Oxford Hills region

The Oxford Hills region offers easy access from Maine’s busy coastal towns to an inland vacation paradise. Close to most of southern Maine’s biggest population centers but far enough away to give visitors the feel for a more rural and easy part of Maine. 

It is filled with a broad selection of lakes and ponds, like family-friendly Range Pond or the summer haven of Long Lake, and offers a classic Maine-style adventure. No matter how you get out on the water, there is a place for you here. The region features unique and vibrant towns like Harrison (check out Crystal Lake), Norway, Oxford, Paris, and Poland, plus a handful of smaller country towns worth exploring. Several tasty diners and even more antique shops are peppered among the famous Gems of 26, adding to the charm of this part of Maine’s Lakes and Mountains.

must visit spots

Shopping along Main Street in the quaint town of Norway


The welcoming town of Norway boasts a wealth of on-the-water recreational opportunities amidst its stunning foothills landscapes. Downtown will surprise visitors with the popular Norway Brewing Company and a quirky collection of locally-run shops, galleries, restaurants, and the Norway Historical Society,

Paddlers can explore their adventurous side on Lake Pennesseewassee (Lake Norway) or Hobbs Pond. Navigating the peaceful waters (but no boats over 10hp, please) captures the easiness that comes with downtime in Maine.

Anglers, young and old, will fill their boats to the gunwales at the renowned Norway Lake, where bass and trout abound. At the same time, the Little Androscoggin River provides additional opportunities for excellent fishing as it meanders through the region.

Range Pond State Park Beach, great for families

Range Pond State Park

A short drive from one of Maine’s major urban areas, Lewiston and Auburn, Range Pond is the heart of Poland, delivering scenic beauty and abundant recreational offerings to visitors from around the corner and around the world. With its refreshing freshwater pond, the park provides an escape for swimming, fishing, and boating enthusiasts. 

Well-maintained trails invite hikers and nature lovers to explore the surrounding woodlands, while picnic areas and sandy beaches offer ideal spots for relaxation and family gatherings. With its diverse outdoor activities and tranquility, Range Pond State Park is a cherished destination for those seeking a delightful retreat amid Maine’s natural splendor.

Hours / Season – Open all year; 9:00 a.m. to sunset daily unless otherwise posted at the gate. Fee.

McLaughlin Garden Gate, South Paris, Gems of 26

The GEms of 26

Route 26 boasts a cherished collection of attractions starting at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. Established in 1783, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is the next stop. This historic community remains almost as it did when it was founded. Back along Route 26, plan to stop at the historic Poland Spring Preservation Park and the time capsule of the Maine State Building from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

McLaughlin Garden & Homestead, home to Maine’s most extensive collection of lilacs, sits at the center of South Paris. Minutes away is the Paris Hill Historic District, a well-preserved 19th-century community that produced Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln’s first Vice President.

One final stop, not officially on the Gems of 26, is the nearly 15-foot-tall “candlestick” style telephone sculpture built to commemorate the last crank-style call ever placed in 1983 by The Bryant Pond Telephone Company.

Lakes Around the region

Ways to Adventure

Plan Your Trip

Maine’s Lakes and Mountains offers a variety of resources to help you plan your next visit, including an annual visitor’s guide, stand alone map, and the new Adventure Guide App.

Visitor's Guide

Our Free Visitor's Guide will help inspire your next adventure along our mountain trails, lakes, scenic byways, bustling towns and more.

Map of the Region

Companion to the Visitor Guide, our dual-sided planning map will help you find your way to adventure in every season throughout the region.

Adventure Guide App

The App will point the way to all kinds of adventures, experiences and destinations in Maine’s Lakes and Mountains with GPS location maps and alerts.

Maine's Lakes and Mountains by the numbers

4,000+ footers
Mountain Peaks
Lakes and Ponds
+Towns and Villages
Square Miles of Adventure
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