Hikes Worth the Drive
Throughout Maine, trails are carved through woods and by waterways, giving hikers access to notches, remote lakes, and birds-eye views of the states wildest terrain. Fresh air to breathe in, sun on your skin, and the quiet peace of the woods have proven to have all kinds of health benefits, too. So take a walk, take advantage of this resource, and bear witness to the natural beauty we live in.
01 Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region | York
From the top of this coastal mountain one can spot the Cape Neddick “Nubble” Light, York Harbor, and the Isles of Shoals, as well as Kennebunk Plains and the White Mountains. The conservation region encompasses more than 10,000 acres of woods and hills in southern York County that include vernal pools, oak-hickory forests, and floating kettle bogs, and is a welcome respite in an otherwise busy part of Maine. The summit is accessible by car but trails include 2.2-mile Turtle Loop and 3.2-mile Bear Loop. The Big A Universal Access Trail allows for wheelchair and stroller access.
02 Bradbury Mountain State Park | Pownal
Bradbury Mountain State Park is busy most sunny weekends because it’s accessible and family friendly. There’s a hike for everyone, with trail options that range from easy to intermediate to difficult. The Northern Loop is a mile-long gradual ascent, while Switchback Trail is a quick but steep hike to the top. Both paths lead hikers to the summit, where views open up the forests of southern Maine and a distant Casco Bay. The park is open year-round: in winter explore on snowshoes, cross-country skis, or by snowmobile, and in spring watch the hawk migration from the summit.
03 Acadia National Park | Mount Desert Island
With over 120 miles of hiking trails in Acadia National Park, everyone can find what he or she is looking for. The Beehive is a popular path near Sand Beach. The mile-long trail is a strenuous climb up the 520-foot Beehive Mountain. In some areas iron bars have been installed to assist with the incline. Once at the top, the view of Sand Beach and the park is the reward. Another option is the Jordan Pond Shore Trail, a moderate hike following the water line for 3.3 miles, which can end with lunch at the Jordan Pond House.
04 Gulf Hagas | Brownville, Greenville
Considered the Grand Canyon of Maine, Gulf Hagas is a three-mile gorge formed by the western branch of the Pleasant River in central Maine. The trails surrounding Gulf Hagas are part of the Appalachian Trail corridor and are meant for experienced hikers because it is such a remote area. The Gulf Hagas Rim Trail is eight miles long and passes waterfalls, including the Screw Auger Falls, a 15-foot chute.
05 Bald Mountain | Rangeley
The trail to the summit of Bald Mountain is just under two miles long. At the top, in addition to picnic tables, is a tower for a better look at Rangeley Lake and Mooselookmeguntic Lake as well as Saddleback Mountain, Elephant Mountain, the Height of Land, and Mount Washington. Moose and deer are common sightings along this path.
06 Old Speck Mountain | Newry
Old Speck Mountain hovers 4,000 feet above Grafton Notch. The fourth highest peak in Maine is part of the Mahoosuc Range. The Eyebrow Loop Trail is a 2.2-mile trip that starts off as an easy hike. As you near the summit, it becomes a more difficult climb that requires ladders and steel rungs. Old Speck Trail is 7.6 miles. The longer trail is worth it as it crosses streams and opens up to forested views along the way. Both trails lead to the summit, where a fire tower overlooks Mahoosuc Notch and the Presidentials.
07 Mount Kineo | Rockwood
Mount Kineo is best known for its 800-foot cliffs that rise out of Moosehead Lake. There are two trails to get to the top of Kineo—Bridle Trail, long with a steady incline, and Indian Trail, steep and challenging. The paths both end the same way, at the top of Mount Kineo in the middle of Moosehead Lake.
08 Camden Hills | Camden, Lincolnville
On the midcoast, Camden Hills State Park has 30 miles of hiking trails. Bald Rock Mountain, a half-mile hike, is said to have the best views of Penobscot Bay and its islands. The longest trail in the park is the Multi-use Trail, which is used for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and in winter cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. The Maiden Cliff Trail is a short one-mile hike for views over Megunticook Lake.
09 Baxter State Park | Millinocket
Baxter State Park has over 200 miles of hiking trails, including the state’s tallest peak, Mount Katahdin. To hike to the summit of Katahdin takes an average of 8 to 12 hours. There are other hikes throughout the park, including Katahdin Lake Trail, which traces the shore and offers views of Katahdin from below. Near Daicey Pond you can hike part of the Appalachian Trail.