Posted on October 13, 2014 and last updated on June 12, 2019

Viles Arboretum, Augusta

QUICK TRAIL FACTS

  • Preserve Size: 224 acres
  • Trail Mileage: 5 miles in network
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: trees, gardens (including a rock garden), sculptures, Viles Pond

This is a magical 224 acres, close to downtown Augusta, filled with trees, gardens, sculptures and vistas. You’ll find something interesting or beautiful around every corner. It’s popular with locals and their dogs, although if you reach the trails farthest from the parking area, you might not run into anyone. I hear that some of the paths are groomed for skiing in the winter.

In the fields, the trails are wide, mowed and fairly easy to walk along. I even think one could push a wheelchair here, if the wheelchair is hardy enough. The arboretum has an interesting history, and a small visitor’s center that’s open during business hours. The only thing missing here is an outdoor trail map, or one on their site. Perhaps the visitor’s center has one, but on the day we went it was closed. The best we could do was wander around and do three miles of walking, which was more than delightful. There are signs at the major intersections, but there are a lot of trails here, so it is easy to feel a bit directionless at times! Plan on spending an afternoon or morning here.

Directions (from Maine Trail Finder): From North: Take I-95 Exit 113 for Augusta/Belfast. Continue straight on ME Route 3 through two traffic lights crossing the Kennebec River. After the bridge, turn right at the traffic light at the intersection of ME Route 3 and US Route 201/ME Route 100 and follow US Route 201/ME Route 100 South. Staying on US 201, US Route 202 will join on the left and in another half mile there will be a traffic circle. Take the ME Route 9/Stone Street exit (the third after entering the circle). Continue on ME Route 9 for 1.2 miles (going straight through a traffic light), and turn into the Arboretum’s Visitor Center on the left.

From East: Follow US 202 to its with US 201 in Augusta, and follow the directions above from there.

From South: Take I-95 Exit 109 for Augusta-Winthrop-US 202, and head east towards Augusta on Western Avenue to the rotary. Go 180 degrees around rotary and continue on US 202/Western Avenue (2nd exit). Go over the Memorial Bridge crossing the Kennebec, and at the next rotary, take the first, immediate exit onto ME Route 9/Stone Street. Continue on ME Route 9 for 1.2 miles (going straight through a traffic light), and turn into the Arboretum’s Visitor Center on the left.

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Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!