Outdoor Fun
 
 

SPRING

Fishing

The spring fishing on the Sandy River is very good. There are plenty of brook trout and brown trout to be caught, mostly from the old Woolen Mill (the Route 142 Bridge) all the way through town and down to the town line of Strong. There are also several small ponds, including Lufkin Pond that have very good spring fishing as well.

 

Kayaking, Canoeing and Boating

Some people say that there are some good challenging class III rapids (white-water boaters only) with May being the best time. It's dangerous in spots to kayak just north of town up river from the Route 142 Bridge. One-half mile below the bridge is recreation with some spots of class II rapids. The river is too shallow to canoe much of the year in Phillips, but if you put in at Strong in the spring when the water is high and paddle down to Farmington, it’s only a little tricky and a lot of fun.

At Webb Lake in Weld, the State Park has boat rentals (canoes, kayaks, paddle boats) and a boat launching area. The lake is six miles long and has spectacular views of surrounding mountains.

 

SUMMER & FALL

Swimming

As the Sandy River cuts through Phillips there are some nice places to swim. The Park by the Bridge, which is publicly owned, has a nice deep swimming hole and some big boulders to jump off. The other spots are on private land so we take care not to leave trash or be too rowdy. The Woolen Mill - the spot in the river where the woolen mill used to be - has great vast rocks to jump from and swim around. It also has a small safe sandy spot for kids. It's fun to swim there with goggles and a mask so you don't bump your head on a boulder.  And the Depot offers a nice deep spot to take a dip, it's just down the bank right behind an old passenger car from the Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum.

There's also a bit of a natural wonder not far from here at Dummer's Beach, over in Weld. It's a campground, and they charge a little bit to go there for the afternoon, but the the beach boasts a shallow sandy area about the size of a football field. You walk out and out and out, and you can't believe it's still only up to your knees. The sand is soft and silky. It's a great place for little kids just learning to swim, or anybody who loves the water. Mount Blue State Park on Webb Lake offers a sandy beach with life guards and a big rock for jumping off.

Coos Canyon which is in Byron, an hour's drive on a dirt road, has a dramatic rock canyon and cliffs with waterfalls. You swim down river in kettles that have formed in the rock.

Hunting

Hunting in the area follows the Maine hunting seasons. The game includes deer, moose, rabbits, partridge, coy dog, bear, and now turkeys which are in plentiful supply since their reintroduction to the area not too long ago. The Phillips True Value Hardware store offers everything a hunter needs, from warm clothes to ammunition to a place to brag. Harley keeps a list of who shot what during deer season, and it's not unusual in the fall to see pick-ups with their quarry in back, pulling up to Harley's so the hunters can get their names on the Big Buck list.


ATV's

Some of the pleasures of ATV'ing around Phillips are the spectacular views, plentiful wildlife, pristine forest. Some risks include facing down hundreds of pounds of angry moose when you unwittingly intrude on his territory.

There's a very active ATV club in Phillips with over 100 members. They keep the trails that connect with miles and miles of Maine ATV trails groomed and relations good with the landowners. The club emphasizes family fun and participates in a wide variety of other activities for the town. For example they provide the ATV on which Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the Christmas Festivities, they put on an ATV pull during Old Home Days and are involved in the fixing up of the Franklin Park, the baseball field at the old fairgrounds.


Hiking

There are nice walks in Phillips, on the railroad property along the river, up to Daggett Rock off the Wheeler Hill Road. If you drive a little ways north on Route 4, you can get to the Appalachian Trail. Be sure to stop by Small Falls on the way. If you head toward Weld, there are three routes of varying difficulty up Tumbledown, all suitable for day hiking. For a climb that's good for kids, not long but a steady climb, go up Mount Blue off the Center Hill Road in Weld (there's also a nature trail and picnic area). There are some trails at the Webb Lake beach area. If you go to Kingfield, take the West Kingfield Road where you can take the Fire Warden Trail up Mount Abram.

WINTER


Snowmobiling Trails (Cross-country Skiing, Dog Sledding, Snowshoers)

The snowmobiling in Phillips, which is ideally located for access to any point north, south, east and west, is made great by the The North Franklin Snowmobile Club. Serving the sport community since 1970, this is a well-established, family-oriented club with dedicated members and a passion for preserving a family tradition. The club maintains 75 miles of scenic trail that include parts of Maine's Interconnected Trail Systems and meandering club trails for that " off the beaten path" day of joy riding. The club works closely with State and local government for funding and takes pride in continuing landowner cooperation, without which no snowmobile club would exist. The club welcomes any and all new members not limited to snowmobilers. Winter outdoor enthusiasts such as cross-country skiers, dogsledders and snowshoers are welcome to use the trails.

 

Nearby Ski Slopes

Saddleback, the local favorite for its affordability, is only a 25 minute drive north of here. Sugarloaf, the world famous ski resort, is only a 40 minute drive. Sunday River in Bethel is just about an hour from here.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 
   
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