Shoes Were Made for Walkin’
In Maine, some of the most spectacular outdoor locations can only be reached by hiking trail, whether it’s a secluded sand beach, a crystal clear stream or an open mountaintop. You have to put forth a little effort to reach these spots, but boy are they worth it. This summer, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails. The following list includes some of the best summer hikes—ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced—within easy distance from the Bangor Metro region:
Mariaville Falls Preserve in Mariaville
Owned and maintained by the Frenchman Bay Conservancy, this preserve officially opened to the public in 2015, and features 1.6 miles of footpaths that travel through a quiet mixed forest to the West Branch of the Union River and a series of small waterfalls. Located just 30 minutes from Bangor, this scenic trail network offers a peaceful walk to a scenic river, where you can picnic on rock outcroppings and may even spy some local wildlife.
Barred Island Preserve in Deer Isle
Sandy beaches, wild roses, mossy forests and stunning ocean views—Barred Island Preserve has it all. Owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed by the Island Heritage Trust, this conserved property features 1.5 miles of nature trails that wind through a whimsical boreal fog forest to a sandy beach on the coast. And if you time your visit right, you can then cross over a sandbar to explore the scenic, undeveloped Barred Island.
Blue Hill Mountain in Blue Hill
Rising 934 feet above sea level, Blue Hill Mountain is an iconic landmark on the Blue Hill Peninsula and has long been a popular hiking location. Owned and maintained by the Blue Hill Heritage Trust, the mountain is home to four well-maintained trails that lead to an open summit, where hikers can sit on the exposed bedrock, pick wild blueberries and enjoy stunning views of this coastal region. Hiking to the top of the mountain and back down, depending on the trails you take, ranges in length from 2 to 4 miles.
Ragged Mountain in Camden
Topping off at about 1,300 feet above sea level, Ragged Mountain is one of the tallest peaks in midcoast Maine. The hike, up and back, is 4.8 miles. Much of the trail is in the shelter of a hardwood forest, though the final stretch to the summit travels over exposed bedrock, offering great views of the Camden Hills region and the nearby ocean. The trail to the summit of Ragged Mountain is part of the Georges Highland Path, a 50-mile network of low-impact hiking trails maintained by the Georges River Land Trust.
Dorr Mountain in Acadia National Park
Reaching 1,270 feet above sea level, Dorr mountain is the third tallest peak on Mount Desert Island and was named after “The Father of Acadia” George Dorr, who constructed many of the trails on the island and was one of the people responsible for the creation of Acadia National Park. Several trails explore this mountain, and all of them feature the stunning granite stonework that is repeated on trails throughout the park. For a hike that is challenging and includes ladders, long rock staircases, and open ledges, try a 3.5-mile route that combines the mountain’s Ladder Trail, Schiff Path and Dorr South Ridge Trail.
Doubletop Mountain in Baxter State Park
With a distinctive profile of two cone-shaped peaks, Doubletop Mountain tops off at 3,488 feet above sea level and is one of many fantastic hiking locations in Baxter State Park. A trail, totaling about 7 miles, travels up and over both peaks. Expect steep slopes, rocky sections and small stream crossings. The view from both peaks will take your breath away. This is an excellent warm up for people looking to hike nearby Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain.