10 of one of the best hikes in Maine

There’s extra to Maine than lobsters and Stephen King novels. It’s additionally residence to a few of the greatest mountaineering within the northeast US, with 1000’s of miles of trails.

Selecting one of the best mountaineering trails in Maine is not any simple feat. For the adventurous explorer, there are many backcountry multi-day hikes and for the newcomers who simply need to see Maine’s lovely shoreline, the Pine Tree State has you coated. From coastal treks with epic views of lighthouses perched over rocky saltwater-drenched ledges to strenuous bucket record hikes in Maine’s legendary wilderness, lace up your mountaineering boots and uncover why Maine is known as Vacationland.

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Beehive Path, Acadia Nationwide Park

Greatest for a singular mountaineering expertise 

1.5 miles, 2–3 hours, strenuous

Acadia Nationwide Park affords no scarcity of unbelievable mountain peaks to climb for breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Maine’s rocky shoreline. The Beehive Trail is among the most unusual trails in Acadia Nationwide Park and far of the path requires climbing up iron rung ladders bolted to the granite.

The trailhead begins on a gradual path via the forest till you come to a path marker. You’ll start to climb some granite stairs, over iron bridges and eventually up a sequence of iron rung ladders over boulders. When you attain the summit at 520ft, you’re rewarded with beautiful views of Sand Seaside. You’ll descend the Bowl Path the place you’ll be able to quiet down within the Bowl, an alpine pond between Beehive and Gorham Mountain.

Mount Katahdin, Baxter State Park

Greatest for knowledgeable hikers  

5.2 miles, 8–12 hours, very strenuous

Named the “Biggest Mountain” by the Penobscot, Mt Katahdin is situated within the coronary heart of Baxter State Park. Standing at 5269ft, that is each Maine’s tallest peak and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Path. Mountain climbing Mt Katahdin takes roughly 8 to 12 hours and is a really strenuous hike.

The 5.2-mile Hunt Path is among the hottest trails to achieve Baxter Peak because it affords picturesque views of Maine’s foothills and Katahdin Stream Falls. For well-prepared skilled hikers, the well-known 1.1-mile transverse of Knife Edge will check your worry of heights, however you’ll earn bragging rights with the locals.

Break up your hike with a swim at Gulf Hagas © Chris Bennett / Getty Photos

Gulf Hagas, Brownville

Greatest hike for going for a swim

8.2 miles, 5–6 hours, reasonable

Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Gulf Hagas on the West Department of the Nice River is a 3-mile-long rock canyon that towers 500ft above the effervescent river. Gulf Hagas will be accessed via the Katahdin Iron Works Highway in Brownville as a part of the Appalachian Path hall in central Maine.

Shortly after the parking space, you’ll must ford the river. The water ranges fluctuate broadly relying on the season and rainfall. From right here, you’ll stroll alongside the Appalachian Path via 150-year-old white pines within the Hermitage earlier than connecting to the Gulf Hagas loop. On the subsequent path intersection, select the Rim Path, so that you’re going through the quite a few waterfalls as you ascend the loop path. On a scorching summer season’s day there are many alternatives to go for a swim within the cool water.

Mt Battie, Camden Hills State Park

Greatest for the household 

1.1 miles, 1–2 hours, reasonable 

Mt Battie in Camden Hills State Park is considered one of Maine’s most iconic hikes. The 1.1-mile path is brief and steep with some scrambling however doable for individuals of all ages. Standing at 780ft, the summit of Mt Battie options beautiful views of the city of Camden and Penobscot Bay. Climb the stone tower for even higher views and selfies.

Fairy Head Loop, Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land

Greatest for nature fanatics 

10.4 miles, 7–8 hours, tough

Overlooking the Bay of Fundy, Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land includes over 12,334 acres of wilderness in Downeast Maine. Often called the Bold Coast, the character protect is a singular place to expertise a wide range of Maine’s coastal ecosystems. Carry your digicam as you don’t need to miss the dawn over the rocky shoreline.

The Fairy Head Loop is a ten.4-mile loop path that gives nearly 4 miles of shorefront mountaineering earlier than working inland via meadows, forests and grass marshes. Wildlife is plentiful, and there are a couple of tenting spots obtainable on a first-come, first-served foundation.

