pretty lakes and everywhere in between. Let us help you find the perfect rental!