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Maine – a veritable cornucopia of outdoorsy awesomeness for hikers of every variety. Because between trekking along the rugged coast (admiring insanely stunning views of the Atlantic) or hiking through the expansive forests of the interior, you’re sure to find some of the best hikes in Maine for you!

Some astounding, straight-up awe-inspiring hikes in Maine that are sure to leave you actively picking your jaw up off the floor.

A fact that is especially true since Maine is home to a wide variety of natural landscapes and vast mountain ranges that include immortal places like Acadia National Park, Mt. Katahdin (the state’s tallest peak), stretches of the Appalachian Trail, and so much more. 

And this girl right here? Well, she wants to give you the inside scoop on some of the all-time best hikes in Maine.

No, really! I’ve been visiting Maine for well over twenty years and even spent a few summers there as a slightly overly energetic camper who would basically climb any mountain that wasn’t an active volcano. 

I also might still be a wee bit resentful because my friend skinned her knee and, as a result, we actually missed watching the sunrise from the summit of Cadilac Mountain. 

But whatever. That’s proverbial water under the bridge since I’m about to dish about some of the best hikes in Maine and give you expert advice on how to have the best time ever. 

So, if you’re pumped and ready to go, let’s do this thing and check out some of the best hiking trails in Maine!

Dear wonderful, beautiful, and oh-so-amazing reader (Yup, I lay it on thick for my dozens of fans). Since I am incapable of making it rain money, there’s a high probability (like 99.999%) that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Best Hikes Near Portland Maine

1. Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail

best hikes in Maine

Just a hop, skip and jump away from Portland, Maine is Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail. It sits near the border with New Hampshire and is a moderate, popular, 3.6-mile loop trail with stunning views of Mount Washington (on a clear day), that is surrounded by large swaths of wildflowers.

Now, to access this trail of delight, you can use the Blue trail (aka the “North Peak Trail”) to go up the mountain. The trailhead sign will be just inside the tree line by a large grassy parking area (about 100 feet from the road).

Alternatively, you could also use the Yellow trail to go up the mountain (aka The Twin Brooks Trail”) but the blue trail is the more direct route to the top. It’s also a bit more challenging and features a variety of terrain.

So, definitely prepare for a bit of schlepping through the woods and climbing up rock faces here. 

That’s why, if you’re a bit of a novice hiker like me, you may want to try to go up the mountain with the blue trail and then go back down the mountain with the yellow trail since the descent will be easier this way. Just be alert since the markers for the yellow trail aren’t always super visible. 

FYI, this is also one of the best hikes in Maine that is pretty dang exposed. So, if you’re uber-pale like me, then be sure to bring a hat and some sunscreen so that you don’t get burnt to a crisp.

Also, snacks and water are, DUH, a total must to keep you fueled up and ready to go. 

Pro Tip: This trail will be about an hour away from Portland as you drive towards New Hampshire. And on your way back, be sure to make a well-deserved pit stop at Lone Pine Brewing in Gorham. 

Length: 3.6 miles (It will take between three and four hours to complete this hike depending on the route you use). 

Difficulty: Moderate 

Elevation Gain: 1,391 feet

Fee: None

2. Morse Mountain to Seawall Beach (Popham Beach State Park)

Popham Beach in Maine.

Popham Beach in Maine.

Umm…what’s not to love about this popular, out-and-back trail near Phippsburg, Maine?

I mean, not only is it easy to hike but you’ll get to take in great views of the surrounding mountains and can even end your hike with a picturesque walk on one of Maine’s best beaches.  

The one downside? Parking is extremely limited so you may want to check this website for more info. Also, be careful since this hike is through a conservation area and some private lands. So yeah, definitely tread lightly and follow the rules.

Other than that though, just enjoy this sweet and easy, super scenic hike through this primo conservation area, which is filled with untouched pine forests and estuaries that eventually open up as the trail takes you to the coast.

Pro Tip: At the final fork in the trail (before you hit the beach), you’ll see signs for both Private Property and the trail. You can walk up the road to a scenic lookout where you’ll nab some super sweet views. Then just go back down the road, make a right, and head towards the beach. 

Length: 4.0 miles (The entire hike should take less then 2 hours)

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 433 feet

Fee: None

Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

3. Cadillac Mountain

Views from the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

Views from the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, then no trip to Maine would complete without a visit to Acadia National Park (the so-called “Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast”) and a hike up Cadillac Mountain. 

I mean, hello. Cadillac Mountain is THE tallest mountain in Acadia National Park. It’s also the most popular sunrise spot in the area since the views are stunning and this is the site of the very first sunrise in the US of A. So yeah, that’s also a super cool little factoid for ya. 

