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15 Best Hikes in Maine With Jaw-Dropping Views

Looking for some of the best hikes in Maine with incredible views? You’ve come to the right place!

There are several hikes in Maine to satisfy the cravings of any nature lover, thanks to the state’s extensive wilderness, picturesque coastline, and abundance of rivers and lakes.

All sorts of hikers can enjoy the stunning landscapes in Pine Tree State, from those who want a stroll along the Atlantic coast to those who seek a more strenuous trek through the state’s hills and mountains.

Maine hikes to waterfalls are also available and some of these waterfalls are seriously incredible. Or if climbing mountains is your thing, you can visit the state’s highest peak.

Let’s explore 15 of the best hikes in Maine with absolutely stunning views!

15. Shoreline Trail

Camden, Maine | 1.7 miles | Easy | 66 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

The Shoreline Trail is a relatively easy and scenic walking path that stretches approximately 1.25 miles along the rugged coastline of Bar Harbor. It begins near the Agamont Park and continues along the water’s edge, passing picturesque landmarks and luxurious waterfront properties. The trail is mostly flat, with a well-maintained gravel surface and occasional benches for resting and taking in the views.

Going on a short, simple hike in Lily Bay State Park is definitely beginner-friendly. The park is famous for being kid-friendly, and the trail’s flat terrain along the lakeside makes for comfortable walking.

Besides being a great alternative to water sports like boating, swimming, and fishing, the 30-minute stroll along Shoreline Trail is also just plain fun. The trail has clear markings, and much of the underbrush is cleaned each year, so it’s a nice walk.

The highlight is Moosehead Lake, Maine’s largest lake, but you should also look out for moose and other wildlife. Don’t leave home without your fishing gear and appropriate license if you plan to fish!

We recommend this as one of the best Maine hikes for beginners. It’s really more of a walk but is perfect if you’re in the area and want to explore Maine’s scenery.

14. Moxie Falls Trail

West Forks, Maine | 2.1 miles | Easy | 233 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

We think Moxie Falls Trail is among the best Maine hikes if you’re looking for spectacular scenery.

The Moxie Falls Trail in Maine leads to one of the state’s most impressive waterfalls, Moxie Falls. Located in Somerset County, this trail offers a scenic hike through a beautiful forested area and rewards hikers with stunning views of a majestic 90-foot waterfall.

Besides being one of the most accessible climbs, this one is exceptionally user-friendly. The presence of well-marked trails and the comforting luxury of wooden platforms and stairways make the ascent a breeze without compromising visitors’ safety.

You can complete the loop in roughly an hour without stopping. On the other hand, Moxie Falls is breathtaking, and the numerous wooden platforms that serve as lookout spots make stopping to take photographs a breeze.

As you hike along the trail, you’ll encounter several viewpoints that offer glimpses of the surrounding forest and the stream leading up to the falls. Take your time to appreciate the natural scenery and capture memorable photos. This is truly one of the most stunning hikes in Maine!

Moxie Falls, which drops 90 feet into Moxie Stream, is among the tallest waterfalls in Maine. Both above and below falls are swimming holes.

If you’re looking for an all-around great Maine hiking experience that isn’t too difficult but includes insane views and swimming, Moxie Falls is your place.

13. Mount Kineo Trail

Greenville, Maine | 3.4 miles | Easy | 906 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

Want to go on a hike that won’t have many people on it but is still one of the greatest in Maine? Then make your way over to Mount Kineo.

The Mount Kineo Trail is a moderately challenging hiking trail that spans approximately 1.8 miles (one way) to the summit of Mount Kineo. The trail begins near the Moosehead Lake shoreline and ascends steadily through a wooded area. As you climb, you’ll encounter rocky terrain and stone steps, leading to an open and exposed ridge near the summit.

You can also take the local boat from Rockwood boat launch to the trailhead on Mount Kineo across the lake for a pleasant and inexpensive day trip.

Honestly, there is no better way to see the lake. The boat ride itself is just so beautiful before you even begin the hike!

Once you begin the actual hike, making it to the peak shouldn’t be too difficult. There are two paths you can take to reach the peak. Both routes are simple, with clear signs and easy access.

Mount Kineo is renowned for its striking cliffs, known as the Kineo Crag. The cliffs are composed of rhyolite, a volcanic rock formation that dates back millions of years.

