As Maine’s capital city, Augusta is a frequent destination for both residents and tourists visiting the Pine Tree State. But while touring the halls of state power might interest some, experiencing the beauty of Maine’s outdoors will appeal to almost everyone. And there is no better way to do that then to visit a state park.
Maine is a large state – over 35,000 square miles – and Augusta is centrally located. That means that many of the 34 state parks in Vacationland are not in close proximity to the capital city.
Unlike most urban areas, the majority of Maine’s residents are accustomed to having to hop in their cars to access shopping, dining, or various forms of entertainment. But with the northern-most state park over 230 miles away, it is out of reach for people trying to plan a quick visit.
So that leads to the question: Which Maine state parks are in close proximity to Augusta?
List of State Parks Near Augusta
If you are in Augusta looking for nearby parks you are in luck – here are several just a short drive away:
1. Peacock Beach State Park
Location: Peacock Beach, US-201, Richmond, ME 04357
Located just 14 miles from the state house, Peacock Beach State Park in Richmond is just a short drive away. This is a small park, and is managed by the town of Richmond, so it is only open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There are picnic tables and grills available for cooking out, and some lovely views of Pleasant Pond.
2. Damariscotta Lake State Park
Location: 8 State Park Road, Jefferson, ME 04348
The next closest state park to Augusta is Damariscotta Lake Park in Jefferson, which is only 20 miles away. The picturesque lake has a nice sandy beach, offering visitors great opportunities for picnics and swimming. Picnic tables and grills are available, but parking can be tight when the park is busy, so arriving early is a good idea.
3. Lake St George State Park
Location: 278 Belfast Augusta Rd, Liberty, ME 04949
The third closest park to Augusta – Lake St. George State Park – is found 27 miles away in the town of Liberty. Lake St. George is a nice sized body of water – over 1,000 acres in area – which makes for excellent swimming, boating, and fishing. Both brook trout and landlocked salmon are regularly caught, and the park rents canoes or boats if you’d like to do some aquatic exploring on your visit.
This park has a day-use area located just a brief walk from the camping area that features grills and picnic tables near the beach. Swimmers can take comfort that a lifeguard is on duty at the beach. There are also swing sets, basketball and volleyball areas, and even a sand pit for younger kids to play in. For those looking to explore on foot there are several miles of hiking trails a short walk from the campground.
4. Range Ponds State Park
Location: 26 State Park Rd, Poland Spring, ME 04274
Range Ponds State Park is a bit further down the road, stretching the tape to 41 miles away from Augusta in Poland Spring. This is primarily a waterfront-oriented park, featuring a smooth, surfaced promenade that runs along beside the beach shore of the pond.
In addition to swimming small watercraft like kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards are often enjoyed on the pond. There is a public boat landing if you’d like to use your own boat, but due to the size of the pond it is limited to motors 10 horsepower or less.
There are also some easy walking trails nearby for those looking to explore.
5. Maine Wildlife Park
Location: 56 Game Farm Rd, Gray, ME 04039
Our fifth park is Maine Wildlife Park, still less than an hour drive from Augusta at 47 miles away. If you are hoping to see some iconic Maine animals like bear or moose, then this park should be on your short list to visit.
The park houses over thirty different species of Maine wildlife than can’t be returned to living in the wild.
Some have recovered from injuries, or become human dependent, or been orphaned, and as a result have been taken in and cared for by biologists and game wardens. These beautiful animals live in naturalized exhibits that allow them to receive necessary care.
That gives great opportunities for photographers, and wildlife enthusiasts to meet our wildlife, learn all about them, and get tons of photo opportunities. If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to show your kids or visitors from out of state a moose, this park is the answer to your prayers.
Take note that dogs are not allowed in the park, so better to leave your pet at home.