This temperate weather has kept me venturing outside so often that I’ve already done all my go-to fall hikes. Twice. I know I can’t be the only one running low on ideas, so here’s a list of ten cool hikes in Maine to get into before the snow starts. Whether you like rappelling down rock or prefer leisurely beach walks, Maine has a hike for you. Start by checking out this list, complete with a (highly un-scientific) “how much can I drink the night before” difficulty ranking. This is very useful for bachelor party hikes!
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. Lane's Island Preserve - Vinalhaven
This 45-acre area is a 10 minute walk from the town of Vinalhaven and will take you through marshy and rocky coastline. You'll have some awesome views of lobster boats coming in and during low tide you should definitely poke around for shells and mussels.
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: Go ahead and finish off the 6-pack. You'll make it. Then, head back into town and get a beer at the Sand Bar. Distance/Duration: 1.3 miles of trails, 1-2 hours depending on how much jumping from rock-to-rock you do.
2. South Bubble Mountain and Jordan Pond - Mt. Desert, Acadia National Park
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.
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: Go ahead and finish off the 6-pack. You'll make it. Distance/Duration: 2 miles, 1-3 hours
3. Cadillac Mountain - Mt. Desert, Acadia National Park
If you're one for being first in line, this is a must-do. A hike up Cadillac Mountain before dawn will give you the first sunrise view on the east coast of the United States. Try the South Ridge trail from near Otter creek.
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: 2-3 beers only, depending on how much you want to enjoy a hike that begins around 4am. Distance/Duration: 4 miles if you do the full hike, 3-5 hours.
4. Mount Battie - Camden
You like the idea of that first sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, but you're not that ambitious. That's cool. Take the Mount Battie trail (shh, you can also just drive it) to the top for views of Cadillac Mountain on a clear day. You'll also see Camden Harbor, Penobscot Bay, and the surrounding islands. The view inspired Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Renascence" and it'll probably inspire you to take the easy way out of hikes moving forward.
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: Go ahead and finish off the 6-pack, you'll make it. Just make sure you're sober if you decide to drive. Distance/Duration: 1 mile if you're just tackling Megunticook, 1 hour.
5. Wolfe's Neck State Park - Freeport
You can't find a bummer trail in this state park if you try. 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.
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: Go ahead and finish off the 6-pack. You'll make it. Distance/Duration: 5 miles if you do every trail, 1-5 hours depending on how often you stop to take in the view.
6. Mount Megunticook - Camden
Mount Megunticook is the highest of the Camden Hills peaks. Take the trail to Ocean Lookout instead of the actual summit if you want a killer view. The climb is a bit steep in places and the elevation gain is about 1,000 ft.
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: 3-4 beers, don't want to slip in those scary areas. Distance/Duration: .5 miles, 1-2 hours depending on how you handle the steep pitches, and scrambling through rock.
7. The Eyebrow -Newry, Grafton Notch State Park
The Kardashians might have the "thighbrow," but here in Maine we have the Eyebrow. This loop rises to almost 3,000 feet so it's not for the faint of heart. It includes rungs and ladders, but on the upside you'll get to say you hiked the Appalachian Trail (for .1 miles.)
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: 2-3 beers only, this hike is as serious as a Kardashian break-up. Distance/Duration: 2.2 miles, 4-5 hours depending on if you're past Khloe or current Khloe.
8. 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.
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: Skip the beers and have a spiked Moxie in honor of the falls. Distance/Duration: 2 miles round trip, 2-3 hours not including the time you spend staring at the water.
9. Coastal Trail, Lubec, Quoddy Head State Park
This rocky, steep hike will be more of a challenge, but comes with some awesome ocean views. Along the way you'll be able to see from the Quoddy Channel to the cliffs of Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick Canada.
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: Go ahead and finish off the 6-pack. You'll make it. Distance/Duration: 4 miles round trip, 4-5 hours.
10. Precipice Trail - Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park
This trail isn't technically for "hiking" as the sign states when you arrive. It's a nontechnical climb and it's possible to fall to your death. That being said, you'll be able to see all the way to the harbor and beyond along the way. This guy rises more than 1,000 ft. in less than a mile, includes iron handrails and ladders, and requires some serious athletic prowess. Keep in mind that descending the Precipice is so dangerous that it's not advised. Return on the Champlain North Ridge. Lastly, don't take small children and avoid it when wet.
My "night before" rating system of difficulty puts this at: Save the drinks for after the climb. Distance/Duration: 4ish miles roundtrip, 4-6 hours.
Have you been to any of these hiking spots? Which is your favorite for fall foliage? Are there any other incredible hikes in Maine that you would add to this list?