The main highlight of the trail is reaching the summit of Mount Kineo. At an elevation of around 1,789 feet, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Moosehead Lake and the surrounding wilderness.

You can see all of Moosehead Lake’s splendor from the mountain! This is one of our favorite hikes in Maine for panoramic views of the lake.

12. Ocean Path Trail

Bar Harbor, Maine | 4.5 miles | Easy | 374 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

The Ocean Path in Maine’s Acadia National Park is one of the state’s most iconic short hikes due to its proximity to some of its most breathtaking coastlines.

It’s more of a promenade along the water than an actual “hike,” but it’s a terrific way to get used to the park and see some of Acadia’s most well-known sights. It includes Otter Cliffs, Sand Beach, and Thunder Hole.

The Ocean Path Trail is a relatively easy and picturesque trail that stretches approximately 2.2 miles (one way) along the eastern coastline of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. The trail begins at Sand Beach and ends at Otter Point, offering continuous ocean views throughout the hike.

There are a few small rocky outcroppings to explore from the path down to the water. It’s a hiker’s paradise, with a “choose your own adventure” vibe and plenty of opportunities to scramble over rocks and take in panoramic views of the lake and cliffs.

As you continue along the trail, you’ll reach Thunder Hole, a natural rock formation that creates a thunderous sound when waves crash against it. Witness the impressive surges and sprays of seawater if the conditions are right.

Near the end of the trail, you’ll encounter the majestic Otter Cliffs. These towering granite cliffs provide awe-inspiring views of the Atlantic Ocean, showcasing the power and beauty of the Maine coastline.

It’s an ideal starting point for hikers of all skill levels, and you can bring the whole family, including the dog! If you’re looking for Maine hikes with views of the Atlantic Ocean, this should definitely be on your list.

11. Ship Harbor Trail

Southwest Harbor, Maine | 1.4 miles | Easy | 66 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

The Ship Harbor trail in Acadia is an excellent alternative to the more popular Ocean Path if you’re searching for a scenic stroll in Maine that won’t wear you out.

This trail is 1.4 miles long and takes hikers through beautiful woodland before emerging onto a rocky beach. Pebble beaches abound, as are tidal pools teeming with sea life as the tide goes out.

Spend some time at the end of this short hike exploring the rocks and taking in the scenery, especially around sunset, when the horizon turns a brilliant orange color on clear evenings.

This is another one of our favorite easy hikes in Maine near the ocean!

10. Borestone Mountain Trail

Central Maine | 3.5 miles | Moderate | 1,224 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

Located in central Maine, the Borestone Mountain Trail is one of the popular hikes in Maine because it is a moderate climb that offers remarkable views of the surrounding mountains.

The Borestone Mountain Trail is a moderately challenging hike that spans approximately 3 miles roundtrip. The trail starts from the sanctuary’s parking area and winds through a mixed forest, passing tranquil ponds, rocky slopes, and granite outcroppings. It culminates at the summit, where you’ll be treated to remarkable views of surrounding mountains and forests.

At the peak, you can take panoramic views of the lake, the mountains, and the forests all around you.

Due to the abundance of deciduous trees in the area, this trail is stunning in the fall, but it’s great any time of year. Hikers looking to get some climbing practice will enjoy the top section’s rough passes and boulders.

Along the trail, you’ll encounter two picturesque ponds, Sunrise Pond and Midday Pond. These serene bodies of water offer opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Keep an eye out for moose, deer, and various bird species that inhabit the area.

Reaching the summit of Borestone Mountain is the highlight of the hike. From the top, you’ll enjoy panoramic views that stretch across the surrounding forests, mountains, and lakes. On clear days, Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine, is visible in the distance.

We recommend this as one of the top Maine hikes for moderate climbers who want insanely gorgeous views!

9. Stone House Trail (Blueberry Mountain)

Stoneham, Maine | 4.8 miles | Moderate | 1,253 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

Blueberry Mountain lies on a route system stretching the border between Maine and New Hampshire in the White Mountains National Forest.

The summit location offers spectacular views of the New Hampshire border and the many sparkling waterways of Maine’s Lake District.

In the late summer, hikers and foragers flock to the area’s higher elevations to harvest the abundant wild blueberries that bloom there.

The Rattlesnake Pools is a beautiful waterfall area with little pools, perfect for a refreshing dip after a long day of climbing.