However, before you get all Bear Grylls on this mountain, you’ll first need to decide which route to take to the top – the South Ridge Trail or the North Ridge Trail. 

Personally, I’m lazy and hate mornings. Therefore, I’d want to take the shortest route up the mountain, which is the 4 mile, out and back, North Ridge Trail. it’s also pretty popular since it’s the quickest way to get up the mountain just in time for sunrise. Just be aware of exposed granite rock faces along the way and hike with care. 

In contrast, the South Ridge Trail is a LONG 7.1-mile lopp trial up this 1,329-foot tall mountain (Talk about a daily dose of cardio with your coffee). Eventually, you’ll climb out and above the ridgeline and can savor stellar views from the iconic overlook at the Eagle Crag spur loop.

You can also rest up a bit at Featherbed Pond before making the final push to the summit. 

Length: 4.0 miles (It will probably take you anywhere between two and four hours to do this hike, depending on your pace)

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 1,118 feet

Fee: To get into Acadia it’s $25 per vehicle or $15 per person. 

4. Beehive Trail

View from Beehive Trail in Acadia National Park. One of the best hikes in Maine.

View from Beehive Trail in Acadia National Park. One of the best hikes in Maine.

This is one of the best hikes in Maine that could totally lull you into a false sense of security. Because while this 1.4-mile loop trail may seem short and sweet on paper, it most definitely is not. 

That’s because the hike up Beehive Mountain in Acadia National Park starts off with a rock scramble pretty much right as you get on the trail, which starts right across the street from the entrance to Sand Beach. 

So, climb the steps and make your way through the forest to some exposed, flat, rocky areas. Follow the light blue trail markers and use well-placed iron rungs, bridges, and handholds to make your way through the tough portions of the trail. 

Because as you ascend the mountain, the trail will become almost vertical – forcing you to climb ladders and do narrow walks across a tightrope that sits on the edge of a cliff (So yeah, if you’re scared of heights this may not be the hike for you). 

Yeah, definitely not for the faint of heart but worth it for the views from the top of Sand Dollar Beach. 

Pro Tip: When you finally make it to the summityou can either go down the backside of the mountain and make it a loop trail or go back the way you came and make it an out and back trail.

Length: 1.4 miles (this hike should take you about an hour and a half to complete)

Difficulty: Difficult

Elevation Gain: 488 feet

Fee: To get into Acadia it’s $25 per vehicle or $15 per person. 

5. Great Head Trail

Views from the Great Head Trail in Acadia National Park.

Views from the Great Head Trail in Acadia National Park.

Oh, look, another one of the best hikes in Maine that is actually inside Acadia National Park.

Anyone else NOT surprised by this? Yup, me neither since Acadia is straight-up next-level gorg and filled with insanely awesome trails that you do not want to miss out on. 

And the Great Head Trail is one of them since this easy hike takes you along the perimeter of the Great Head peninsula and to the eastern side of Sand Beach. 

So, to enjoy this hike for yourself, get here early (like before the crack of dawn), and park in the lower Sand Beach Parking lot, which is just off the Park Loop Road.

Take the steps here to Sand Beach and follow the trail counter-clockwise from here, keeping an eye out for those nifty little blue lines.

Also, just before you begin your hike, you may want to go to the other side of the beach and enjoy sweet views of the Beehive (another epic mountain in the park). 

And once you finally begin your hike, you’ll walk through white birch forests and can enjoy views of several pink granite cliffs, as well as the rocky Atlantic Coast.  

You can even stop for a little picnic along the way, enjoy the amazing natural landscapes that surround you, and watch out for local sea ducks, cormorants, and gulls flying by!

Pro Tip: If you can, do this hike counter-clock-wise since there are several large stone slopes that are infinitely easier to climb up than go down. So, go to the right when you start from the steps at the top of the beach. 

Length: 1.8 miles (for the full loop and it will take between 2 and 3 hours to complete)

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 265 feet

Fee: To get into Acadia it’s $25 per vehicle or $15 per person. 

6. Jordan Pond Loop Trail

Views of Acadia's Jordan Pond from the Jordan Pond Loop Trail.

Views of Acadia’s Jordan Pond from the Jordan Pond Loop Trail.

This iconic trek is easily one of the best hikes in Acadia and is without a doubt one of the best hikes in Maine too.

Therefore, don’t expect to have this place all to yourself since this easy, 3.4-mile loop trail around Jordan Pond (the deepest and second-largest lake in the park) that offers stellar views of a tranquil pond surrounded by a stunning assortment of hills. 

