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Downeast Scenic Railroad in Ellsworth

12 Best Things To Do In Ellsworth, Maine (2024)

Ellsworth is a small city in Maine’s Hancock County; however, it is quite big in terms of ‘Tourism.’ A vital part of the State, Ellsworth is the gateway to Acadia as well as Downeast Maine. In addition, it is home to plenty of tourist attractions and historical landmarks, all of which keep on entertaining both residents and guests. Ellsworth is extremely picturesque and an ideal stop for touring Maine’s beautiful coast. From first-time visitors to tourists who keep coming back, Ellsworth offers engagement options to all.

Although small in size, Ellsworth boasts a good lifestyle, and a safe environment, along with excellent leisure and business opportunities. There’s a lot here, from plenty of work opportunities to an array of recreational options. The city of Ellsworth is within proximity of various towns and cities in Maine. Acting as Acadia National Park’s getaway, Ellsworth is just half an hour from Bar Harbor and nearly 45 minutes away from Bangor. We have shortlisted some excellent options to help you plan your itinerary in this beautiful city of Maine. Here is the list of the Most Popular things to do in Ellsworth, Maine. Have a look:

12 Best Things To Do In Ellsworth, Maine

1. Begin with Stanwood Homestead Museum and Bird Sanctuary

The most exciting and popular thing to visit in Ellsworth is Stanwood Homestead Museum and Bird Sanctuary, undoubtedly. Encompassing 200 acres of land, this beautiful natural spot is clean, well-preserved, and has a lot of exciting features. A visit here allows individuals to hike through the forest trails, all of which unfold scenic natural views. As you walk across, you will observe a lot of wild birds in their natural habitat. Lucky ones can even observe many unique birds from close; however, maintaining peace and respect for the surrounding is mandatory. The sanctuary is also a great spot for bird photography, though taking prior permission from the office is advisable.

Once done with the forest trails, next head to the Stanwood Homestead. It was once home to Cordelia Stanwood, a popular pioneer ornithologist, and wildlife photographer. Inside the homestead is a range of exciting things to check out and learn from. Lastly, before going back, consider checking out the gift shop and Nature Center right at the entrance as well.

2. Go For a Train Ride at the Downeast Scenic Railroad

The Downeast Scenic Railroad in Ellsworth allows individuals to ride an old-fashioned train. Departing from Ellsworth is an antique vintage train that makes its way from the historic Calais Branch Line and takes participants on a 10 miles long scenic round trip. The distance, though, is short, but the ride takes nearly 90 minutes. Participants can choose from covered or open-air train cars depending upon the weather for the day. The long 90-minute journey unfolds beautiful natural scenery and a range of wildlife. It is common to spot animals, including beavers, foxes, snapping turtles, deer, moose, eagles, blue herons, and bears. Grabbing a snack and a drink before hopping on the train is one nice idea to enjoy. However, remember, this train ride will be bumpy (but also extremely enjoyable).

Downeast Scenic Railroad, Ellsworth, Maine

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3. Checkout the Telephone Museum

Ellsworth is home to something that half of the world has memories of. Wondering? Well, though lives have come a long way towards Smartphones, one can never forget Telephones, and even a thought can make you nostalgic. And to relive those memories, there’s a must-visit museum in Ellsworth, the Telephone Museum. This exciting museum exhibits a range of Telephones that have been used across the world over time. The display features actual working telephones along with switching systems that power the device. A visit here will allow you to check out manual switchboards firsthand, dial phones, hand-crank magneto phones, wall-mounted phones, and a lot more. Museum guests can also experience what it was like being a switchboard operator back in the 1890s. Or, the chance of hearing the telephone ring on a 1950s phone by manually dialing right there is an exciting interactive experience on its own. For the 80s and 90s kids, this place is full of sweet memories.

4. Hike Through the Down East Sunrise Trail

If hiking amidst raw natural landscapes excites you, then do take a walk through the Down East Sunrise Trail. The said trail stretches all the way from Ellsworth, Maine, to Pembroke, Wales, covering a distance of nearly 87 miles. The route is commonly used for hiking, biking, and cycling. It also connects several parts of New England to the southern state of Florida. The Down East Sunrise Trail is also the longest trail with a rough road on East Coast’s Greenway. Apart from hiking and biking, the trail is also seasonally open for snowmobiling, along with horse and dog sledding. Apart from providing recreational opportunities, the Down East Sunrise Trail also acts as a wonderland for nature lovers and peace seekers in Ellsworth.

5. Pay a Visit to the Woodlawn House Museum

Now a Museum and a Historical House in Ellsworth, Woodlawn was once home to three generations of the Black family. For anyone passionate about history and historic homes, this is a must-visit place in Ellsworth. Woodlawn is nestled within 180 acres of land and is located a quarter-mile away from downtown Ellsworth. Apart from the museum, this huge landmark is also home to several gardens, parks, and hiking trails. Individuals can tour the historic house, hike through the nature trail and enjoy the pleasure of both indoors and outdoors. From excellent indoor exhibits and period furnishing to beautiful outdoor views and the freshness of nature, this tourist attraction has different vibes to catch. Throughout the year, the museum also hosts an array of events like croquet tournaments, robust lectures, workshops, and more.

