9 Hiking and Trekking Opportunities in Panoramic Maine (2022)
One of the most beautiful U.S. states, Maine is meant for hiking and trekking adventures. Whether you are a coastal trail lover or keen on exploring Maine’s mountainous spread, there are many hiking opportunities here. The outdoorsy awesomeness in Pine Tree State takes people through expansive forests, mountain ranges, rugged coastline, near waterfalls, wildflower grounds, and a wide variety of natural landscapes. Acadia National Park, Mount Katahdin, and the Appalachian Trail stretch are definitely some famous hiking spots in Maine, but they aren’t the only ones.
Given winters are long in Maine, the hiking season in various parts of the state can shorten down. Also, choosing the right trail during the appropriate timing is necessary since it can influence what you will see during the journey and at the destination. The peak summer season, probably June through August, is definitely the best time to go trekking in Maine. It is when you can enjoy the waterfalls, the views from the summit are clear, and the pathways are all lush and green.
9 Hiking and Trekking Opportunities in Panoramic Maine
So, what are you waiting for? Lace up your hiking shoes and explore the Best Hiking Trails in Maine with us. Have a look:
1. Moxie Falls Trail
When hiking in Maine, start with the Moxie Falls Trail, an easy and user-friendly option. The trail leading to the waterfall is slightly over a mile, with well-marked pathways, wooden platforms, stairways, and enchanting natural beauty. The trailhead is right at the Moxie Falls parking lot and is easy to be found. Trail’s first half is quite flat and wide, whereas the second half becomes a little steeper; still not very challenging, though. Moxie Falls in itself is Maine’s one of tallest waterfall, with a vertical drop of over 90 feet and a pool that is nearly 17 feet deep. Swimming under the fall is allowed though one must take every possible precaution since the pool is deep and the flow can be harsh at times. It, however, is a great place to picnic, relax, and enjoy the beauty of nature around.
2. Ocean Path Trail
Ocean Path in Acadia National Park is a wide walking trail that offers one of the most iconic hiking experiences in Maine. The trail begins at the far end of Sand Beach’s upper parking lot and goes all the way to Otter Cliff and Otter Point. In between, its menders in a southerly direction passing through Mount Desert Island’s eastern shore. Throughout the way, there are multiple vantage points to stop and absorb the glorious beauty around. There are even a few small rocky outcroppings that allow hikers to path down to the water and enjoy plenty of different opportunities. Ocean Path Trail isn’t an actual hike however is a fantastic way to explore the seaside of Acadia. The trail is 2.2 miles one way and is ideal for hikers of all skill levels.
3. Borestone Mountain Trail
Considered a moderately challenging route, the Borestone Mountain Trail offers a panoramic hiking experience in Maine. Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary is basically a huge wilderness containing a network of trails, great hiking views, and exciting destinations. The sanctuary boasts four trails, including Base Trail (0.8 miles), Peregrine Trail (0.4 miles), Summit Trail (0.8 miles), and Fox Pen Loop Trail (0.3 miles) one way. All of these, the Summit Trail is a bit challenging with stone steps and steep ascent; however, the 360-degree view on the summit makes it all worth it. Peregrine Trail, known for its scenic beauty, navigates gradually upwards above a series of cliffs and opens a beautiful overlook to three ponds of the Borestone Sanctuary. Hiking through the Borestone Mountain Trails is most exciting during the fall season due to the abundance of deciduous trees in the area. The fall foliage here is a beauty to be seen and absorbed.
4. Gulf Hagas Rim Trail
On the mountains of Northern Maine, Gulf Hagas Rim Trail is an exciting option for day hikers. Also known as the Grand Canyon of Maine, the beauty of Gulf Hagas is something exciting to be seen. Known as moderately challenging and meant for advanced hikers, the Rim Trail is lengthier and covers slightly over 8.2 miles. For someone who is already into hiking, it is an easy day affair, but if you are a novice, you may find challenges making it a round trip, even in an entire day. The Gulf Hagas Rim Trail is known for its rough footing, and therefore good sturdy shoes are a must. While crossing streams and rivers, a balancing stick is necessary as well. Besides that, since the trail crosses very remote locations, cell service will barely workaround. It is advisable to carry along a map for easy navigation before you literally get lost in the wilderness. Gulf Hagas Rim Trail operates year-round and allows pets as well.
