AMCand39;s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast  by Carey Michael Kish

AMC's Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast

by Carey Michael Kish (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
AMCand39;s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast  by Carey Michael Kish
This new guide is designed to take you on a journey of discovery along the coast of Maine, a geographic expanse of 230 miles from Kittery to Eastport as the crow flies, but an incredible 3,500 miles when every nook and cranny and some 3,000 islands are accounted for on the undulating margin along the Gulf of Maine between New Hampshire and Canada.

© 2015 Carey Michael Kish/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "AMC's Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast" Guide Book
50 Trail Guides

Fragrant forests of spruce and fir, lush green mosses, and granite ledges characterize this loop hike to the remote environs of Ducktail and Partridge ponds. The Amherst Mountains Community Forest is a 4,974-acre tract of rugged forestland encompassing six remote ponds, miles of streams, significant wetlands, and a jumble of granite ledges, hills, and mountains. This route through the best of the forest’s backcountry visits two remote ponds on a scenic loop that combines Ducktail Pond and Partridge Pond trails.
Bangor, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 3.2
Bauneg Beg Mountain rises inconspicuously above the rural outskirts of North Berwick. Driving to the trailhead, the mountain and its three peaks aren’t readily distinguishable until you’re nearly upon them. Perhaps that’s because the mountain is the only major summit in southern York County without a communications tower on its top. Hike a short, scenic loop over two forested peaks. Despite the mountain’s low profile, a 25-minute hike via Bauneg Beg Trail to 850-foot Middle Peak’s craggy ledges reveals distant views to Pleasant Mountain, the White Mountains, and the Atlantic Ocean.
North Berwick, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 1.5
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Walk atop cliffs and trek to a firetower for far-reaching ocean and mountain views over Mount Desert Island.
Southwest Harbor, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 3.2
Make a fine loop over the summit of Blue Hill and around the mountain, with lovely views of Blue Hill Bay and the myriad islands beyond. Blue Hill Mountain, a coastal monadnock that rises to 934 feet, affords outstanding views of the lands and waters of the Blue Hill Peninsula. Since 1975, nearly 500 acres on the mountain have been preserved through a number of generous gifts and conservation purchases. Much of the credit is due to Blue Hill Heritage Trust. Formed in 1985 by local residents, the trust now protects 6,900 acres between Penobscot Bay and Blue Hill Bay in the towns of Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Penobscot, Sedgwick, and Surry. This loop combines portions of all of the five trails on the mountain, starting and ending with Becton Trail, as well as Tower Service, Hayes, South Face, and Osgood trails.
Blue Hill, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 5.9
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When complete, the Bradbury to Pineland Corridor Trail will link the 800-acre Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal with the 600-acre Pineland Public Reserved Land, which spans New Gloucester, Gray, and North Yarmouth. These two large state-owned properties are 3 miles apart as the crow flies, but 7 miles by way of the corridor. Begun in the late 1990s, the Bradbury to Pineland Corridor will encompass 1,094 acres of easements and acquired land. This trip offers a nice introduction to the corridor, utilizing a portion of the new corridor trail on Tryon Mountain and linking to existing trails in the Bradbury Mountain State Park.
Pownal, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 4.2
Acquired by the city of Ellsworth from the Mary C. Fenn Trust in 2010, Branch Lake Public Forest is a 240-acre property on the lake’s southeast shore. A 4-mile trail network provides access to a wooded interior and the scenic shoreline of big, beautiful Branch Lake, which is Ellsworth’s sole drinking water supply and drains into the Union River and Blue Hill Bay, a nationally significant estuary. Enjoy quiet walking through mature spruce and pines and along the undeveloped lower shores of Branch Lake, an important local source of high-quality drinking water.
Ellsworth, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 2.7
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Make a spectacular north–south traverse of Acadia National Park’s highest summit with nearly continuous ocean and mountain views in all directions.
Acadia National Park, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 6
Combine six trails for a grand traverse over the long ridgeline of Mount Megunticook from Maiden Cliff to Mount Battie. The mountainous terrain of Camden Hills State Park lies along the west shore of Penobscot Bay in the towns of Camden and Lincolnville. The Camden Hills share many characteristics with the mountains of Acadia on Mount Desert Island 30 miles to the east: fine softwood forests; bold cliffs and ledges; and far-reaching vistas of ocean, lakes, and mountains. At 1,385 feet, Mount Megunticook is not only the highest summit in the park, but the highest mainland mountain on the Atlantic Coast of the United States.
Camden, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 6
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Hike along a spectacular stretch of the sinuous Cathance River through a nature preserve, where a cool forest walk leads past placid pools and roaring rapids. The Cathance River meanders for more than 16 miles from its source in the wooded hills of Litchfield through Bowdoin, Topsham, and Bowdoinham, where it empties into the waters of Merrymeeting Bay. En route, where the river bends sharply to the east, not far from I-295 and the busy downtown areas of Topsham and Brunswick, you’ll find the Cathance River Nature Preserve, a 230-acre sanctuary of woods and wildlife. The preserve includes a wild and scenic section of the river.