It’s also one of the easier hikes on this list since there are a ton of unique boardwalks for you to walk along (to protect the local ecosystem) and just a few muddy patches that might give you trouble. 

That being said though, there is one tiny bit of rocky terrain on this trail. Other than that, it’s just a flat, peaceful, wonderfully easy hike that everyone in your family will adore. 

Heck, there are even a few sandy areas along the way where you can sit, relax by the pond, and watch for a special guest appearance from the residents of a local beaver lodge. 

Pro Tip: Go early, any time between April and October, to avoid crowds and to nab a coveted parking spot since this is an incredibly popular hike. Dogs can also go on this hike but must be kept on a leash at all times. 

Length: 3.4 miles (This hike will take anywhere between 1 and 2 hours)

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation Gain: 95 feet

Fee: To get into Acadia it’s $25 per vehicle or $15 per person. 

Some of the Other Best Hikes in Maine

7. Mt. Katahdin and Hamlin Peak Loop

The Katahdin Woods

The Katahdin Woods.

Although this is a grueling hike through Baxter State Park, this trek is 100% worth it (for sure) since you get to summit the tallest mountain in Maine. 

Actually, truth be told, this hike not only brings you to the top of the tallest mountain in Maine, but it also leads you to the endpoint of the ever-famous Appalachian Trail (both are Mt. Katahdin) and brings you on an epic side trip to Chimney Pond (feel free to “oh” and “ah” at will) too. 

So, if you’re ready for a challenging hike, then start off at the Roaring Brook Campground Trailhead. When you see the trail split. go to the left and head up the Helen Taylor Trail.

Continue your hike and savor the views on your way to Pamola and Chimney Peak summit  Once at the top, follow the trail until you hit The Famous, an arete ridge that is sometimes only a few feet wide.

So yeah, if you’re the type of person who is afraid of heights then you may want to just head back. Otherwise, just head on up to the tallest peak in Maine and see where the Appalachian Trail officially ends.

Relax for a bit here to take in the views and then descend along an alpine plateau until you reach Hamlin Peak with its enormous cairn right on top (FYI, there’s also a great view here of Chimney Rock). 

Slowlly descend along the plateau and stay left (going right will bring you to the Cathedral Trail and Chimney Pond, skipping Hamlin Peak), eventually going right and up to the tippy top of Hamlin Peak. 

From here, you’ll see your incredible journey over the Pamola, the Knife Edge, Baxter, and the Tablelands before going back down the mountain, admiring the views of Hamlin at Basin Ponds before you go around the pond and finish your hike. 

Pro Tip: This trail is best used between March and October.

Length: 10.9 miles (it will take about 8 hours to do this hike)

Difficulty: Hard

Elevation Gain: 4,475 feet

Fee: $12 per car to enter with an out-of-state license plate (free for Maine residents)

8. Table Rock

Aerial view of Table Rock, Maine.

Aerial view of Table Rock, Maine.

Located in Grafton Notch State Park, this glorious hike up Bald Pate Mountain will take you up to a glorious viewpoint (just not the summit) where you can enjoy some of the best views along the Appalachian Trail. 

So, to set out on this most excellent of hikes, you’ll first need to park in a parking lot off Route 26 near Newry, Maine.

You’ll then have to walk across Route 26 (it can be busy so watch out for oncoming traffic) to access the Appalacian trail and start your hike up Table Rock. 

Right away, you’ll discover an intersection and can either go left to Baldpate (this is the easier trail) or go right and ascend a more difficult trail with tons of boulders. 

Personally, though, I’d go left and do a gentle climb up the mountain and across wooden planks that cover slightly muddier sections of the park. 

Pretty soon, you’ll find a sign that says “Table Rock” and you’ll just follow that to the top. Just be aware that the hike can get pretty steep and that you probably will need to climb up metal rungs along a near-vertical rock face (this is on the blue trail). 

But, after a bit of quick scrambling, you’ll finally make it to the top and can enjoy the stellar panoramas all around you. 

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for an easier hike, try taking the blue/white trail up the mountain and then back down. Otherwise, you can do the loop and try taking the orange trail up (very steep) and then the blue/white trail back down. And if you want to make your hike a bit longer, you can always add on a trek to Baldpates since the trail shares a trailhead with Old Speck.

Length: 2.7 miles (This hike will probably take between 2 and 3 hours)

Difficulty: Hard/Moderate

Elevation Gain: 869 feet

Fee: $3.00 for Maine residents and $4.00 for non-Maine residents. 

9. Mount Battie

Views of Camden from Mount Battie.

Views of Camden from Mount Battie.

Heading to Camden? If so then you cannot leave this beautiful beach town without first doing one of the best hikes in Maine!