5. Stone House Trail
There’s nothing more pleasant than exploring the beauty of Blueberry Mountain via the Stone House Trail. This 4.8 miles-long (in and out) trail is marked as moderate and is meant only for intermediate and advanced hikers. The trailhead begins from a small parking lot from NH Rt. 113 in Evan’s Notch/Chatham at the end of Stone House Road. It even shares the same beginning point with White Cairn. The entire hike takes nearly 3 hours (back and forth) or slightly more during the peak hiking season. Upon reaching the trail’s summit, hikers can grab astounding views of the New Hampshire border and Maine’s Lake Districts waterways. If you are hiking here during the wild blueberry season, consider hiking a little further (higher elevation) and introduce yourself to fields of lush and juicy blueberries.
6. Bald Rock Mountain Trail
One of Maine’s favorite hikers, the Bald Rock Mountain Trail is a must for every hiking enthusiast. This 3.4-mile loop trail near Lincolnville is considered moderately challenging, but with some extra effort, everyone can make it through it. The entire trail covers the Ski Shelter Trail, Bald Rock Trail, and Frohock Mountain Trail before it actually reaches the mesmerizing summit of Bald Rock Mountain. The summit offers expansive views of Penobscot Bay which are undoubtedly worthy of every single effort. Hikers either crave the summit for views or look for the juicy wild blueberries around. Bald Mountain is the fifth highest peak on the eastern seaboard and is also home to some of the largest rare subalpine natural communities of Midcoast. The trail also allows dogs on lease. However, camping, letting fire (regardless of purpose), removal of native vegetation, and any kind of vehicle (even bicycles) are strictly prohibited.
7. Beehive Trail
Small but challenging, the Beehive Trail is another popular hiking trail in Maine. Beehive loop offers the most thrilling hikes in Acadia National Park, and therefore it isn’t for faint hearts and inexperienced hikers. The hike begins on the Bowl Trail from near the parking lot, but it soon goes off into the Beehive trail. What makes the trail challenging and tricky are steep granite staircases, iron rungs, and exposed cliff faces throughout the way. Hikers often challenge themselves physically and mentally as they make their way through this 450 feet cliff trail. However, what’s rewarding are the stunning views over Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and the Gulf of Maine. While making it through the Beehive trail, it is really important to choose a good weather day. Sunny days with zero chances of rain are the most preferable and safest ones since rainy days can make the rocks slippery. Also, before you even begin, make sure you have good traction shoes, or else avoid the hike for your own safety.
8. Tumbledown Mountain Trails
Meant only for advance level hikers, the Tumbledown Mountain Trails are one of the most challenging hikes in Maine. Each trail is 1 to 4 miles long and is located in West Central Franklin, gaining an elevation of 1,952 Feet. The trails, though, do not feature any technical challenges or narrow cliffs but walking/ hiking here alone is quite challenging. The different Tumbledown Mountain Trails include Parker Ridge Trail (2.9 miles, Advanced), Loop Trail (1.5 miles, Advanced), Tumbledown Ridge Trail (0.7 miles, Connector), Little Jackson Mountain Trail (3.7 miles, Advanced), Pond Link Trail (1.1 miles, Connector), Parker Ridge Trail (2.9 miles, Advanced) and Brook Trail (1.9 miles, Moderate). No matter which way you choose, the summit of the Tumbledown Mountains is what you should aim to reach. The views of the Alps, a gorgeous lake, and several rocky outcrops from the summit are undoubtedly mesmerizing.
9. Mount Katahdin & Knife Edge Trailhead
When planning a hiking trip in Maine, one cannot dare to overlook Mount Katahdin. The highest peak in Maine, Mount Katahdin, rises 5268 feet and is perhaps the most challenging summit to access in Maine and New England. Hikers often take the Knife Edge trail, which covers 8.1 miles and gains an elevation of 3,897 Feet. The Knife Edge trail is undoubtedly challenging and adventurous, but for someone who is into exploring mountains, this is a must to live experience. The dramatic aspect of this mountain trail is the narrow traverse on both sides, and it is quite exposed to dangers. Hikers need to scramble up and down the rocks while still ensuring that their foot does not lose its grip.
NOTE: While hiking the Mount Katahdin & Knife Edge Trail, make sure you are well equipped with all the hiking gear since somewhere or the other, you are definitely going to need them.