Whether you want to explore Maine's coastline, trek through the woods, or climb a mountain, you can set your compass for the destination of your choice. Maine offers thousands of miles of trails to make it easy for everyone from beginners to experts to find their own favorite path. Many of these trails are open year-round and park staff can offer advice on how to be safe when planning a hike.
Mt. Katahdin and Baxter State Park
In Baxter State Park, you can find some of the finest day hiking in the state by following one of a dozen footpaths that scale Mt. Katahdin—Maine's highest peak at 5,267 feet. Your choices range from the moderate Chimney Pond Trail to very strenuous hikes such as the infamous Knife Edge Trail, which is only a few feet wide in some places. The park is also the place to spot moose, which are plentiful in this 210,000-acre park. You can observe all of the park's wildlife along 200 miles of footpaths that take you to mountains, waterfalls and lakes.
The Appalachian Trail
You can hike part of the Appalachian Trail—which runs from Georgia to Maine—by walking along the 267-mile portion that extends from the Mahoosuc Mountains to Mt. Katahdin's summit. You can hike the rugged Barren-Chairback and Whitecap Ranges or explore easier and less-traveled stretches near the Carry Ponds, Sabbathday Pond and the Piscataquis River in Horseshoe Canyon. The Bigelow Mountains and Saddleback's peaks are also popular spots.
Acadia National Park
For a beautiful view of Mt. Desert Island and the Atlantic Ocean, you can climb the mountain peaks of Acadia National Park. You can often see eagles and peregrine falcons soaring overhead, and if you look closely, you may spy seals and whales swimming offshore. You can also scramble over pink granite cliffs and ledges along the coastline, trek through deep gorges, or hike beside secluded brooks and ponds.
The White Mountain National Forest
You can follow dozens of trails through the 45,000 acres of the Maine section of the White Mountain National Forest, ranging from the easy climb of The Roost to the challenging traverse of Red Rock, Butters and Durgin Mountains in the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness. If you seek more lightly traveled peaks, you can climb Caribou, Speckled or East Royce Mountains.
More to Explore
Maine owns more than a half million acres of public lands for you to explore, including Bradbury Mountain, Camden Hills, Grafton Notch and Mount Blue State Parks. You can also find plenty of solitude in the Public Reserved Lands, including Bald Mountain, Cutler Coast, Donnell Pond and Nahmakanta. More than 90 land trusts work to preserve Maine's natural areas as well. You can find little-known hiking gems on these lands, such as the rocky shoreline at La Verna Preserve, the view of Blue Hill Bay from Blue Hill Mountain, and the bird life and history of Salt Bay.