Sugarloaf-Area Day Hikes

Western Maine offers countless picturesque sights, and these day hikes are a good way to see some of the region’s best vistas on a whim.

Cranberry Peak Trail | Wyman

A moderate trek, the Cranberry Peak Trail is 5.8-mile round trip and boasts views of Stratton and Flagstaff Lake on the way up. The varied trail is intersected by a small secondary trail that leads to a large overhang known as the Cave. Take in views of the Bigelows, the Crockers, and Sugarloaf at the summit. Continue past the peak to connect with the Appalachian Trail for a more involved trip.

Shore Trail | Carrying Place Town TWP

This lesser-known trail is a 1.8-mile hike or snowshoe along the shores of Flagstaff Lake. The trailhead is on Long Falls Dam Road and continues along the east end of the lake, which is relatively under developed and tends to have minimal water traffic. There are a handful of side trails along the way, including one that leads to an overlook and another, dubbed the Beaver Trail, that leads through the woods to a large pond occupied by beavers that have constructed a lodge along with several dams.

West Kennebago Mountain Trail | Kennebago

There are two approaches for the West Kennebago Mountain Trail: The east approach is a moderate, 3.4-mile back trail located near Eustis and known for its wildlife. The west approach is a 2.2-mile moderate hike with notable views of the forest and is located near Oquossoc. The west trail is best from April through September and is primarily used for bird-watching, hiking, and nature trips. Dogs are allowed on both trails but must be leashed.

Cascade Stream Gorge Trail | Sandy River Plantation

This easy, 1-mile loop features views of the stream and waterfalls along its trail, which follows the gorge’s bedrock. In warmer months, the area is abundant with wildflowers and unique plants, so bring a wildflower guide—along with non-slip shoes—for a more interactive experience. Picnic tables are available, and leashed dogs are allowed on the trail. 

Bald Mountain Trail | Rangeley

The Bald Mountain Trail is a moderate 2.3-mile hike through mature forest. The granite summit is outfitted with an observation tower and a picnic table for hikers to rest and take in panoramic views of Saddleback Mountain, Elephant Mountain, Height of Land, and Mount Washington, along with Rangeley and Mooselookmeguntic Lakes. Bald Mountain Trail is part of the Maine Birding Trail and is most popular in the fall, when the leaves are changing and local wild-life frequents the area more often. 

Burnt Hill Trail | Carrabassett Valley 

The 5.6 miles in the Burnt Hill Trail, also known as the Burnt Mountain Trail, are ideal for those seeking a more challenging day hike. The trek leads through a forest in the beginning, then gains a steeper grade before the trees begin to dissipate and hikers move into an alpine landscape filled with rocky boulders. The summit is marked by a large cairn and unparalleled, unobstructed views of surrounding Spaulding, Sugarloaf, Crocker, and Bigelow Mountains.

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