A man stands with his small dog at the summit of a mountain looking out at the view of a distant lake
The reasonable climb up Tumbledown is a well-liked day hike © Tennyson Tappan / Getty Photos

Tumbledown Mountain, Weld

Greatest hike for becoming a member of the gang  

3.7 miles, 3–4 hours, reasonable

Nestled amongst the forested peaks within the western mountains of Maine, Tumbledown Mountain in Weld is considered one of Maine’s hottest day hikes. This is not the best peak within the space or the height with one of the best views, but it surely does have a few actual showstoppers – the alpine pond located at 2800ft and the 700-ft granite cliffs on the south face overlooking the pond.

The simplest and most direct path to the pond is the Brook Path, which includes a 1600-ft elevation achieve. Tumbledown Ridge Path transverses in direction of the East Peak and descends a saddle till it climbs to the summit of West Peak.

The Loop Path is essentially the most tough and advisable for knowledgeable hikers as it’s totally steep in sections, and also you’ll must climb up steel rungs via boulders to achieve the summit. Carry your swimsuit and picnic, and benefit from the peace from the granite summit.

100-Mile Wilderness, Central Maine

Greatest for knowledgeable multi-day hikers 

100 miles, 5–10 days, strenuous

Spanning 100 miles from the small central Maine city of Monson to the southern border of Baxter State Park, the 100-Mile Wilderness is usually referred to as the “wildest part” of the Appalachian Path because it’s each difficult to navigate and traverse. Greatest to hike late June via July, the 100-Mile Wilderness is a real bucket-list hike for knowledgeable and adventurous hikers.

You’ll must pack all the things you want and you must anticipate to be trekking for 8 to 12 hours a day. All through the 100 miles, you’ll climb nearly 15,000ft. Whereas the hike will be grueling, it’s an unbelievable alternative to expertise Maine’s wilderness and wildlife. Maintain your eyes open for moose.

Sunset from the Appalachian Trail, Bigelow Mountain, Maine
Bigelow Mountain on the Appalachian Path is right for knowledgeable hikers © Cavan Photos / Getty Photos

Bigelow Mountain, Bigelow Protect

Greatest for elite hikers 

16.3 miles, 8–10 hours, strenuous

Head off the overwhelmed path and expertise considered one of Backpacker Journal’s hardest day hikes in America with the Bigelow Mountain Traverse. The 16.3-mile traverse of the Bigelow Mountain Vary by way of the Appalachian Path affords a few of the most unbelievable views of Maine’s western mountains and close by Flagstaff Lake.

The quad-burning hike is a point-to-point hike, so that you’ll must plan accordingly with vehicles at two factors. The ascent of Little Bigelow begins steadily earlier than turning steeper till you attain the summit of Little Bigelow. From right here, the subsequent 6.4 miles are grueling ascends and descends alongside Bigelow Mountain to Avery Peak at 4088ft. There are extra ups and downs till the tip. Should you’d like to show the day hike right into a weekend hike, there are many tent platforms slightly below Avery Peak in Bigelow Col. 

Southwest Ridge Path, Nice Mountain

Greatest for beautiful views 

5.8 miles, 3–4 hours, reasonable 

Simply an hour’s drive from Portland, Nice Mountain is southern Maine’s tallest mountain standing at 2006 ft. Managed by Loon Echo Land Trust, Nice Mountain is residence to 6 trails overlaying over 10 miles. The views of the open summit of Nice Mountain are plentiful, and if you happen to’re fortunate, you might be able to spot Mt Washington in New Hampshire. 

The three.6-mile Ledges Path is the preferred and direct path to the summit, however on a phenomenal summer season’s day, it will likely be full of fellow hikers. Should you desire the solitude of nature, the 5.8-mile roundtrip Southwest Ridge Path is a superb selection. Pack a picnic lunch and calm down on the granite ledges of the summit.

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia Nationwide Park

Greatest for watching the dawn 

2.2 miles, 2–4 hours, reasonable

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia Nationwide Park is among the first factors within the US to see the dawn. Whereas most individuals drive to the summit of, the hike is comparatively simple in comparison with different hikes on Mount Desert Island. The open granite peak of Cadillac Mountain affords nearly panoramic views of Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, and the Atlantic Ocean.

The perfect time to hike right here is in the course of the evening so that you’re on the summit and able to see the dawn over America. Seize a headlamp and hike the two.2-mile Cadillac Mountain North Ridge Path to the 1528-ft summit beneath the celebs. Don’t overlook your flask of espresso!