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Augusta/Kennebec offers rafting, snowmobiling, family fests at the capital

The heart of Maine is a wild place – if that’s what you’re looking for – with white water rafting, hikes in the deep woods, snowmobiling, and wonderful wildlife viewing and photography. The Augusta-Kennebeck region also is home to the state capital, so you can be assured of fining cultural and historic pleasures here, like the Maine State Museum’ Fort Western, the oldest wooden fort in New England; and lots of lodging for all tastes, lakefront resorts to sweet and intimate cottages.

Play for Kids; Pleasure for Parents

Children’s Discovery Museum at 171 Capitol Street in Augusta provides hours upon hours of interesting play time for young kids. Exhibits are set up for great, unstructured games of pretend. There’s a grocery store, a bank, a real working theater with costumes and equipment for puppet shows, a tree house and nature areas, a music-making room, and a construction zone. At the Ocean Touch Tank, kids can starfish, watch the crabs eat or try to find the lobster or just watch them in their environment. Parents can relax or join in and play. Phone: 207-622-2209

Run Along the River

Get out and put those legs to use! The 6.5-mile Kennebec River Rail Trail is one of Maine’s great outdoor attractions. The trail welcomes locals and visitors alike for walking, running, cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, and dog walking. The trail parallels the existing rail bed along the Kennebec River, and stretches from Augusta Maine's Waterfront Park, through the towns of Hallowell and Farmingdale, to its conclusion in the city of Gardiner. Bring the entire family and explore the wonderful activities that Maine has to offer along the Kennebec River Rail Trail.

If We Ain’t Got it, You Don’t Need It

Hussey’s General Store at 510 Ridge Road in Windsor claims “If We Ain’t Got it, You Don’t Need It.” With 30,000 square feet of retail space, this family-owned business has been selling essentials to Augusta-Kennebec communities since 1923. Essentials? By that, Hussey’s means groceries, clothing, new and used guns, fishing equipment, hardware, furniture, appliances, gifts, collectibles, wedding dresses, used books, tools, feed and grain, and so much more. This has to be one of the standards of the general store business, anywhere. You need anything? Come and challenge the Hussey’s tradition. Open daily. Phone: 207-445-2511.

Treworgy Corn Maze 2017 Honors Paul Bunyan

Treworgy Family Orchards at 3876 Union Street in Levant has been running a corn maze since 2001, with a fresh theme and games every year. In 2017, the maze honors “Paul Bunyan: Legendary Lumberjack.” Use a special map with riddles to solve as you wander the 4-acre maze and visit the maze stations. If you complete the puzzle you will get a free ice cream cone. Find the center of the maze and you may sign the Hall of Fame Board. Admission: Adults, $8; children age 3 to 12, $7. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 207-884-8354

Comedy, Music, Gravity Defiance: 15-Year-Old Johnson Hall's Got It

Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center presents a wide range of artist programs -- live music series, children’s events, outdoor performances in the park and more -- in the historic Johnson Hall Performing Arts building (1864) at 280 Water Street in downtown Gardiner. The Hall – Maine’s oldest opera hall -- celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016, a sign that it knows and serves its audience. Coming in 2016 are shows of comedy, improve, blues, jazz, folk, rock ‘n’ roll, and the intriguingly named Avner the Eccentric…Exceptions to Gravity act. Phone: 207-582-7144.