FRANKLIN COUNTY – Spanning just under 1,700 square miles with a population of 29,500+/-, Franklin County offers the quiet, indescribable beauty of the Western Mountains.

A true four season area, only your imagination limits the endless possibilities of outdoor recreation with two large ski resorts (Saddleback and Sugarloaf/USA); miles of snowmobile and multi-use recreational trails; access to the Appalachian Trail and countless other hiking opportunities with Mt. Blue, Tumbledown, the Bigelow Range, Cranberry Peak and more.

Sugarloaf Golf Club offers an award winning course challenging even the best players and offers unparalleled views that will take your breath away at every turn. This course plays host to the Chamber’s Annual Scholarship Golf Classic being held September 30 this year – and will provide you with the best view of fall foliage in the state (contact the Chamber to sign up!).

Pristine lakes and ponds offer quiet solitude at sunrise with the eerie call of loons who inhabit these bodies of water; or fantastic boating and fishing in the many lakes, streams and rivers (Sandy River, Carrabassett River, and Dead River).

Explore the rich heritage and history found here when you visit countless museums and historical sites and societies throughout Franklin County like the Nordica Homestead (Farmington), Stanley Museum and Kingfield Historical Society (Kingfield), Maine Ski Museum (Farmington), Madrid Historical Society, Wilton Town and Farm Museum, and Farmington Historical Society.

Farmington plays host as the county seat and offers award winning healthcare through the Franklin Community Health Network and Franklin Memorial Hospital; nationally recognized education with the University of Maine Farmington campus – and one of the most active and vibrant downtowns you’ll find in Maine. You’ll also find many clubs and civic organizations to become actively involved in our communities.

We are excited at the completion of new projects to Franklin County – Willow Springs, a new 55+ community is ready for its first homes to be constructed and promises to be one of the best residential areas in Farmington with beautiful homes, grounds and activities for those who reside there. The new Comfort Inn and Suites of Wilton/Farmington has been completed and just celebrated their Grand Opening with a beautiful 80+ room structure along Routes 2 and 4 in Wilton.

The New Huts and Trails System has completed its first hut situated near the foot of Little Bigelow Mountain in the Carrabassett Valley area and offers a great getaway to scenic vistas and gorgeous waterfalls along the gentle 2.5-mile hike into the hut site.

The trail system will eventually boast 180 miles of trails in western Maine with plans for a second hut located on the eastern shore of Flagstaff Lake to open this fall.

In the northern part of the county, TransCanada has been approved for their 44 turbine wind power project located on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range in Kibby and Skinner Townships. These wind turbines are projected to produce enough electricity to serve the equivalent of 50,000 average Maine homes – nearly the number of households in Franklin, Oxford and Somerset Counties! Construction should begin sometime late summer or early fall of this year.

Franklin County welcomed Poland Spring (Kingfield) and NotifyMD (Farmington) in 2007 and has seen the completion of a brand new drugstore retail location in Farmington with a drive-through pharmacy in 2008; along with welcoming the new Barclay’s Customer Service Center in Wilton which has announced their partnership with L.L. Bean in providing the financial and customer service side to L.L. Bean’s credit card holders. We extend a warm welcome to all of these new businesses!

The Chamber’s Annual Home and Leisure Show kicks off the event schedule each year at Nichols Expo Center in Wilton. March continues to be an active month with the annual Sportsman’s Show at the Expo Center. Various fairs and festivals throughout the year include the Strong Riverfest; Kingfield Downtown Festival of the Arts and Kingfield POPS outdoor concert with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra; Kingfield Festival Days; Farmington’s Downtown Strawberry Festival; the huge Wilton Blueberry Festival; the Chamber’s Annual Auto and Motorcycle Show and Raffle Run for car and motorcycle enthusiasts (August 23 and 24 at the Farmington Fairgrounds this year); the week-long agricultural Farmington Fair and who could forget the nationally recognized Chester Greenwood Day! Held the first Saturday in December each year to pay tribute to the Farmington native who invented the earmuff (and more!) A gingerbread house contest was added in 2007 and was so well received it will continue in 2008 – along with the ever popular chili contest. Both of these are open to the public and will be hosted by Franklin Savings Bank at their Front Street location in Farmington (contact the Chamber for more information).

‘Greater Franklin County – Maine’s four season destination’ – we hope you will make plans to visit and experience all the beautiful western lakes, mountains and valleys this are has to offer. Contact Lorna Nichols, Executive Director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce for more information at 778-4215 or e-mail: [email protected] – or you can visit us on the web

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