Topsham, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 4.1
In historic Phippsburg, explore the natural environs around Center Pond, from pleasant forests and old stone walls to granite ridge tops and a beaver bog.
Phippsburg, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 4.7
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A vigorous loop hike along the Bold Coast yields grand views of rugged oceanfront headlands, pocket coves, cobble beaches, peat bogs and grassy meadows.
Cutler, ME - Backpacking,Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 9.9
Meander along an old railroad corridor turned multiuse trail through the wildlife-rich environs of Maine’s most extensive salt marsh.
Scarborough, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 4.2
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Explore the interesting human history and understated natural beauty of this rural throwback of an island off the coast. The arching span of Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge over Eggemoggin Reach is the boundary of a different time zone of sorts, what is often fondly referred to as “island time.” The pace of life on Deer Isle seems slower, more relaxed, and perfect for many hours of recreation and leisure activities. And there are plenty of opportunities for both on this 24,000-acre island of bountiful natural beauty, complete with 112 miles of coastline, spruce-scented woods, pink-granite shorelines, deep-green waters, salty ocean air, squawking gulls, and long island views.
Deer Isle, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 3.2
Combine five trails for a pleasant loop hike through one of the largest blocks of undeveloped forestland on the southern Maine coast. The 1,400-acre Edwin L. Smith Preserve in the northeast corner of Kennebunkport comprises a sizeable chunk of one of the largest remaining blocks of undeveloped land along the Maine coast between Kittery and Brunswick. Owned and managed by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, the Smith property is home to five hiking trails offering 12 miles of woods walking through a wildlife-rich landscape of granite ridges, oak and pine forests, and pocket vernal pools. Blanding’s and wood turtles, foxes, owls, red-shouldered hawks, minks, bobcats, fishers, deer, coyotes, and black bears make their home here.
Kennebunkport, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 8.7
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Circumnavigate Fernald’s Neck while enjoying impressive old growth forests of pine and hemlock and miles of scenic Megunticook Lake shorefront. The 328-acre Fernald’s Neck Preserve occupies a sizeable portion of a large peninsula that juts out into the center of Megunticook Lake. Five color-coded trails combine for a wonderful tour of the property, with its 4 miles of pretty lakefront and great stands of mature forests. Owned and managed by the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, Fernald’s Neck was protected for conservation in 1969, after the threat of development motivated local citizens to take serious action to preserve the natural beauty of this scenic gem as well as the water quality of the lake. The Nature Conservancy, which assisted with the conservation deal, became the owner of the initial 285 acres upon completion of the purchase.
Lincolnville, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 3.6
This 10-mile hike links the many wild places and green spaces and historic neighborhoods of Portland, Maine’s largest city.
Portland, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 10
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Grand views from open ledges atop Ragged Mountain range from the Georges River Watershed east across Penobscot Bay to Acadia and northwest to the White Mountains. Georges Highland Path is a low-impact conservation trail system offering 50 miles of hiking on six distinct trail sections between Montville and Thomaston. From craggy mountain peaks to leafy woodlands to interesting bogs, the path provides some of the most scenic and least traveled hiking to be found on the Midcoast. The Georges River Land Trust has been conserving land in the 225-square mile St. George River watershed since 1987, having protected some 3,500 acres in the region to date. The nonprofit group began building trails in 1996 and was instrumental in establishing Georges Highland Path.
Rockport, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 5
A granite bedrock trail leads to extraordinary mountaintop cliffs and far-reaching views to Acadia, Blue Hill, and Penobscot Bay. The 4,500-acre Great Pond Mountain Wildlands was purchased in 2005 by the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust. The purchase fulfilled the dream of a local man named Stuart Gross, who founded the land trust in 1993 with a group of local residents. He climbed Great Pond Mountain several times a week to survey the surrounding wildlands and hoped that one day he could buy the land and forever protect it and make it accessible to all.
Orland, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 2.6
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Amble through jack-pine forests and rich peatlands, then hike along the spectacular ocean shoreline around Little Cape Point on the east side of Great Wass Island.
Beals, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 5
This scenic loop hike features lovely cliff-top views over tidal Long Reach and a fairy house village. Cliff Trail is located on 205 acres of Harpswell town property assembled in three purchases between 1978 and 2002 and bounded by Strawberry Creek, Henry’s Marsh, Long Reach, and Mountain Road. Though originally intended for affordable housing, municipal buildings, recreation, and conservation, the land’s ridges, cliffs, streams, and wetlands made the property unsuitable for development. While the portion of land fronting on Mountain Road was eventually developed, the remaining acreage was preserved for low-impact recreation and wildlife habitat.
Harpswell, ME - Hiking,Snowshoeing - Trail Length: 2.5
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