Maine has been described as a paradise on earth. A haven for lobster, a bastion of lighthouses and perfect for picking blueberries. With its wild shores, untouched nature, and beautiful array of colours, it is truly heaven on earth.
The natural diversity of this state is perfect for hikers regardless of preferences or level of experience. If you want to explore the natural beauty of Maine, revel in its sparkling lakes, rocky mountaintops, rugged coastline and lush forests.
Maine is predominantly rural – which is why US tourists refer to it as “vacationland”. At the same time, Land for Maine’s Future Program (LMF) supports and protects the natural and recreational value of the land, providing revenue to support recreational amenities such as trails and trailheads.
Maine Natural Areas Program has as well very important role and mission to ensure the maintenance of Maine’s natural heritage for the benefit of present and future generations. And with 1,624 walking trails there’s plenty to choose from.
If your next outdoor activity is hiking in Maine, you will find something that suits your needs. There are 805 family-friendly hikes and over 1,200 routes featuring waterfalls and breathtaking views.
And here’s a fact that might surprise you – Maine boasts 3,478 miles of coastline -that’s more than California!
1. Acadia National Park
Varieties for hiking are endless in Acadia. From coast trails, forested areas, to walking along cliffs to mountain tops, this unique stretch is ridden with walking trails featuring ladders and metal rungs.
If you don’t like this, keep your feet on the ground and explore something like Ocean path one of the most popular walks, since it’s easy, flat, and you will enjoy beautiful coastline views.
The highlights of the Ocean path are Sand beach, Thunder hole – where waves make thunder sound hitting the rocks – and Otter cliffs. The trail is 7.2km so give yourself 1.5 to 2.5 hours to walk this trail.
Another easy trail in Acadia is the Cadillac summit loop trail which offers amazing panoramic views of the national park and is recommended to everyone. It is only 0.3 miles long, but if you are there for the sunrise, you will experience the magic of the first sunrise in the U.S.
If you look for a bit strenuous trail with fun climbing, then The Beehive Loop Trail is a good choice. It’s a 2.4 kilometer loop trail with a lake. It’s not recommended for people who are afraid of heights though. The trail is rocky, uneven, and slippery during rain, so make sure you have the right footwear.
2. Moxie Falls Trail
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the state’s tallest waterfalls and keep your camera close for a perfect capture. This moderate 1.7-mile walking trail in Maine is good for all hiking levels including families with young children and dogs.
The trail takes you along a woodland path where you come across a multitude of beautiful flora and fauna. The trail is wide and easy to follow, with a few ups and downs.
Moxie falls trail includes a single vertical drop of nearly 90 feet as well as other plunges and pools. Swimming is allowed, but be cautious and stay away from the drop. If you’re visiting Moxie in the winter, bring a pair of snowshoes.
3. Caribou Mountain
Caribou Mountain trail is 8.8 miles long but is categorised as a moderate to difficult to walk. Located near Franklin, the area is awash with beautiful wildflowers, woods, lakes and rugged mountainscapes.
The best way to hike Caribou Mountain is up the Mud Brook Trail and down the Caribou Trail. It’s a 5 hours roundtrip. Keep in mind that the trail is closed from April 1st to June 16th due to wildlife. The keepers don’t want hikers to disturb the sheep during lambing season as they can scare easily and turn nasty.
If you don’t like crowded walking trails Caribou Mountain is perfect. It doesn’t receive too many visitors in any one day, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet – plus there are more opportunities to spot a wide range of wildlife – including the deer from which Caribou Mountain gets its name.
The trail is a relatively steady climb but does have a few steep points. The mountain views are rewarding, especially when you’re looking over the enigmatic Spirit Lake and Emerald Lake. But the highlight is the impressively large Bennett Lake.
4. Fore River Sanctuary Trail
Fore River Sanctuary Trail is another jaw-dropping walking trail Maine. Located near Portland, this 3.3 mile trail is suitable for hikers of all levels and access from the city is very easy.
The best time to visit Fore River Sanctuary is in spring and early summer when the flowers are in full bloom as they invite an astonishing array of butterflies and birds to sample the nectar of wildflowers.
The highlight of this trail is the Cumberland and Oxford Canal and Jewell Falls – the only natural waterfall in Portland. The trail is also open from dawn to dusk making it an ideal escape from the city.
5. Deboullie Mountain
If you’re looking to head out on a walking trail in Maine, be sure to check out Deboullie Mountain. Located near Eagle Lake this exceptional walking trail is 5.5 miles long and doesn’t get very busy. You should give yourself at least four hours to complete the trail.
Situated in low rugged mountains surrounded by crystal-clear trout ponds, Debouillie is quite popular with backpackers that come here for a spot of overnight camping.
But what they really come here for, however, is to climb the decommissioned 48-foot fire tower – a challenge that rewards you with amazing views.
Along the way you will find for ice caves – narrow, shaded crevices where snow and ice can remain year-round. In August you may find mountaintop blueberries or unusual plants such as the arctic sandwort.