Because the out and back trail up Mount Battie is pretty darn immortal (read, super popular, and crowded) and offers sick views of Penobscot Bay and downtown Camden.

So, if you want to take on all this cardio-erific glory for yourself, then drive up to Mountain Street (from downtown Camden) and take a left on Spring Street, closely followed by another left on Megunticook Street.

Once here, you’ll find a small parking lot at the end of the road that you can use to park your car and access the trailhead. 

Now, when you finally do start your hike, it’ll be a steep climb up the south-facing side of the mountain. Therefore, definitely expect to do a bit of scrambling up rocky section of the trail.

When you finally make it to the top though, you can climb up a stone tower there and enjoy even better views of Camden down below. 

Pro Tip: If you’re not up for this insanely steep hike, you can always drive to the top of Mount Battie instead. This hike is also VERY popular and is best done early on a weekend day morning, between May and October. 

Length: 1.1 miles (This hike will probably take about 2 hours)

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 590 feet

Fee: $4.00 for Maine residents and $6.00 for non-Maine residents. 

10. Mount Kineo

A view of Moosehead Lake from the summit of Mount Kineo.

A view of Moosehead Lake from the summit of Mount Kineo.

Looking for one of the best hikes in Maine that is kind of out of the way? If so then haul ass on over to Mount Kineo.

It sits inside the aptly named Mount Kineo National Park and is located just near Greenville, along the shores of Moosehead Lake. 

So yeah, this park is pretty removed with a capital “R”. Anyway, to make this a really fun day out, I’d hop on the local ferry from Rockwood boat launch and take that all the way across the lake to trail at Mount Kineo (the ride is $13).

Seriously, it’s just a super fun way to see the lake. It’s also pretty dang bumpy so be sure to hold on.

Once there, expect a fairly easy climb to the summit. I mean, I had no trouble with the hike. And trust me when I tell you that I am far from a mountaineering guru/fitness expert. 

You just need to choose between one of two trails to the summit – the longer but easier Bridle Trail or the more challenging Indian Head Trail along several local cliffs.

I’m a wimp and opted for the easier of the two but I’ve heard both are well marked and completely accessible. So yeah, you could take grandma on this hike and she would be totally fine. 

Especially since the Birdie Trail was once an old fire warden trail. It also starts with a 0.3-mile walk along the Carriage Trail that eventually takes you through several large groves of maple and birch trees before joining up with the Indian Trail right before the summit. 

And once at the top? Well, be sure to hold on for dear life (kidding, it’s not THAT bad) as you make your way to the top of an old fire tower for the best views ever – a structure that was actually converted into a handy dandy viewing platform almost two decades ago. 

Length: 3.4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate/Easy (Birdie Trail is easy and Indian Head Trail is more moderate)

Elevation Gain: 905 feet

Fee: $3.00 for Maine residents and $4.00 for non-Maine residents. 

11. Gulf Hagas Rim Trail and Pleasant River Tote

Some of the beautiful waterfalls you'll find near Gulf Hagasin Maine.

Some of the beautiful waterfalls you’ll find near Gulf Hagasin Maine.

Want to see an uber-famous Maine landmark that is often fondly referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Maine”?

If so then the Gulf Hagas Rim Trail is just the spot for you. Because it’s not only one of the best hikes in Maine, but it’s also one of the most scenic since it takes you along Gulf Hagas – an ancient gorge that was first carved out by the ferocity of the Pleasant River and that is brimming over with stunning waterfalls. 

So, over the course of nine-miles (there are shorter trails too if that’s a bit too long for you), you’ll descend 500 feet and make your way across uneven terrain that is littered with rocks and tree roots. Therefore, be sure to wear a solid pair of hiking shoes for this trek. 

However, to truly get the most out of your hike, be sure to park at the Head of the Gulf Parking Area (use the other lot and you’ll have to walk through a river that is knee-deep) and then walk across a bridge to join up with the Appalachian Trail. 

Continue for another 1.3 miles away from the river and follow the blue-blazed Rim Trail past a bunch of waterfalls and to various lookout points along the perimeter of the gorge. 

You can then rock hop it across the Gulf Hagas Brook and take a short walk to Screw Auger Falls. It’s about 3.5 miles to this point so you can either continue around the entire Gulf or head back from here. 

Pro-Tip: The area is pretty remote and has a ton of uneven terrain. Therefore, be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes. You’ll also want to consider using a walking stick, and bringing a compass/map since you probably won’t get cell service here. 

Length: 8.2 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Elevation Gain: 905 feet

Fee: $10.00 for Maine residents and $15.00 for non-Maine residents. 

