Photograph by Ben Krebs
01 Prouts Neck, Scarborough
It’s all there—the seaweed-crusted coast, the craggy cliffs, the frothy gray sea anxious to spray your boots and cheeks. To walk along Prouts Neck is to walk through a Winslow Homer painting. This splinter of coast offers a palpable sense of Homer’s work and the inspiration behind his iconic seascapes. His studio, visible from the trail, will be open to the public for the first time this fall.
02 Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Wells
Silent Spring changed everything. Groundbreaking and inspiring—the book was America’s environmental awakening. This April marks its 50th anniversary, and to celebrate, a walk along the Carson Trail is in order. The trail, named for the book’s author, traces a sheltered bay where the tides murmur and the marsh grasses grow. This one-mile loop offers beautiful vistas and close-up views of the refuge’s protected wildlife.
03 Mackworth Island, Falmouth
A wooded trail of spruce and pine, this island tour descends to rocky shores, tide pools, and pocket beaches. The island’s north end features quirky landmarks, including an elaborate fairy village and a pet cemetery built for the companions of Maine’s former governor Percival Baxter. Just over a mile long, this stroll fills a leisurely hour and is accessible by a causeway off Route 1.
04 Morse Mountain, Phippsburg
Redolent of Maine, this walk begins with a bouquet of balsam. As the wooded trail winds into an open salt marsh, trees veil mudflats and an unhurried river. Alongside a bedrock cliff overgrown with moss and saplings, the path leads up a hill to monumental views—scenes of Seguin Island, Casco Bay, and on clear days, Mount Washington. The trail ends at the shell-laden Sewall Beach, a perfect place to take a dip in warmer months.
05 Bar Island, Bar Harbor
When low tide approaches, a sand bar cleaves the bay, making the forested Bar Island accessible by foot. The natural bridge crosses the path of gulls, boats, and buoys all bobbing on the swell. On the island, a trail follows a gradual climb and ends with commanding views of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. A tide chart and waterproof shoes are key to staying dry on this walk.
06 The Mountain, Rome
For those nostalgic about E.B. White’s “Once More to the Lake,” this trail boasts the timeless allure of Old Maine. Skirting between the Great and Long ponds of Belgrade Lakes, the walk follows an old logging road. Dense woods and glacial boulder fields give way to stunning views of the Kennebec Highlands. In the summer, look for the Great Pond mail boat making deliveries between docks—it’s one of the last of its kind in the country.