Spring has finally sprung, and although it’s still winter in the mountains, along the coast there’s bare ground with crocuses and daffodils pushing up through the soil, sure signs of the warmer days to follow.

Now is a good time to start putting away the cold weather goods, get the summer gear in order and begin compiling your day-hiking to-do list. Here are 10 great hikes to consider that will have you exploring 10 different Maine landscapes, from mountains and hills to beaches and bogs and a lot in between. Enjoy!

Hamlin Peak, Baxter State Park

On a nice summer day when mile-high Baxter Peak is swarming with summiters, there’s a good chance you’ll have nearby Hamlin Peak, Maine’s second highest mountain, pretty much all to yourself. Scramble up Hamlin Ridge to the broad-topped 4,756-foot peak for an extraordinary 360-degree panorama over Gov. Baxter’s incredible 210,000 acres of wilderness.

Monument Hill, Leeds

Monument Hill is one of countless small to medium-sized hills across Maine that offer great rewards for a modest effort. Hike the loop counterclockwise to reach the granite obelisk on the 665-foot summit that honors the soldiers and sailors of Leeds who died in the Civil War. The nearby ledges yield grand westerly views ranging from Pleasant Mountain to Mount Washington.


Jordan Stream, Mount Desert Island

Enjoy striking views of Penobscot Mountain as you stroll along Little Long Pond in the Land and Garden Preserve situated between Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor. Continue on to Jordan Stream and the lovely Cobblestone Bridge (built in 1917), then follow the stream north into Acadia National Park to Jordan Pond House before doubling back to the start.

Monhegan Island

Ten miles out to sea from Port Clyde, Monhegan Island will seem a whole a lot farther away when you debark from the ferry and step back in time in the quaint little village. Head for Lobster Cove and the wreck of the old tug, D.T. Sheridan, then hike the spectacular Cliff Trail along the island’s rugged backside to Gull Rock, White Head and Black Head.

Moxie Falls, Moxie Gore

Located on Moxie Stream between Moxie Pond and the Kennebec River, Moxie Falls is arguably one of Maine’s highest waterfalls. Thundering 90 feet straight down into a deep gorge, the falls are an impressive sight and a clear example of Mother Nature’s awesome power. A couple observation platforms allow good views of the big plunge into the large pool below.


Machias River, Machias

The Machias River Heritage Trail follows a glorious section of one of Maine’s wildest rivers, which flows nearly 80 miles from its source at Fifth Machias Lake to Machias Bay. Enjoy frequent views of the beautiful river and then Munson’s Pitch, a single ledge drop rapid, before looping back along a portion of the Down East Sunrise Trail.

Nahmakanta Lake, T1 R11 WELS

Maine’s largest public lands unit encompasses the pristine waters of Nahmakanta Lake in the heart of the 100-Mile Wilderness. The Debsconeag Backcountry Trail winds through the pond-dotted terrain to the lake’s east, the Appalachian Trail threads over Nesuntabunt Mountain to the west, and the new Great Circle Trail route follows an amazing 33-mile course around it all.

Deboullie Pond, T15 R9 WELS

The Deboullie Public Lands unit, one of the most remote in the state’s inventory, occupies an entire township in northern Aroostook County. For a good introduction to this wild place, hike the Deboullie Loop Trail around the boulder-strewn shores of Deboullie Pond, taking time en route for the side trail climb to the fire tower atop Deboullie Mountain (1,970 feet).


Ferry Beach, Saco

Ferry Beach is part of a 7-mile arc of sand that extends along Saco Bay from Camp Ellis to Pine Point, the longest continuous stretch of beach in Maine. Wander the sand and surf line at will, but not before checking out the color-colored trail system of Ferry Beach State Park, which visits a rare tupelo swamp and a freshwater pond.

Orono Bog, Orono

The Orono Bog is home to a wide array of northern bog plants, from small-leaved cranberry, bog rosemary and Labrador tea to leatherleaf and a host of evergreen shrubs and dwarf conifers. From the East-West Loop Trail in the Bangor City Forest, a nearly mile-long floating boardwalk loops through the vast raised peat bog.

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island is a veteran adventurer and freelance writer. His latest book, Beer Hiking New England, will be available later this year. Follow more of Carey’s adventures on Facebook @CareyKish

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