There’s more to Maine than its rocky coastline and undulating peninsulas enveloped by ocean. To get to the heart of Maine, you must explore inland, which is our inspiration for this post – the best day trip to Bridgton, Maine. And Wolf Cove Inn, our bed and breakfast on Tripp Lake, is the ideal launching and landing pad for your Maine adventure.
Several small but lovely towns surround our bed and breakfast, and each town deserves your attention. At first, you might wonder if you’re traveling through Europe as you pass signs for Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Poland (surprisingly, these names originate for different reasons). But these beautiful towns reflect a wild, untouched wilderness, like something out of a storybook. Imagine majestic woods, cascading waterfalls, meandering trails, and lumberjack roads. Cozy cabins and timber structures dot the countryside as you explore by car or on foot.
With a backdrop of the White Mountains and several lakes and ponds, Bridgton exudes a healthy outdoor vibe while embracing a passion for culture and community. Every season holds its allure. Water sports in summer, skiing in winter, and hiking in spring and fall appeal to adventurers. But the artists among us appreciate its nod to the creative arts as well.
Outdoor Recreation in Every Season
Bald Pate Mountain Preserve
Location: S. Bridgton Rd., Route 107
This 486-acre preserve features forest, meadows, and an ancient pitch pine forest at the summit. Follow a 6.7-mile network of well-marked, easy to moderate hiking trails for scenic vistas and possibly a moose or fox sighting. During the winter months, you can cross-country ski or snowshoe your way through the beauty of Bald Pate Mountain Preserve.
Location: 119 Mountain Rd.
Maine’s longest operating ski resort offers 3 terrain parks, 7 glades, and 40 ski trails. On-site rentals and lessons, plus 19-lit trails at night make this destination a fun spot for everyone.
Holt Pond Preserve
Location: Grist Mill Rd
Designed to help educate people about wetlands and the role they play in protecting water quality, Holt Pond primarily preserves the nature and beauty within its boundaries. This picturesque preserve offers an easy 4.5-mile trail through hardwood forest and red maple swamp, where you might see beavers, minks, and fish. Migrating birds in the spring and the return of the chickadee in the winter also make this an ideal spot for bird watching. Enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter.
Location: Depot St.
Located in the heart of downtown Bridgton, this 66-acre park is a haven for nature and wildlife. Walk the easy 2.7-mile woodchip path through fields and wetlands, and stay alert for deer, beaver, mink, and the pileated woodpecker. Pondicherry Park’s trails are easy to stroll and very popular, so consider visiting during off-peak hours.
Bridgton Highlands Country Club
Location: 379 Highland Rd.
If there are golfers or tennis players among your group, then Bridgton Highlands Country Golf is the place to go. Featuring 4 outdoor tennis courts and 18 challenging holes of golf, the country club is fun, friendly, and affordable.
Art and Ingenuity
Rufus Porter Museum of Art and Ingenuity
Location: 121 Main St.
Celebrating the life and legacy of Rufus Porter, a well-loved muralist from 19th century New England, this art museum will introduce you to the diversity of his creativity. Known for his landscape murals and miniature portraits, Porter was also an accomplished musician, inventor, teacher, and writer. Admire Porter’s art and ingenuity while touring two historic homes (Wednesday – Saturday from mid-June to mid-October; by appointment from mid-October to mid-June), and then purchase a token of your visit at the exceptional museum store.
Location: 112 Main St.
Gallery 302 is a co-op gallery featuring the visual arts of 40 local working artists who use a variety of mediums. On-site classes and events are held throughout the year, so you can try your hand at different aspects of painting, ceramics, and the like. Browse the gift shop’s unique items, such as, pottery and painting reproductions, fused and stained glass, or wooden ware, note cards, and hand-painted silk scarves.
Bridgton Twin Drive-In
Location: 383 Portland Rd.
A throwback to simpler times, catching a film at an outdoor theater is a must-do when visiting rural Maine. Showing both first-run and retro films, this is a great spot for a romantic date night or fun outing.
For a small town, Bridgton is big on flavor. When hunger strikes, head to any one of these eclectic dining spots for a culinary adventure.
- The Black Horse Tavern: Burgers and seafood.
- Vivo’s Country Italian Kitchen & Bar: Classic Italian.
- Morning Glory Diner: Home-style diner.
- Beth’s Kitchen Café: Gourmet sandwiches, pizza, and desserts.
- Campfire Grille: Comfort food.
- Standard Gastropub: Pub grub and craft beer.
A day trip to Bridgton, Maine is just one of many ways to explore the heart of Maine’s Western Lakes Region. During the summer, winter, spring, or fall, you will find a wealth of activity both indoors and out. Be sure to put the lovely Maine town of Bridgton on your bucket list the next time you visit us at the Wolf Cove Inn.