Augusta, Maine stands out as the picturesque state capital city as well as the seat of Kennebec County. Augusta residents take great pride in their history. Located at the head of navigation on the Kennebec River, settlers from the Plymouth Colony first established the community as a trading post in 1625.
Old Fort Western, now the oldest wooden fort in the United States, stands proudly on the east bank of the river in the heart of Augusta. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Old Fort Western is owned by Augusta. Workers maintain the fort and store as a museum, which is open to the public during the summer months. A popular attraction, the fort offers visitors a look at colonial life with employees dressed in period costumes reenacting life in the 18th century.
Augusta’s Kennebec River Rail Trail provides miles of scenic river views for walkers, bikers and in winter, cross-country skiers. It follows the railroad right-of-way that once connected Portland, 52 miles to the southwest, with Augusta. The trail stretches 6.5 miles along the river from Augusta to nearby Gardiner. Atlantic salmon, striped bass, American shad and many other fish thrive in the waters that also shelter the rare Atlantic sturgeon. Bird-watchers discover bald eagles soaring over the river in hopes of a fine catch.
The University of Maine at Augusta is an outstanding college. It also maintains many hiking and running trails open to the public. UMA is active in many sports, such as men’s and women’s basketball, hockey, baseball, swimming, diving and soccer. Students find a wide variety of public and technical schools located in and around the area.
Augusta State Airport, along with the nearby Portland International Jetport, ensures that visitors from around the world have easy access to the area. Recently lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution to authorize raising truck weight limits throughout the Maine Interstate Highway System. Previously, the 100,000 pound trucks had been limited to secondary highways. The governor declared that in addition to improving safety, this will vastly improve the environment and also reduce costs for businesses in the state.
Augusta lies just to the north of Waterville. Portland, (along with South Portland), the closest large city, is merely 70 miles distant. Augusta is also within a reasonable drive of such interesting Maine cities as Auburn, Bangor, Lewiston, Rockland and Biddeford.
Augusta, Maine offers something for everyone. From a wide variety of outdoor activities to fine dining, arts, museums and festivals, there’s always something going on. Rich in history and culture, Augusta’s pro-business environment and high standards of education ensure a promising future for the community.