This is one of our favorite moderate hikes in Maine during the summer, especially when we plan to spend the whole day in the area! You’ll definitely want to block out a good 6-8 hours so that you can experience everything Blueberry Mountain has to offer.

8. Gulf Hagas Rim Trail

Monson, Maine | 8.2 miles | Moderate | 955 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

The Gulf Hagas Rim Trail is an attractive option for a day hike in Maine, taking you through a particularly gorgeous region of the state.

Although it is one of the lengthier paths on our list at 8.2 miles, it is only moderately challenging and is accessible for any hiker who is up for the task.

There are forests, gorges, and waterfalls there. This day trip through the Appalachians is jam-packed with magnificent sights.

Have your camera ready for the scenery, and don’t forget your swimwear for the refreshing (though chilly) swimming spots that dot this trail.

7. Pleasant Mountain Via Ledges Trail

Denmark, Maine | 3.2 miles | Moderate | 1,512 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

Pleasant Mountain, a mountain peak near the Lake District in southwest Maine, is another fantastic option for a moderately strenuous summit trek.

This trail climbs 1,512 feet throughout a rocky section, making for some interesting and exciting passages throughout its steady or sometimes steep ascent.

You can relax on a flat rock at the peak and enjoy the expansive alpine scenery while enjoying a snack or midday picnic.

6. Bald Rock Mountain Trail

Lincolnville, Maine | 3.4 miles | Moderate | 833 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

Located in Camden Hills State Park, the moderate Bald Rock Mountain Trail is a favorite among Maine hikers.

Maine hikers flock to this area for its rocky peaks and slopes, which offer breathtaking panoramas of the state’s quaint villages and undulating landscape.

The summit is a favorite with locals since it offers access to one of the state’s most beautiful landscapes, yet the trail leading there is only moderately challenging.

5. Beehive Trail

Bar Harbor, Maine | 1.5 miles | Hard | 509 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

Located directly across the street from Sand Beach, the Beehive path in Acadia National Park is a must-do for every outdoor enthusiast.

This trail is challenging because of the sharp rocks and ladder rungs that enable hikers to gain almost 500 feet in elevation in a little over a half mile.

Because you need to use your hands and feet, you should only attempt this on days when the weather is clear and the rocks are neither damp nor slick.

Ascend to the peak for breathtaking panoramas of the ocean, mountains, lakes, and rivers surrounding Sand Beach and Thunder Hole.

4. Mount Katahdin & Knife Edge Trailhead

Medway, Maine | 8.1 miles | Hard | 3,897 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

Mount Katahdin, the state’s highest summit at 5,269 feet, is a popular destination for hiking in Maine.

Despite the peak’s prominence, the ridgeline, known as Knife’s Edge, has garnered the most attention. The sheer cliffs on both sides of this ridge make for an exciting but risky climb that those with significant hiking expertise should only attempt.

Although the hike is challenging and usually takes a whole day, the views across northern Maine from the peak and neighboring slopes are breathtaking.

3. Table Rock Trail

2.1 miles | Hard | 876 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

The Table Rock path in Maine is ideal for a short yet challenging hike with plenty of rock scrambling.

On the orange track, you’ll use your feet and hands to climb over and around enormous stones to reach the summit, and then you’ll take the blue trail, which is much easier, to return to the beginning.

If you’ve never scrambled before while hiking in Maine or other locations, we wouldn’t suggest this trek, but if you love scaling the sides of mountains and scaling enormous, picturesque boulders, the Table Rock trail is a blast and a thrill!

You can see views of Old Speck Mountain, the state’s fourth-tallest peak, and the gorgeous autumn foliage surrounding the summit in late summer and early October.

2. Precipice Trail

Bar Harbor, Maine | 2.1 miles | Hard | 1,053 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

The Precipice Trail is one of Maine’s most renowned treks. And it’s essentially an even more difficult counterpart of the Beehive Trail.

The walk itself may be exciting and enjoyable if you’re prepared to hike safely and diligently. Plus, the sights from the highest point of Acadia’s coastline are breathtaking.

It’s a mixed bag of granite “staircases,” metal staircases and rungs, and regular old-fashioned climbing up this cliffside. We wouldn’t recommend it to the easily frightened!

