Get Outside With These Easy Maine Hikes

While some popular state parks and beaches have been closed, there are no shortage of ways to explore Maine’s outdoors

A lot feels uncertain right now, but one thing we do know is that much of Maine’s outdoors are still beautiful and still open for exploring—as long as you do it safely. Not only is outdoor exercise allowed under Maine’s stay-at-home order, spending time in nature has been shown to reduce levels of stress and anxiety. You should still practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from other people and avoiding crowds. Maine has already closed some coastal state parks due to overcrowding, and an increasing number of municipalities have closed public parks and beaches because visitors were ignoring social distancing requirements. 

Now’s the perfect time to discover the variety of public lands available in your community and region, including wildlife management areas, other state lands, and conservation areas managed by land trusts. We’ve gathered some of our favorite easy hiking and walking trails for soaking up Maine’s beauty.

The state and conservation groups have published guidelines for how to enjoy Maine’s outdoors responsibly, including avoiding peak times and staying close to home. Before you go, check online to see if a property has been closed and have a backup plan or two if you encounter a busy parking lot at your first destination. Accessible public land is more important than ever, so please do your part to ensure that it stays open.

Maquoit Bay Conservation Land, Brunswick

Located on Brunswick’s coast, this 124-acre preserve’s out-and-back trail is less than a mile long and leads to Rocky Point and gorgeous views of Maquoit Bay.

Gilsland Farm, Falmouth

Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm has more than three miles of trails that pass through a variety of idyllic scenery, including forests, marches, and meadows.

Douglas Mountain, Sebago

The most difficult of these hikes, Douglas Mountain has some steep stretches, but both routes to the summit are under a mile and a half. The stone tower at the top provides panoramic views of the Sebago region.

Dodge Point Public Land, Newcastle

Covering nearly 550 acres, this property has 6.5 miles of trails, with options to follow the shore of the Damariscotta River or hike through forestland.

Thorncrag Nature Sanctuary, Lewiston 

The 372-acre wildlife preserve has more than four miles of peaceful walking trails and plenty of birdwatching opportunities.

French Mountain Trail, Oakland

This loop trail is less than a mile yet offers wide views of the Belgrade lakes region, including Long Pond and Mount Phillip. The 7 Lakes Alliance also manages other nearby lands that offer relatively easy and rewarding hikes.

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