Hidden in the remote forests of eastern Maine, the Alexander Art Trail has the largest hand-carved, outdoor sculpture collection in the state of Maine. The trail is often described as “part museum, part gallery, and part fairy woodland.” It includes over two dozen sculptures throughout the woods. Most are directly placed on the trail, but those who look a bit beyond into the woods will find some surprises.
The late Roland and Grazina Paegle created the sculpture park after being inspired by similar parks they saw in Europe.
They hired Lithuanian artists to hand carve the life-size sculptures in solid oak, choosing ones that complemented the lakes and woods setting. The Paegles began cutting the trails on land near the shores of Barrows Lake at the base of Breakneck Mountain. They made cases to shelter smaller pieces and began soliciting local artists to participate. The trail is a collaboration between a local landowner, the non-profit History Dome, and Art Park, Inc., artists, and volunteers, and had its first full season in 2010.
The sculptures aren’t labeled, leaving visitors to use their imagination about what they are and the relationship between adjacent sculptures.
Know Before You Go
Due to the remoteness of the trail, it can be difficult to find. The road leading up to the trail becomes a dirt road. Turn right on Crawford Road (at the Pleasant Lake Camping Area), then keep left on Barrows Lake Road. At the T intersection, turn right. You’ll see the sculpture park on your left just before the waters of Barrows Lake appear on your right.
The Alexander Art Trail sculpture park is about 30 minutes west of Calais. The trail is free to visit, with a suggested $2 donation box.