1. Tumbledown Mountain Trail

West Central Franklin, Maine | 5.3 miles | Hard | 1,952 Feet Elevation Gain

The best hikes in Maine | Maine hiking for your Maine vacation

Tumbledown Mountain Trail is one of Maine’s most popular and challenging hikes and ensures a lot of fun.

This hike has stunning scenery, challenging scrambling, and a great time with fantastic payoffs.

Those seeking a more demanding walk without technical challenges or narrow cliffs can enjoy this roughly 2,000-foot-elevation-gain summit.

Fantastic vistas of the Alps, a gorgeous lake, and several rocky outcrops are visible from the peak.

FAQs About Maine Hikes:

Are there any easy hikes in Maine suitable for beginners?

Certainly! Maine offers plenty of easy hikes that are perfect for beginners. Trails like Wonderland Trail in Acadia National Park, Cascade Falls Trail in Saco, Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, and Morse Mountain in Phippsburg are great options for those new to hiking.

What are some challenging hikes for experienced hikers in Maine?

Maine offers several challenging hikes for experienced hikers seeking a thrilling adventure. The Katahdin Loop Trail in Baxter State Park is a demanding trek, as is Knife Edge Trail in Acadia National Park. Gulf Hagas in the Appalachian Trail is another challenging and rewarding option.

Which hikes in Maine offer stunning coastal views?

For breathtaking coastal views, you can’t go wrong with the Precipice Trail and Jordan Pond Path in Acadia National Park. Other hikes like the Cliff Trail in Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land and Marginal Way in Ogunquit provide magnificent vistas of the Maine coastline.

Are there any family-friendly hikes in Maine?

Absolutely! Maine has many family-friendly hikes that are enjoyable for all ages. Consider checking out Great Head Trail in Acadia National Park, Bradbury Mountain State Park, Morse Mountain Preserve, or Cascade Falls Trail in Saco. These trails offer scenic beauty and manageable distances suitable for families.

Can you recommend any multi-day hikes in Maine?

If you’re up for a multi-day adventure, consider the Appalachian Trail section through Maine, which spans approximately 282 miles. Additionally, the Mahoosuc Range and the Bigelow Range both offer stunning multi-day hiking experiences for those seeking a longer adventure.

Are there any hikes in Maine with beautiful waterfalls?

Maine boasts several hikes featuring picturesque waterfalls. Gulf Hagas in the Appalachian Trail is renowned for its stunning waterfalls along the Pleasant River. Step Falls Preserve in Newry is another great option, with multiple cascades to enjoy.

Are there any coastal hikes in Maine that allow swimming or beach access?

Yes, there are coastal hikes in Maine that offer opportunities for swimming or beach access. Some trails in Acadia National Park, such as the Sand Beach Trail or Echo Lake Beach Trail, lead to beautiful sandy beaches where swimming is permitted. Always check for safety advisories and follow any posted regulations.

Are there any hikes in Maine that are stroller-friendly?

While stroller-friendly hikes in Maine may be limited, there are trails with smoother surfaces that can accommodate all-terrain strollers. The carriage roads in Acadia National Park and some sections of the Eastern Promenade Trail in Portland are examples of trails where strollers can be used.

What is the best time of year to hike in Maine?

The best time of year to hike in Maine largely depends on personal preferences and the specific trail you plan to explore. Here are some considerations for each season:

Spring (April to June): Springtime in Maine offers cooler temperatures, budding foliage, and fewer crowds. However, trails can be muddy and slippery due to melting snow and rain. It’s essential to check trail conditions and be prepared for variable weather.

Summer (July to August): Summer brings warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours, and optimal trail conditions. This is the peak hiking season in Maine, especially in popular areas like Acadia National Park. It’s important to note that trails can be busier during this time, so expect more crowds.

Fall (September to October): Fall is a spectacular time to hike in Maine, known for its vibrant foliage. The weather is generally cooler, and the trails are less crowded compared to summer. Late September to early October is often considered the peak foliage season, offering breathtaking views.

Winter (November to March): Winter hiking in Maine can be a rewarding experience, but it requires proper preparation and equipment. Trails covered in snow and ice offer unique beauty and solitude. However, be aware of cold temperatures, limited daylight, and potentially treacherous conditions. It’s crucial to have experience, appropriate gear, and knowledge of winter hiking techniques. Check out this guide to Arcadia National Park in the winter for more details!