12. Tumbledown Mountain

View from the summit of Tumbledown Mountain in Maine.

View from the summit of Tumbledown Mountain in Maine.

Looking for an awesome hike in western Maine? Then try Tumbledown Mountain.

Sure, it’s not the tallest peak in the state, but it’s definitely a whole hell of a lot of fun since this peak rises about 3,000 feet in the air and is home to a ton of different trails that are just waiting to be explored. 

There are also several 700+ foot sheer cliffs that sit along the northern side of Byron Notch that are pretty neat to see, as well as Tumbledown Pond which sits at about 2, 800 feet in the air and is surrounded by picturesque mountains on three different sides. 

Now, to summit the mountain, there are a couple of different routes that you could take. Personally, I’d start out on the Brook Trail since it’s the easiest and most direct route to the pond. 

You’ll know you’re almost at the pond when the trail becomes a bit steeper at about 1 mile in. The path will then continue to follow a little brook that will eventually lead you to the pond. 

Once at the pond, you can access the Loop Trail and take it up the mountain. It’s steep but fun and requires that you pay close attention since the upper portion of the trail can be difficult to follow.

If you choose to ascend via the Loop Trail, you’ll go over the Great Ledges and can take in epic views of the Tumbledown Cliffs from here. You’ll then climb a ridge in the gully before you and the trek will get VERY steep. 

As you near the top, huge boulders will block your way as you climb up through a gap to the left and use metal rungs attached to a rock here. You’ll then come up and out of this steep climb and hit Tumbledown Ridge Trail. 

You’ll then use this trail to climb up to the summit on the West Peak and complete your loop hike as you go back down via the Brook Trail.

Pro-Tip: The local parking areas here are located about a tenth of a mile AFTER the trailhead. And once you park, you may miss the sign for the trailhead since it’s a solid 30 feet into the woods. So, just keep your eyes peeled and just know you’re in the right place. 

Length: 5.3 miles (this hike will probably take around five hours total)

Difficulty: Hard

Elevation Gain: 1,952 feet

Fee: free

13. Mount Bigelow

A view of Mount Bigelow in Maine.

A view of Mount Bigelow in Maine.

If you want to conquer even more of the Appalachian Trail, then check out Mount Bigelow! It stands at an impressive 4,090 feet and is part of the 10,000 acres Bigelow Preserve near Stratton, Maine.

It’s also easily one of the best hikes in Maine since you can admire impressive views of Flagstaff Lake from the top and can actually hit three different peaks (The Horns, West Peak, and Avery Peak) using a single, 12+ mile loop trail. 

So, to start this epic hike, park your car at the Stratton Brook parking area just off Stratton Brook Pond Road.

Next, follow the dirt road for about a half-mile, until you hit the Stratton Brook campsite. Take the Fire Warden’s Trail from here, staying left at a junction with the Horns Pond Trail, and hiking onwards for about 4.5 miles.

When you hit the Avery Col Campsite, head right onto the Appalachian Trail and hike for another half-mile until you reach the Avery Peak summit.

After enjoying the views, double back to the Avery Col Campsite junction and go left on the Appalachian Trail, until you hit the West Peak.

Now, depending on how tired you are, you could either go back to the parking lot the same way you came, or continue to the South Horn.

To continue your hike, trek through Bigelow West Peak on the Appalachian Trail for about 1.8 miles, until you reach the summit of South Horn. Keep going straight until you come to a junction with Horns Pond Trail (you’ll see a shelter here). 

Make a left onto Horns Pond Trail and hike for a solid 2.5 miles until you reach an intersection with the Fire Warden’s Trail. Take this trail back to the Stratton Brook campsite and walk on the dirt road until you get back to your car. 

And tada! You have just hiked Mount Bigelow. Insert uber-excited jazz hands here. Just know that although this hike may sound easy, it’s intense and consists of a full day of hiking. 

So moral of the story? Know what you’re getting into and always be prepared. 

Pro-Tip: This hike definitely offers some of the best views in Maine and you should try to go any time between May and November (earlier is better since by November the trail could have ice/snow).

Length: 12.2 miles (This hike should take somewhere between 7 and 8 hours to complete)

Difficulty: Hard

Elevation Gain: 3,825 feet

Fee: Free

A Map of the Best Hikes in Maine

 

Other Maine/USA Travel Resources You Will Love

And there you have it, you avid lover of the great outdoors you!

Because that just about wraps up this hella epic post on all of the best hikes in Maine!

Now use this guide well and feel free to make any and all your greatest Bear Grylls-inspired dreams come true! 

And if you found this post helpful, then pin it now so that you can read it again later!