6. Do Not Miss Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show

Watching Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show is surely the best thing to do in Ellsworth, and you cannot miss it. This unique show is basically a seasonal attraction that runs between Spring and Fall and draws in a considerable crowd. The show is packed with action and entertainment that goes all the way through 75 minutes. As an audience, you will witness activities like obstacle pole relay, axe throwing, log rolling, cross-cut sawing, and more. Timber Tina’s Great Maine Lumberjack Show is one of its kind and has been one of Ellsworth’s major draws for three decades now. Since such shows are less to be found at most places, do not miss it when in Ellsworth. However, for your safety and comfort, do come soaked in bug repellent and dressed in well-covering clothes.

7. Learn the Art of Glass Blowing at Atlantic Art Glass

If you are looking for a fun activity to do in Ellsworth, then visit the Atlantic Art Glass. The Atlantic Art Glass is a shop and learning center where one can learn the art of glass making and channel their inner creativity. Even beginners who have no experience with glass are welcome here. Visitors can go through the entire process of glass making and learn the art through easy and creative demonstrations. The owner and instructor at Atlantic Art Glass center are extremely welcoming and cooperative. They guide with high patience and teach skills that everyone can catch within a short time. If not for Glass Blowing, one can visit the Atlantic Art Glass center for shopping as well. They have an array of unique, hand-made glass items that suit well for home décor and gifting.

8. Sip a Cup of Hot Coffee at Rooster Brother Coffee Roasters

If exploring Ellsworth has made you a little tired, then stop at Rooster Brother Coffee Roasters for a cup of hot coffee. This quaint store is housed inside a beautiful Victorian building, and the architecture of the same is quite appealing. The ground floor of the building is housed with a variety of linens, specialty cookware, and other home use/ décor items. Whereas as you walk towards the first floor, the aromatic fragrance of coffee with captivate you. Along with coffee, they also have food, wine, and cheese. Whether you are catching a friend over some drinks or out for a romantic date, Rooster Brother Coffee Roasters is the place for you. The place, though, is a bit expensive but worth spending at. Going back, try taking some coffee beans along.

9. Camp At The Patten Pond Camping Resort

Patten Pond Camping Resort in Ellsworth is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. People from the local neighborhood, as well as across Maine, come here for a peaceful yet adventurous vacation. The Patten Pond Camping Resort is nestled right adjacent to over 700 acres of lake. There are several accommodation options ranging from Tenting, RVing, Pull throughs, forest apartments, and shabby huts. Most of these are available with lake views, and spending a morning in them is a beautiful experience on its own. The lake, on the other side, allows individuals to indulge in various activities like fishing, swimming, boating, and canoeing.

10. Explore the Jordan Homestead Preserve

Jordan Homestead is a natural preserve in Ellsworth with 31 acres of beautiful landscape and serene waterscapes. The preserve is popular for a one-mile lollipop trail that introduces hikers to mesmerizing views of 3,000 feet of frontage on the Union River. That is not alone, as it also unfolds views of fields with a small cemetery, a large, fenced-in garden, and a stretch of the scenic Whittaker Brook. Passing through the trail, hikers will also come across local wildlife, including deer, bald eagles, and osprey, quite easily. The trail is marked as moderately challenging as it traverses through bog bridging, stone staircases, and a narrow wooden bridge. However, nature’s calmness and wonderful sceneries make a visit here absolutely worth it. 

11. Stroll Through Ellsworth Harbor Park and Marina

An ideal place to visit during summer evenings, Ellsworth Harbor Park and Marina are located at 413 Water Street, Ellsworth. The park offers plenty of places to stroll and explore. During early morning and evening hours, hundreds of locals, as well as tourists, gather here to chill around. There are plenty of benches to sit on and enjoy the amazing view of boats on the water. The park is clean and well-maintained, with a few picnic tables as well. Ellsworth Harbor Park is just like any local park in a town, but the Harbor views and Marina make it upgraded and appreciable.

12. Visit Fogtown Brewing Company’s Beer Garden with Friends

If you are 21+ years old, do check out the Fogtown Brewing Company’s Beer Garden in Ellsworth. The beer garden is a perfect place to unwind from all the weariness that came after touring Ellsworth’s tourism spots. This place has a cozy ambiance and a welcoming vibe. The brewing company, though was opened in 2017, but it soon took pace and gained immense popularity. Visitors here can access the indoor taproom and try different beer samples. Or, use their spacious outdoor patio and dog-friendly beer garden and enjoy your drink with outstanding live music. To pair along with beer, they offer some excellent wood-fired pizza options, which are definitely to try for.

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