Hikes with Kids
Miles of easy, fun and interesting hikes that appeal to children of all ages abound throughout Maine, from the beaches and rocks of the coast to the forested hills and mountains inland. On the trail a whole new world opens up for young and the young-at-heart, providing a wonderful opportunity for families to explore nature and the outdoors. From pebbles, frogs and butterflies to trees, ponds and mountaintop views, walking the Maine woods with your kids is a great way to laugh and learn and simply enjoy a few hours of special time together.
Beaches from York to Bar Harbor offer many kid-friendly hiking options. Walk the sands of Old Orchard Beach and stop for an ice cream at The Pier. Take a hike over Morse Mountain to Sewall Beach to watch the waves and listen to the gulls squawk. Explore the tide pools in the pink granite rocks at Sand Beach in Acadia National Park.
Waterfalls and streams are exciting destinations that bring wonder to the faces of children, as they sit and watch the water flow by and then plunge over the big drop. The cascades of Bickford Brook Slides are an easy walk in from Evans Notch in the Maine region of the White Mountain National Forest and can be combined with a hike to the open ledges part way up Blueberry Mountain. A trip into Little Abol Falls in the heart of Baxter State Park gives youngsters a taste of the Maine’s magnificent wilderness.
Mountain hiking rewards young hikers with awe-inspiring scenic views. The precipitous cliffs of Sabattus Mountain in Center Lovell offer an amazing panorama of seemingly endless mountains as well as an interesting lesson in geology. From the outlook atop Maiden’s Cliff in the Camden Hills you can see across Megunticook Lake to the Atlantic Ocean. At cliff’s edge is the cross erected in memory of the young Eleanora French, who tragically fell from this spot in 1864.
Lakes and ponds provide a good chance to view wildlife, and on your hike into Big and Little Moose Ponds just east of Moosehead Lake, you might see beavers at work and moose feeding in the shallows. Circle the ponds and scamper to the ridge above and you and the kids will get a great look at Big Moose Mountain. Try the Swett Brook Nature Trail at Mount Blue State Park, visit the displays at the nature center, and then enjoy a swim and a picnic lunch at Lake Webb.