The turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, and pumpkin and apple pies have all been devoured, and by now, even the leftovers are history. You’ve loosened your belt a notch and are thinking that a good walk in the woods might be just the thing. There’s also a long list of holiday shopping to do, so why not combine the two for a fun outing.

My favorite places to shop this time of year are Maine’s many outdoor retailers, for hiking and camping gear, biking and paddling equipment, cross-country skis and snowshoes and more. Check out these great outfitters and then treat yourself to a nearby hike.


Kittery Trading Post, owned by the Adams family since 1938, has grown from a one-room store and gas station into a 90,000-square-foot operation, the anchor store of the busy shopping strip along U.S. Route 1.

At the nearby 750-acre Brave Boat Harbor Division of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, the Cutts Island Trail on Gerrish Island is a two-mile loop walk through upland oak and pine forests and along wildlife-rich tidal estuaries and salt marshes.


A staple on Marginal Way for the last 10 years, Eastern Mountain Sports shares a shopping complex with Trader Joe’s, not far from Back Cove and downtown Portland.

After you’ve gotten your EMS gear, meander around the corner to the Bayside Trail and follow it through the Bayside neighborhood. Connect with the Back Cove and Eastern Prom trails for several miles of nice waterfront walking, all part of the robust Portland Trails network.


Leon Leonwood Bean began making his Maine Hunting Shoe in 1912, and the rest is history. The sprawling campus of the L.L. Bean flagship store is one of the Maine’s top destinations for visitors from near and far.

The Freeport Conservation Trust maintains an extensive system of footpaths in town. For a lovely introduction, head to South Freeport and Sayles Field. Combine the Sayles Field, Stonewood and Bliss Woods trails for a couple miles of pleasant hiking through fields and woods.


Maine Sport Outfitters has been a fixture on U.S. Route 1 for as long as I’ve been exploring that part of the coast. Stow your purchased goods in the trunk and head to Camden Hills State Park.

From Route 53 a few miles out of Camden village, scamper up Scenic Trail to Maiden’s Cliff for a wonderful view over Megunticook Lake. Continue on the Ridge, Tableland and Mount Battie trails, climbing over Mount Megunticook, Ocean Lookout and Mount Battie, a 6-mile, one-way hike.


On trips Down East, a stop into Cadillac Mountain Sports has been mandatory for this hiker for many years. The outdoor retailer has two stores, one on High Street in Ellsworth and another on Cottage Street in Bar Harbor.

From the Ellsworth store, head north on U.S. Route 1A to the Branch Lake Public Forest, home to nearly 4 miles of trails. Hike through mature white pines and red spruce on the way to the undeveloped southeastern shoreline of Branch Lake.

From the Bar Harbor location, head south on Route 3 to Acadia National Park. From the trailhead parking lot at The Tarn, hike east to climb Huguenot Head and Champlain Mountain, or hike west to scale Dorr Mountain.


Located in the old Grant’s department store building on the corner of Central and Hammond, Epic Sports has been serving the needs of outdoor enthusiasts for 17 years.

Head out the front door of Epic to quickly reach the Kenduskeag Stream Trail. Turn northwest to follow this beautiful route along the river, which is surprisingly wild beyond the impressive outcrop known as Lover’s Leap. At Bull’s Eye Bridge, retrace your steps to make a 5-mile jaunt.

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island is author of AMCs Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast and editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide. Follow more of Carey’s outdoor adventures at: maineiac-outdoors

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