Hiking in Maine is a great pastime, but it’s easy to forget that it’s not all the 100-mile-wilderness out there. Maine is famous for some hard hikes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways for the amateur outdoorsman to get their feet wet. Try these more relaxed hikes under three miles to get a taste of some of some of the best that Vacationland has to offer! And, don’t worry – these trails won’t
actually get your feet wet.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Ecotat Gardens and Arboretum, Hermon
It doesn't get much better than a manicured trail that costs nothing to enjoy. The more than 80 acres of land provides 15 acres of gardens for exploring. It's full of non-native flowers and native trees. The trail system meanders through wooded area, as well as the marshy area below.
Distance/Duration: Approximately 1.3 miles including the entire network of paths, anywhere from 1-3 hours.
2. Rines Forest Trail, Cumberland
The Rines Forest is part a 216-acre woodland. We think the southern portion of the area is the best. It features steep rolling hills mixed with wonderful cascading streams. Keep in mind that much of this area is wet, floodplain and is meant only to be used in the winter. So, put this on your list for next year!
Distance/Duration: The network is comprised of about 2.5 miles of trails, Anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.
3. Alewife Woods Preserve, Kennebunk
This forested preserve is about 625 acres and includes the lovely Alewife Pond. The looped trail leads directly to the pond and back. Best of all, in the spring you'll be surrounded by wildflowers. Just after that you'll want to bring a plastic containter for when the wild blueberries are at their peak in the summer.
Distance/Duration: Approximately 2.5 miles including the full network of paths, anywhere from 1-3 hours.
4. Jesup Path, Bar Harbor
To enjoy this 1.5-mile trail, head towards Acadia National Park and enter through the Hulls Cove Entrance. The trail begins next to the Wild Gardens of Acadia. The forest nature here are lush and you’ll find it hard to believe that you’re so close to the rocky coast of Acadia National Park.
Distance/Duration: The trail is about 1.5 miles, Anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.
5. Step Falls Trail, Newry
This fairly easy 1-mile trail leads directly to the base of these beautiful falls, which are among the highest in Maine. For a different vantage point, take the slightly more challenging (though not difficult) hike up to the top. The trail follows along Wight Brook and offers opportunities for wildlife viewing and swimming.
Distance/Duration: Approximately 1 mile round trip, about 45 minutes to one hour for the whole thing, depending on your pace.
6. Cascade Stream Gorge Trail, Sandy River Plantation
This simple 1-mile loop follows the path of the Cascade Stream gorge. Bring a picnic because there are a few spots to stop and enjoy the scenery. And, taking a break at the stream is great way to cool off by swimming on a hot day. The hike is located within the 50-acre Cascade Stream Gorge Conservation Area, which is on the Maine Registry of Critical Areas. It's a truly beautiful place.
Distance/Duration: Approximately 1 mile, about 30-45 minutes round trip, depending on your pace.
7. Moxie Falls, Moxie Gore
You might be surprised that this gorgeous waterfall can be reached with a relatively simple walk! Moxie Falls 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.
Distance/Duration: 2 miles round trip, 2-3 hours.
8. Lily Bay State Park Trails, Beaver Cove
This lovely state park was created in part using land donated by the Scott Paper Company. While the area is mainly used by campers and visitors to Moosehead Lake, the trails offer a nice getaway into the surrounding land. There are 2 main hiking trails here. Doing both the Dunn Point Trail and the Rowell Cove Trail will have you hiking under 3 miles. They're fairly easy, family friendly and will take you along the shore of the lake.
Distance/Duration: Approximately 2 miles for both trails, anywhere from 1-3 hours.
9. The Tramway Trail, Eagle Lake Township
This hike might be short, but it's one of the harder ones to actually access. This is perfect for those who like adventure and challenge, but prefer the actual energy expended to be low! Access to this short trail comes by traveling to the trailhead in Maine's North Woods at either Chamberlain Lake (South) or Eagle Lake (North.) Once you've found the trail, you'll wander through mixed trees (some are about 200 years old!) and pass various remnants of the antique tramway, including the power plant and trails once used to haul lumber.
Distance/Duration: Approximately 1 mile round trip, 1 (or so) hour.
10. South Bubble Mountain and Jordan Pond: Mt. Desert, Acadia National Park
You might be surprised that the South Bubble hike of the Bubble Mountains is one of the more accessible activities in Acadia National Park. Once you've reached the top you'll see the famous perched rock, left by glacial activity centuries ago.
Distance/Duration: 2 miles, 1-3 hours.
11. Pleasant Mountain Trail, Bridgton/Denmark
With over ten miles of trails included in this system, there are lots of different options for hikers. While most trails aren't terribly long, they'll require some hiking experience. The good news is that making it to the summit, which is the highest in southern Maine, will provide wonderful views of the White Mountains.
Distance/Duration: Approximately 2 to 3 miles depending on while trail you choose, anywhere from 1-3 hours.
12. Wolfe’s Neck State Park, Freeport
While the network of trails here is about 5 miles, you'll find that most of the individual trails are much shorter. Walking through the network of Casco Bay Trails will take you from forest to rocky coastline. This one is great for kids and you can finish off the day at the outlets in downtown Freeport.
Distance/Duration: 5 miles if you do every trail, 1-5 hours depending on how many of the trails you take.