Maine’s beauty is no secret. But, what may still be unknown to many other states is that we have so many incredible state parks. Home to 36 state parks and 1 amazing state forest, Maine has some of the best places to explore in the country. And, don’t let the winter limit you. Many of these parks are the most beautiful when covered with snow. Take the time to explore them whether it’s on snowshoes, cross country skis or simply on foot.
Then, be sure to check them out in the summer for an entirely different experience.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Peaks-Kenny State Park, Dover-Foxcroft
Located on the shores of Sebec Lake, Peaks-Kenny State Park is an undiscovered gem of Maine's park system. Campers enjoy the peaceful, family-oriented campground with only 56 sites that are tucked away in wooded areas to promote privacy.
2. Baxter State Park, Millinocket
Home to Katadhdin, we probably don't even need to tell you about Baxter. However, something you may not know is that it's not actually part of Maine's state park system. Sole governance is provided by the Baxter State Park Authority, consisting of the Maine Attorney General, the Maine Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Director of the Maine Forest Service. But, it makes our list because of its incredible beauty!
3. Aroostook State Park, Presque Isle
Aroostook State Park is the ideal starting point to discover the North Woods and bears the distinct honor of being Maine's first state park. In 1938, interested citizens of Presque Isle donated 100 acres of land to the State of Maine, and following that gesture, the park became reality in 1939. Today the park totals nearly 800 acres thanks to subsequent donations and purchases.
4. Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec
Located on the easternmost point of land in the United States, Quoddy Head is a must see. On its 532 acres, purchased by the state in 1962, the park features 4.5 miles of hiking trails, extensive forests, two bogs, diverse habitat for rare plants, and the striking, red-and-white striped lighthouse tower of West Quoddy Head Light. With its diverse landscape, breathtaking views, scenic picnic sites, and opportunities for hiking and whale watching, Quoddy Head is a great place to spend the day.
5. Lamoine State Park, Lamoine
Lamoine State Park's central location is a quiet alternative that provides easy access to Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, rockbound islands, and area lighthouses. Visitors enjoy camping, boating, fishing and simple relaxation in a beautiful location. Park views of Frenchman's Bay, and amenities such as the campground facilities and boat launching ramp are some of the park's highlights. You won't be able to camp here during the winter, but it's kept open for cross country skiiing and other winter activities.
6. Camden Hills State Park, Camden
Camden Hills State Park's signature location is the scenic vista high atop Mt. Battie where sweeping views of Camden, Penobscot Bay, and surrounding islands await. On a clear day, visitors can see Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park. Mt. Megunticook, the highest of the Camden Hills - and highest peak on the mainland - is a moderate climb by foot trail.
7. Fort Knox State Park, Prospect
Fort Knox, Maine's largest historic fort, features military architecture and master granite craftsmanship. Constructed between 1844 and 1864 by master craftsmen and never fully completed, it is an unaltered example of a large mid-19th century granite coastal fortification.
8. Reid State Park, Georgetown
Reid State Park bears the distinct honor of being Maine's first State-owned Saltwater Beach. In 1946, prosperous businessman and Georgetown resident Walter E. Reid donated land to the State of Maine to be preserved forever, and a few years later Reid State Park became a reality.
Today, thousands of visitors enjoy the park's long, wide sand beaches like Mile and Half Mile, which are rare in Maine.
9. Moose Point State Park, Searsport
Moose Point was first developed as a dairy farm by the Carver family in 1859. At one point, the 186-acre property had a house, barn, two silos, and sixty head of cattle. After most of the buildings burned down in 1927, Clifford Carver and his relatives offered the land to the State of Maine as a park in 1951. It opened in 1963.
10. Bradbury Mountain State Park, Pownal
Situated on Route 9, about halfway between Portland and Lewiston-Auburn, the park attracts visitors who enjoy picnicking, hiking and camping on its 590 acres of forested land. Bradbury Mountain is the only state park in southern Maine to offer shared-use trails for horseback riders, mountain bikers and snowmobilers. Snow shoe rentals are available.
11. Sebago Lake State Park, Casco
Sebago Lake State Park opened to the public in 1938 as one of the five original state parks. This forested lakeside park is situated on the shore of Maine's deepest and second largest lake which provides year-round recreation for thousands of visitors each year. Near the foothills of the White Mountains, the park's 1,400 acres feature sandy beaches, extensive woodlands, ponds, bogs a river and diverse habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal life.
12. Fort McClary State Park, Kittery Point
Built at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, Fort McClary was used primarily throughout the 19th century to protect approaches to the harbor of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and its U.S. naval shipyard. The Fort and its surviving structures, including a blockhouse dating from 1844, are now owned and operated by the State of Maine as Fort McClary State Historic Site.