Sometimes a short walk is all you want or need, perhaps an hour or so and maybe a mile, more or less, in the great outdoors.

It’s just enough time and distance to get the legs moving and the heart pumping, a little sun on your face and some fresh air in the lungs. And hopefully there’s an open ledge or a craggy summit along the way for nice vista and a chance to hang out for a spell. The AMC Maine Mountain Guide has plenty of little mountain hikes to choose from that meet just these criteria.

Here are a handful of good ones to consider this winter. Enjoy!

French Mountain, Rome

The 7 Lakes Alliance maintains seven trail systems in the 6,000-acre Kennebec Highlands, the largest contiguous block of conservation land in central Maine. For a good look around the high ground of the Belgrade Lakes region, hike the 0.9-mile loop on French Mountain (716 feet), which rewards with excellent viewpoints from atop its eastern ledges. Whittier Pond, Mount Phillip, Long Pond and Great Pond are a few of the sights you’ll see. Check out all that 7 Lakes Alliance has to offer for trail walks at

Klondike Mountain, Lubec


For just a 150-foot highpoint, diminutive Klondike Mountain packs a big punch when it comes to views. The mountain is the centerpiece of the 46-acre Klondike Mountain Preserve, which is owned and managed by the Downeast Coastal Conservancy. The Klondike Mountain Trail, a 0.6-mile loop, leads through old cow pastures and apple orchards to the summit outcrops, where there’s a lovely look out over South Bay and Fowler’s Mill Pond. Find DCC’s complete Trail Map & Guide at

From the outlook atop Flying Mountain, there’s a nice view of Somes Sound. Photo by Carey Kish

Flying Mountain, Acadia National Park

Head for the west side of Mount Desert Island to visit Flying Mountain (284 feet), where a 1.4-mile loop leads to wonderful views of Somes Sound, Southwest Harbor and the islands to the south. Hike the circuit counterclockwise, taking the Valley Cove Fire Road to the namesake cove for a look at Eagle Cliff – at 500 feet, it’s the island’s highest – and to Acadia Mountain north along the sound. Scamper up the peak to several lookouts on the summit ridge, the best being the signed “overlook” that’s reached by a short side trail. Find park info at

A beautiful stone tower and grand views await hikers on Mount Battie in Camden. Photo by Carey Kish

Mount Battie, Camden

From the trailhead on Megunticook Street in Camden, the Mount Battie Trail climbs steeply up the rocky nose of Mount Battie for 0.6 miles to open ledges on the south side of the 790-foot peak. On top is an attractive 26-foot stone observation tower, a World War I memorial constructed a year after the old hotel on the same site was torn down in 1920. From Mount Megunticook to Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay to Ragged Mountain, the panorama from this special spot is simply astounding. Get a trail map for Camden Hills State Park at

Ring Hill, Greenwood


Mahoosuc Land Trust maintains a sweet system of color-coded trails on Ring Hill in Greenwood at Maggie’s Nature Park, 86 acres of land donated to the town by Maggie Ring, a lifelong resident and ardent conservationist. Ring Hill Loop Trail (1.1 miles) is the primary route on the mountainside, which features good views northeasterly over South Pond to Bucks Ledge, Latham Ledge, Moody Mountain and North Pond. Tack on a short side trip to nearby Peaked Mountain for a little extra effort. Check out this and other MLT trails at

Mount Agamenticus, York

For big views with minimal effort, take a drive to the top of Mount Agamenticus in York (the Summit Access Road is open year-round, weather permitting), then meander around the summit area on the Big A Trail, a mile-long universally accessible nature path. En route you’ll enjoy many fine vistas, from the Gulf of Maine to Second Hill and Third Hill to Mount Washington. There are also the ski runs, lift towers, old equipment and the ski lodge (now the Learning Lodge; it’s closed until spring) from the former Big A Ski Area, plus the 1941 fire tower to check out. Visit for a trail map.

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island is the author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast and editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide. Follow more of Carey’s adventures on Facebook @CareyKish

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