While we admit to possibly being biased, we think Maine has the best hiking trails in all of New England. But, with so many options where do you start? From hikes to mountain summits to beautiful waterfalls and coastal routes, Maine is home to trails for all expertise levels and sight preferences. These are the trails that we think make Maine special!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Mount Battie, Camden
The calm and beauty of this hike is worth capturing on canvas! Or, just take the memories home with you in your head. Either way, this trail will lead to views of Cadillac Mountain on a clear day. You'll also see Camden Harbor, Penobscot Bay, and the surrounding islands.
2. South Bubble Mountain and Jordan Pond, Mount Desert Island
The South Bubble hike of the Bubble Mountains is one of the more accessible endeavors in Acadia National Park. Once you've reached the top you'll see the famous perched rock, left by glacial activity centuries ago.
3. Gulf Hagas Rim Trail, Katahdin Iron Works State Park
Visit Katahdin Iron Works State Park to explore Gulf Hagas, a beautiful three-mile area that features sheer canyon walls, lush forest, and waterfalls. The Gulf Hagas Rim Trail is 8.6 miles.
4. The Beehive Trail, Acadia National Park
Sometimes, just looking at a photo of people on this trail makes us nervous! If you're afraid of heights, this hike is not for you. But if you're brave and want to experience a unique hike unlike any other in the state, this is the one. It's a difficult hike, but well worth your effort.
5. The Bar Island Trail, Bar Harbor
This trail is actually a gravel sandbar connecting Bar Harbor with Bar Island. It is only accessible for about 3 hours when the tide is low and can be reached by heading to the trailhead at Bridge Street in town. Another option is to park at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and then hop on the Island Explorer Bus to the Village Green. Once there, head along Main Street towards West Street before making a right on Bridge Street.
The Bar Island Trail isn't going to impress people with goals of climbing huge mountains. It's short and easy and perfect for a casual stroll with great views of Frenchman Bay.
6. Higgins Mountain, Georgetown
Take this hike the same day you're visiting Reid State Park. The trail itself is short — a little more than a half mile — but the summit is incredible. The top offers views of Maine's coast eastward from Robinhood Cove towards Sheepscot Bay.
7. Moxie Falls, Moxie Gore
If sweeping views aren't enough incentive for you to hit the outdoors, check out this trail leading to Moxie Falls. Moxie is one of Maine's highest waterfalls and has a vertical drop of almost 90 feet. The hike isn't hard but might be slippery in places.
8. Jesup Path, Bar Harbor Area
Jesup Path, located in Bar Harbor, can be found by heading to Acadia. You’ll take the famous Park Loop Road for about 3 miles before making a left turn to head towards Sand Beach. You’ll be veering off the Park Loop Road when you get to Sieur de Monts, where you’ll begin following signs to the Nature Center.
Park and begin your walk on the trail which begins next to the Wild Gardens of Acadia.
9. The Kennebec River Rail Trail, Kennebec River
This beautiful 6.5-mile trail follows the Kennebec River on its west side as it bends and curves its way towards the coast. It also follows the railroad tracks that once connected Portland to Augusta. While they are no longer in use, they're still maintained today in case they are ever used in the future. Stone markers are used every quarter mile to track the distance and look just like the original markers once used in conjunction with the train. You can find trailheads in Augusta, Hallowell, and Gardiner, but we recommend beginning your journey in Augusta to enjoy the entire trail.
10. Angel Falls, Franklin County
Those not familiar with Maine might not know about this wonderful hike. But, it's included here because it's one of the most impressive falls in the state. The falls are about 90 feet and are considered to be the tallest in Maine. This is a good trip to make if you're in the Rangeley area as the trailhead is about 18 miles south of Oquossoc. The good news is that the hike is only about a mile. But, it can be steep in places, so do be careful.
11. The 100-Mile Wilderness, Northern Maine
The name of this route is not misleading. There are about 100 miles between towns on this section of the Appalachian Trail. Not only is this section of the AT remote, it's also the hardest part of the famed trek. If you can tackle it, you'll be rewarded with all of the beauty that Northern Maine has to offer.
12. Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge, Caribou
Within the refuge are more than 5 miles of trails, all focused around Chapman Pond and Greenlaw Brook. There are three distinct trailheads and each trail is maintained and relatively flat, making these hikes great for beginners and kids. In addition to hiking, running, snowshoeing and skiing are all allowed in the area.