Are there any hikes in Maine suitable for winter hiking?

Yes, there are winter hiking options in Maine, but they require proper preparation and equipment due to potentially harsh weather conditions. Popular winter hiking destinations include Acadia National Park, Tumbledown Mountain, and Bradbury Mountain State Park.

Are dogs allowed on hiking trails in Maine?

Most hiking trails in Maine allow dogs, but specific rules and regulations vary depending on the trail and land management agency. It’s crucial to research and respect any leash requirements, waste disposal rules, and trail restrictions that may apply.

What are the best campgrounds near popular Maine hikes?

There are numerous campgrounds in Maine that offer convenient access to hiking trails. Here are some of the best campgrounds near popular hiking destinations:

Blackwoods Campground (Acadia National Park): Located in Acadia National Park, Blackwoods Campground is an excellent choice for hikers. It provides easy access to hiking trails like Jordan Pond Path, Precipice Trail, and Cadillac Mountain. Reservations are recommended due to high demand.

Sebago Lake State Park (Casco): Situated near Sebago Lake, this state park offers camping facilities and access to several nearby trails, including the Sebago Lake Land Reserve and the Douglas Mountain Preserve. The park has spacious campsites and amenities such as beaches and boat rentals.

Bradbury Mountain State Park (Pownal): Known for its scenic trails and panoramic views, Bradbury Mountain State Park offers camping opportunities. The park has well-maintained campsites and trails suitable for all skill levels. Trails like the Summit Trail and the Northern Loop Trail provide great hiking options.

Katahdin Shadows Campground (Medway): Located near Baxter State Park, Katahdin Shadows Campground is a popular choice for hikers planning to tackle the Katahdin Loop Trail. The campground offers a range of camping options, including tent sites, RV sites, and cabins.

Cobscook Bay State Park (Edmunds): Situated in Downeast Maine, Cobscook Bay State Park is surrounded by beautiful coastal scenery. The park features campsites, picnic areas, and access to hiking trails, including the Cobscook Bay Trail, which offers opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy stunning views.

Saddleback Campground (Rangeley): Saddleback Campground is an ideal base camp for exploring the scenic Rangeley Lakes region. Hikers can access trails like the Saddleback Mountain Trail and the Appalachian Trail from this campground. The site offers tent and RV camping options.

Shin Pond Village (Mount Chase): Shin Pond Village is a campground located near Baxter State Park, offering convenient access to hiking trails like the Katahdin Loop Trail and the Cathedral Trail. The campground provides various accommodations, including tent sites, RV sites, and cabins.

What should I wear to hike in Maine?

New England weather is super volatile, so you should definitely dress for the elements. Here are some of the pieces I wear or bring when hiking in New England:

Moisture-Wicking Base Layers: Start with a moisture-wicking base layer made of synthetic or merino wool material. Opt for a stylish athletic top and leggings or moisture-wicking hiking pants.

Breathable and Lightweight Shirt: Choose a breathable, lightweight shirt that provides sun protection. Look for long-sleeved options with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) for added sun safety.

Convertible Hiking Pants or Shorts: Invest in convertible hiking pants or shorts that can adapt to changing weather conditions. These versatile options allow you to switch between long pants and shorts as needed.

Sturdy Hiking Boots or Trail Shoes: Select a pair of sturdy hiking boots or trail shoes that provide ankle support and have good traction. Choose a style that suits your taste, as many hiking footwear brands offer stylish options.

Weatherproof Jacket or Shell: Be prepared for unpredictable weather in Maine with a lightweight, weatherproof jacket or shell. Look for options that are breathable, waterproof, and packable.

Warm Insulating Layers: Depending on the season, pack a warm insulating layer like a fleece jacket or down vest. These layers can provide warmth during cooler temperatures or at higher elevations.

Wide-Brimmed Hat or Cap: Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or a cap. Choose one that complements your outfit while providing shade for your face and neck.

Sunglasses: Don’t forget to wear sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Comfortable Socks: Wear moisture-wicking and cushioned hiking socks to prevent blisters and keep your feet comfortable during the hike. Look for stylish designs or patterns if you prefer a trendy touch.

Backpack: Carry a functional and stylish backpack to hold your essentials, such as water, snacks, a first aid kit, and extra layers. Opt for a backpack with adjustable straps and compartments for convenience.

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