Harrison is a relatively small town in the Cumberland county of western Maine. It features a marina, lodging, a tavern, parks, and several other establishments. Harrison is situated in between Crystal Lake and Long Lake, the larger of the two. It is an attractive destination for boating, taking a vacation, dining, and swimming.
Food and drinks are available at the Caswell Restaurant House, the Market Basket, Brookside Ice Cream, and the Olde Mill Tavern. The Market Basket sells pizza, sandwiches, soda, beer and groceries. In addition to beverages, the tavern serves steaks, pasta, soups, and seafood. It is open seven days/week and has a website with an online food/drink menu at oldemilltavern.com. Particular types of dining are also possible at some of the lodging establishments in Harrison. The larger town of Fryeburg, to the west of Harrison, offers more (and less expensive) dining options such as a Chinese restaurant, fastfood franchises, and several pizza restaurants.
Lodging is available at Greenwood Manor Inn, Snowbird Lodge, Hillside Cabins, Vacationland Campground, and the Harrison House Bed & Breakfast. The Greenwood Manor Inn (website at greenwoodmanorinn.com) is located on Tolman Rd. and was formerly known as the “Tolman House Inn.” Breakfast can be served in the dining room or covered deck. The Harrison House B&B offers a variety of room and bed sizes. The campground is located along Crystal Lake, it has a beach, store, playground, boat rentals, RV sites, and other amenities. Hillside Cabins has five waterfront cabins available for rent with kitchens and bathrooms. Renting a cabin is preferable for those who desire to have vacation lodging with more privacy and ability to prepare their own food than a bed & breakfast provides.
Other businesses in Harrison include Pete’s Outdoor Power Equipment, Gray Forestry Supplies, Western Maine Karate, a marina, a convenience store, and an Amish furniture store. The Gateway Marina offers boat sales and rentals. In addition to food/drinks/etc., the convenience store sells gas (diesel & regular) and has a pay phone as well. Gray Forestry Supplies also provides UPS shipping service.
Harrison has two parks and a public boat launch. The smaller park is called “Long Lake Park.” The larger park, “Crystal Lake Beach”, has picnic tables, playground equipment, and a large parking area. It is across the street from a small Verizon building. Many people swim at the larger park, which has a better swimming area and more amenities than the parks in many Maine towns.
The Harrison “Old Home Days” are held in early-mid July after Independence Day. This includes fireworks, a parade, and other events. Similar town-specific events are held in some of the other towns in Maine during the summer. There are usually a number of performances at the Deer Trees Theatre (deertreestheatre.org), which offers live music, plays, and stand-up comedy. It may be beneficial to schedule part of a vacation to coincide with this if you are interested in these activities.
Waterfront vacation homes are frequently offered for sale or rent in Harrison, as they are in many parts of Maine where lakeside property can be found. Rental vacation homes are usually rented on a weekly or monthly basis, with some requiring a security deposit. Some may be available for weekend-only rental periods.
Nearby towns include Bridgton and Waterford. The small cities of S. Paris and Norway have a wider variety of lodging, dining, and shopping. The Advertiser-Democrat newspaper, based in Norway, covers news/events in Harrison and other western Maine towns.
Other establishments in Harrison include a post office, library, elementary school, church, theatre, ballfield and town office. For more information on Harrison, see the town office’s website at www.townofharrisonmaine.com