best walks in Maine

7 of the Best Walks in Maine

Maine is the largest state in New England and is home to some of the region’s most glorious green spaces ripe for exploring on foot. Hundreds of miles of hiking routes and walking trails criss-cross the state taking you from snow-swept forests to beautiful sandy beaches. With lots of state parks and national trails, you are spoiled for choice regarding scenic destinations in Pine Tree State. But which ones to tackle first? We’ve rounded up some of the best walks in Maine to help you embrace the great outdoors.

Scenic walks in Maine

1. Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island

Located on the Atlantic Coast, primarily on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National Park is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi River. Stretching between mountain and sea, the park encompasses Cadillac Mountain (the highest point on the Atlantic coast) and swathes of golden beaches and dense forests. There are 158 miles (254km) of hiking trails through the park suitable for all fitness levels.

best walks in Maine

2. Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail starts in Maine. It’s a hiker’s paradise, and some 282 miles of the trail are in Maine. The section of the trail in Maine features some of the most challenging miles of the entire route, but there are some easier walks too. For instance, hikers looking for an easier to medium-hard route should walk the western section, which roams through Grafton Notch State Park in the Mahoosucs Range. The central section of Maine’s AT includes the seven summits of the Bigelow Range. With several of these peaks over 4,000 feet, hiking can be hard, as some trails are almost vertical.

3. Baxter State Park, Piscataquis County

Baxter State Park is the largest protected area in Maine. This stunning park is home to more than 215 miles of hiking trails through woods, meadows and across mountains, waterfalls, streams and lakes. In winter, you can enjoy snowshoeing. One of the most popular places to hike in Baxter State Park is Mount Katahdin and Hamlin Peak Loop. This trail is 11.4 miles long with an elevation gain of 4,455 feet. It takes around 8 hours to complete.

best national parks in Maine

4. Cresent Beach State Park, Cape Elizabeth

Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth encompasses spectacular evergreen woodlands and craggy cliffs. It also has a beautiful mile-long crescent-shaped beach which is a joy to walk, especially at sunset strolls. The best place to hike in Crescent Beach Path is 1.7 miles long and takes around 30 minutes to walk. But you might want to allow more time for taking photos and admiring the seascape.

5. Grafton Notch State Park, Newry

Carved by a glacier more than 12,000 years ago, Grafton Notch is brimming with peaks, waterfalls and gorges set against the backdrop of the Mahoosuc Range. As you can imagine, the scenery here is staggering. For hardcore hikers, you’ll be pleased to know that the park is home to 12 of the Appalachian Trail’s toughest treks. If you don’t fancy breaking a sweat, there are plenty of leisurely strolls too. The park is part of the Maine Birding Trail, so make sure you look up and try to spot as many of our feathered friends as you can. If you have the kids with you, this wildlife watching will keep them entertained for hours.

6. Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, Penobscot County

At the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, you’ll find 87,564 acres of remote wilderness with a range of wonderful wild walking routes. One of the most popular is the Orin Falls Trail, which follows an old logging road and crosses Wassataquoik Stream. We recommend the Barnard Mountain Trail if you are looking for a quiet trail – you probably won’t encounter many other people. This 7.2km out-and-back trail is a moderately challenging route and takes around two and a half hours to complete.

national parks in Maine

7. Marginal Way, Ogunquit

This is a popular and easy coastal walk along the rocky shore near Ogunquit. The 3.9km out-and-back trail takes around 45 minutes to complete. However, there are plenty of places along the way to stop off for photos, food and drink. Unfortunately, you’ll have to leave your furry family members at home as dogs are now allowed along this walking trail.

best walks in Maine

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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