Spring at last! The warmth of the golden sun streaming through my window as I write this helps me ignore the blanket of snow lingering just outside my door. Content in its inevitable ephemera, though, I think of Thoreau, who in his classic tome, “Walden,” wrote thusly of spring: “The change from storm and winter to serene and mild weather, from dark and sluggish hours to bright and elastic ones, is a memorable crisis…”

Memorable indeed, one hopes, are the spring trail adventures that lay ahead as the traditional hiking season begins. The high mountains and deep forests to the north and west will be awhile before they’re snow-free and suitably dry to be hiked without damage from foot traffic. The trails along the coast, however, are drying out, and bare patches will soon appear on the paths of the interior hills. Here are a few good hikes to consider in those latter regions.

Bauneg Beg Mountain

The middle peak of this mountain (870 feet) in North Berwick is part of 89 acres owned by Great Works Regional Land Trust. Bauneg Beg Mountain (pronounced like “Bonny Beg”) is the only major mountaintop in southern York County without a communications tower. Summit views range north to the White Mountains and Mount Washington. Follow Bauneg Beg, Ginny’s Way, Linny’s Way and North Peak Loop for a fine 1.5-mile circuit.

Bald Mountain

Topping out at 2,370 feet, Bald Mountain straddles the town lines of Washington Township and Perkins Township a few miles south of Mount Blue State Park. Featuring a long and narrow northeast-southwest ridgeline, it has been a local favorite for many years. The state of Maine owns a portion of the craggy mountaintop, which yields fine views ranging from Mt. Blue to the peaks of Tumbledown Public Lands. It’s a 2.2-mile round-trip hike.


A granite obelisk atop Monument Hill in Leeds honors the town’s Civil War dead. Carey Kish photo

Monument Hill

Rising just west of Androscoggin Lake in Leeds, this 670-foot hill offers nice views over the woods and farmlands of the Androscoggin River valley. A granite obelisk on the summit is dedicated to Leeds’ soldiers and sailors of the Civil War. The monument is inscribed, “Peace was sure 1865.” Community members of Leeds maintain the trail. Two trails, Red Trail and Orange Trail, combine to make a pleasant 1-mile loop over the mountain.

Mount Tuck

The latest in the Coastal Mountains Land Trust’s conservation efforts is this sweet little hilltop in Stockton Springs. The 565-footer is the star of the 100-acre property, which just so happens to be surrounded by the 495-acre HRS Meadow Farm Wildlife Sanctuary and the 563-acre Sandy Point Game Management Area. A nearly 2-mile out-and-back hike leads to a nice viewpoint overlooking the Penobscot River and Verona Island.

Backwood Mountain

This spruce-shrouded little mountain (315 feet) is in Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park, which occupies 1,230 acres on the north end of the Cape Rosier peninsula in Brooksville, including the namesake 115-acre Holbrook Island. There are two trails on the flanks of Backwoods Mountain, (also referred to locally as Bakeman Mountain), Summit and Mountain Loop. For extra credit, add the circuit around pretty Fresh Pond for a terrific walk totaling 3-4 miles.


The 1962 fire tower atop Beech Mountain in Acadia National Park is the only one on Mount Desert Island. Carey Kish photo

Beech Mountain

This 841-foot mountain, part of Acadia National Park, rises steeply between Echo Lake and Long Pond. Its summit, adorned by the only fire tower on Mount Desert Island, is most easily reached from the trailhead parking area at the end of Beech Hill Road in the notch between Beech Cliff and Beech Mountain. The ledges on the peak’s west side offer panoramic views over Long Pond to Mansell Mountain, Blue Hill Bay and Blue Hill Mountain. Beech Mountain Loop is 1-mile. Bonus: Scamper 0.5 miles out to Beech Cliff for a sweeping vista eastward over MDI.

These mountains are well described in the current edition of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide, except for Mount Tuck; a trail map for that hike can be found on the CMLT website. Foot traction for spring hill walks is always a good idea, as are gaiters for the often wet and muddy trails, which you’ll want to plod through, not around, to avoid treadway erosion and damage to trailside flora. And do be mindful of Leave No Trace principles and proper trail etiquette.

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island is an award winning member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. His new book, “Beer Hiking New England,” is now available. Follow more of Carey’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram @careykish

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