- ADA Accessible
- Bike Trail
- Picnic Areas
From the intersection of US Routes 2 and 201 in downtown Skowhegan (Main Street and Water Street), drive about 0.6 miles east on US Route 2 (Water Street). Coburn Park will be on your right.
Originally donated to the town in 1885 by former Governor Abner Coburn, Coburn Park has developed over the years as not only an oasis of open space but also as a cultivated garden for the town. Over 100 species of trees and shrubs have been planted throughout the landscaped gardens along with numerous flower beds and a pond. Concerts are also held in the park throughout the summer months.
Coburn Park’s paved drives function as walking trails, although “off-trail” exploration is encouraged. The park itself resides on a high bluff overlooking the lower end of the Skowhegan Gorge, glipses of which are visible through the lush tree cover along the edge of the bluff. Various monuments have also been added over the years, illustrating the vast heritage of the region. Walking is relatively easy with gentle slopes over much of the terrain. Slopes of over 10% are encountered at the eastern end of the trail network.
Skowhegan native Abner Coburn, Maine’s governor during the Civil War, willed land on the Kennebec River for a public park upon his death in 1885. Abner’s descendants donated additional land in 1905, resulting in the current 12.5 acre park. The property is bordered by the river on one side and by residential neighborhoods, forest and farmland to the north.
The park’s design evolved over time under the leadership of various commissioners appointed by the town. In 1907 a pond with two islands was constructed, its edges planted with iris, ferns, rushes, weeping willows, and pond lilies. Soon thereafter a collection of young trees was planted from Bar Harbor Nurseries, who had exhibited in a nearby fair. By 1928, 108 different tree species existed in the park; today there are over 200. A pair of stone entrance pillars capped with lanterns, designed as a memorial to Park Commissioner Sarah L. Eaton, lead to the main road which encircles the park. Following World War I, the Daughters of the American Revolution donated a sundial and formal flower garden to memorialize local soldiers lost in the war; today the sundial remains without its formal garden. A bandstand was constructed in 1989, located near the river at the bottom of a sloping lawn dotted with mature shade trees. A gazebo was added near the entrance in 2000. Both structures serve as gathering places for community events.