6. Dodge Point Preserve
Dodge Point is located on the western shore of the Damariscotta River 3.5 miles south of the Town of Newcastle. It has 6.1 miles of trails ranging from easy to moderate with year-round access.
You should start on the Old Farm Road Trail – an easy, smooth, and wide trail that was used by farmers in the 1800s. It strikes through the center of the preserve, linking all other trails and forming a 2 miles long loop.
If you like Shore trails, you will love Dodge Point’s water views and sand and pebble beaches for sure. The most popular trail here is the easy one that follows the shores of the Damariscotta River. It’s 1.2 miles long and considered a moderate walk.
If you’re visiting in summer, take your swimming gear and take a dip in the river. And if you’re into bird watching, bring your binoculars to get a close up of a wide variety of shorebirds including egrets, herons and bald eagles.
You may also want to head for the Ravine Trail where you can spot foxes, raccoons and deer in a peaceful light-dappled ravine. Timber Trail won’t disappoint either. This walk features an award-winning forest for its historical connections that reveal signs of early human life.
As a word of warning, there are no facilities, but following the carry-in policy, you are permitted to bring a picnic and eat wherever you like. And there is no shortage of amazing picnic spots.
Pets are also permitted provided you keep them on a leash. But since it is only a day-use facility, no camping is available. Fires are not permitted either. Keep in mind that hunting is allowed in hunting season, so if you hike during this time use caution.
7. Bradbury Mountain
A wonderful place to spend a day outdoors, this stunning mountain trail is bursting with beautiful colours and amazing views. In fall you can see migrating eagles and hawks. If you’re visiting it from mid-March through mid-May, you are likely to bump into researchers that study bird migration and learn more about the habits of these enigmatic birds.
Bradbury Mountain is open all year, from 9am till sunset. It is a 1.4-mile loop trail located near Pownal, in its namesake state park, and accessible for all levels of hikers. The park encompasses 610 acres of forest and it’s divided by route 9 into an Eastside and a Westside; the mountain is on the west side.
Northern Loop Trail is an easy walk so is ideal for ramblers of all levels of experience. It provides access to the summit where you will be greeted with stunning panoramic views of the Maine coastline. For a slightly harder climb, take the intermediate trail via the Switchback or South Ridge Trails.
8. Bald Rock Mountain Trail
Bald Rock Mountain Trail is a loop trail that provides a good opportunity to view wildlife located in Camden Hills State Park near Lincolnville. It is 3.26 miles long and considered one of the most beloved moderate trails in Maine. A true delight for nature lovers with a lot of pine trees.
Although it is heavily trafficked and moderate, it is a great chance to explore wildlife. The trail starts an easy one up a wide gravel path, which gradually rises for about a mile. After this point, the trail becomes more challenging with lots of roots and a stone staircase through a nice forested area. It can become wet and muddy.
At the end of a climb, one is rewarded with a majestic view of west Penobscot Bay including Camden, Rockport, and Rockland harbors.
If you are bringing your dog, keep it on a leash at all times.
Entrance is not free of charge.
9. Camden Hills State Park
This is a vast 5,700-acre park with 30 miles of hiking trails, located a few minutes north of Camden, with breathtaking views of surrounding hills and lakes. Camden Hills park has well-maintained and equipped campgrounds and a large picnic area for family and friends. It is open every day from 9 am to sunset. The entrance cost is $4 for resident adults, $2 for nonresident seniors, and $6 for nonresident adults.
Hiking is allowed on all 20 multi-use trails, which span 30 miles. The difficulty changes with the varied terrain and we will list some of the most popular:
Megunticook Trail -moderate, 1-mile trail to reach the summit of Mount Megunticook. Since some of the upper sections are moderately steep it may take an hour to traverse the distance.
Maiden Cliff Trail is as well a 1-mile moderate trail. It will lead you through nearly 200 years of history-a memorial to an 11-year-old Eleonora French who fell off the cliff on May 7, 1864. Maiden’s Cliff is surrounded by woods and countryside and provides a spectacular view of Lake Megunticook, the Atlantic Ocean, and the entire countryside.
Ski Shelter & Multiuse Trail is the longest trail, 5 miles long. It is well maintained wide and gravel train.
Beech hill preserve is for those who like short hikes. It is 2.2 miles long and it will take you to the only bald hilltop in the area, wild organic blueberry fields, and beautiful views of the entire Penobscot Bay, Chickawaukie Pond, Camden Hills, and the St. George peninsula.
Beauchamp point is a 1.4-mile preserve with trails that are quite different from most of the others in this area. You can hike right along with the tall trees and sea cliffs of Rockport’s shore with views of Indian Island and its lighthouse.
We hope our suggestions were inspiring enough to make your trip to Maine.
Wherever you hike, do not forget that your steps have value. Walk with the Sweatcoin app and turn your steps into cash.