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Rangeley Lakes
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The Rangeley Lakes Region is located in the northern corners of Maine and New Hampshire. The region's namesake is also the center point of the area—a small town by the name of Rangeley. The area is primarily farm country with many lakes and mountains throughout. The Rangeley Plantation and Rangeley Railroad are two distinguished attractions in the area, with original buildings and artifacts on display throughout them.[1] Rangeley is known for being one of the "best winter towns" in the New England area according to Yankee magazine.[6] There are four additional small cities and towns within the region: Byron, Phillips, Carrabassett Valley, and the Bigelow Preserve. Visitors come from neighboring states and cities for the warm temperatures during summer and the long winters with ample snow for snowsports.[3]

What Rangeley Lakes is known for

The Rangeley Lakes Region encompasses a wide variety of attractions and geographical wonders. The area has three different lakes: Richardson Lakes are located just outside of the town of Rangeley, and Umbagog Lake in New Hampshire.[1] These lakes are often filled during the summer months with eager fishermen and speed boats.[2] Sportfishing takes place during the summer and fall, and large conventions are held on these lakes. Saddleback Mountain is filled with tourists all year long. Visitors will spend time hiking through the network of trails along the mountainside or riding horses around the Saddleback Horn during the summer months. The winter months are even more popular on the mountain due to the Saddleback Ski Resort. Due to the area's large amounts of snowfall, snowsports are a big draw to the region. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are everyday activities among winter visitors.[6] 

The Rangeley Plantation is located near the town of Rangeley and is a widely known historical landmark in the area. The plantation spreads over forty square miles and was first organized in 1840. Today the preserved plantation still has many of the original dwellings and farming layouts as it did in the eighteen hundreds.[8] Of the nearly thirty-seven million people that visit Maine every year, almost a third of them spend time in the Rangeley Lakes Region. From November to March, tourism rates are high, and local restaurants and attractions rely on the revenue brought in by visitors spending time in the mountains and the valleys throughout the region. The summer months bring many visitors as well. Most visitors come from within Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Quebec.[2] The town of Rangley is home to the Wilhelm Reich Museum; this museum has many locally found and preserved artifacts from the early eighteen hundreds. 

The neighboring city of Byron is filled with waterfalls and scenic lookouts as it resides near Coos Canyon, a popular camping and hunting area. Carrabassett Valley is just north of Rangeley and is very small. The town has an extensive golf course at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain that attracts many visitors during the summer months.[6] Maine's major industries include petroleum oils, lobster, and paper. The Rangely Region consists of a large farmland area where potatoes, corn, hay, oats, and other vegetables are grown and exported throughout the United States. Maine is also the single largest producer of blueberries in the United States, and a blueberry processing plant is located within the Rangeley Lakes Region. Visitors can tour these processing plants and buy fresh berries and additional produce.[7]


The Rangeley Lakes Region encompasses over fifty-five square miles of land, over forty one of those square miles are covered in lakes and wetlands. The elevation of the region is over sixteen hundred feet above water level. The area is centered around its namesake, the small town of Rangeley. The Bigelow Preserve and the city of Byron make up the northern and southern borders of the destination. The westernmost edges reach out into the north corner of New Hampshire, where Umbagog Lake is located. 

Within the area, there are multiple geographical attractions, including mountain ranges, wetlands, and lakes. The Rangeley and Richardson Lakes fill miles of the region, with deep lake waters and wetlands surrounding each lake. Saddleback Mountain and Sugarloaf Moutain towner above Rangeley and Carrabassett Valley and have snow-covered peaks year-round. Ski resorts and a network of trails cover the mountainsides.[1] Common plants around the lakes include moss arrowhead, bladderwort, cattail golder per, and manna grass. A variety of shrubbery, trees, and prairie grasses line the forest and prairie lands.[4] The lakes are filled with many times of trophy fish and some lobster. The woods and dry land are home to deer, moose, bears, fish, and birds.[5] The land within the region not owned by the state is mostly farmland. 

The average high temperature is around fifty degrees, and the low is about twenty-seven degrees. Overall the weather throughout the region stands approximately thirty-eight degrees. Over forty inches of rain and almost two hundred inches of snow cover the land annually. Almost eleven days of the month include precipitation.[3] During the winter months, snowplows frequent the main road ways so visitors and locals can travel, and during the summer, trees and farmlands flourish with produce. Most of the Rangeley Lakes Region crops are vegetables, specifically potatoes, because of their ability to grow in cold weather.[7] The winter season lasts from November to March, and June through August are the warmer months of the year.[3]


The land of the Rangeley Lakes Region was originally uninhabited open land. Englishmen and settlers started by farming and developing the land in the early 1700s. The city of Rangeley was named after Squire James Rangeley, who inherited the land from his father in 1796. He established the land as a lord and tenant system and lived there for fifteen years. He built a sawmill, gristmill, a large mansion, and a road in and out of the small town during these years. The land was then split and sold in part to Rangeley Plantation and the Rangeley Railroad in 1891. The railroad and plantation flourished and brought a lot of business to the area and to Maine in general.[1] 

There are around 1,047 residents living in Rangeley today. Farming was the first real production in the area and still brings lots of revenue to the area.[2] The fishing industry is the newest and most popular industry as of recent. Due to the many lakes in the area, sport fishing, lake tours, fish, and lobster production are the area's main exports.[7] The railroad made it possible for tourists to visit the mountains and forests of the Rangeley Lakes Region during weekend getaways. Visitors frequented the region from nearby cities during the winter months when the Saddleback Ski Resort was established. This provided Rangeley with the title, "Best winter town in New England," by the Yankee magazine. The Saddleback Ski Resort is still frequented to this day.[6]

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The Loon Ridge Cottages are located on a four-acre piece of land in Belgrade, Maine, near the Belgrade Lakes Region. This region is known for its various lakes and streams, providing outdoor water excursions for guests of all ages. Due to the close proximity of the lakes, the The Loon Ridge Cottages offer gear like the kayaks to guests free of charge. The cottages offer better access to Messalonskee Lake and the Belgrade Stream. The property also owns a historical piece from the time when The Pony Express was in still in operation. A stage coach that was used in that time period for mail delivery is now used by The Loon Ridge Cottages.

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The GraceNote Inn and Spa is located in Bethel, Maine. It has six units, one of which is handicap accessible. Each room has a private bathroom that is equipped with tile flooring, heated shower floors, and bidet toilet seats. Outside of the rooms, guests can visit the three dining rooms, two decks, or piano lounge. Breakfast is served at 8:30 every morning, though breakfast can be packed for those who leave the property early. Usually consisting of berries, croissants, and a hot entrée, breakfast is often served in the breakfast dining room. On the exterior of the building, there are gardens, one of which is a zen garden pond. The perimeter is fenced, and a patio that can seat 16 people is situated in the yard. With various activities in the area, the GraceNote Inn and Spa can be a popular hotel to visit for those looking for outdoor activities.

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