Easier mountain hikes in Maine

You don’t always have to huff and puff for miles to reach a great view from the top of a mountain. In Maine, there are plenty of short hikes up small mountains and hills to vistas that may take you by surprise. There are all sorts of reasons you might be drawn to these shorter mountain hikes. Maybe you’re trying to introduce a kid to hiking. Maybe you’re just a beginner...

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New book explores family-friendly hiking in Maine

Where should you hike with the kids next? That’s the question a new hiking guide by Bangor Daily News outdoors columnist Aislinn Sarnacki seeks to answer. The recently released book “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine” features 35 easy hikes from across the state. And if anyone knows hiking here in Maine, it’s Sarnacki. She estimates she’s hiked 250 trails in Maine since she...

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Haunted hikes in Maine for spooky fun this Halloween

The state of Maine has long been known as a place of ghost stories and otherworldly happenings. Perhaps it’s the landscape that inspires such tales. What makes the state beautiful — it’s jagged coastline, fog-socked harbors, mossy woods and old quaint towns — can also appear spooky and ethereal. Or maybe — just maybe — Maine truly is a hotspot for the supernatural....

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A privy problem: Maine group races to replace outhouses on Appalachian Trail

Spiders fled from the outhouse as Craig Dickstein of Caratunk, a trail maintainer for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, sliced through its back wall with a reciprocating saw on a recent Saturday, carving up and around the seat, then over to the side wall, which was covered with graffiti left by Appalachian Trail hikers. “The stuff of nightmares,” said Carrington Rhodes...

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Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument Permanently Protects Mountains, Forests & Waters of North-Central Maine

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, President Obama has designated Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the first national monument to preserve the landscape and honor the history and culture of Maine’s North Woods. The President’s use of the Antiquities Act to make this designation permanently protects 87,500 acres of lands donated...

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International Appalachian Trail seeks to reroute 52 miles of path in Maine

The International Appalachian Trail continues to draw hikers to northern Maine, offering a tour through varied landscapes and a connection to Canada and beyond. Trail enthusiasts celebrated some of the best of Aroostook County’s outdoors the weekend of May 7-8, 2016 at the International Appalachian Trail Maine Chapter’s annual conference in Presque Isle, sharing stories...

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Fields Pond preserve among Maine Audubon’s many gems

Fields Pond Audubon Center is a 192-acre sanctuary in rural Holden, a short drive southeast of Bangor in Penobscot County. The center is owned by Maine Audubon, one of the eight such properties. The Meadow Path leads to a summer boat launch on Fields Pond, the 85-acre central feature of the preserve. The Marsh Trail investigates the wetlands north of the modern visitor...

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A national park or a national monument? Maine North Woods groups shift focus

Unable to convince members of Maine’s congressional delegation to introduce legislation for a North Woods national park, supporters are now hoping President Obama will use his authority to designate a national monument as a step toward eventual park status. In June 1916, President Woodrow Wilson accepted the donation of roughly 6,000 acres on Mount Desert Island to...

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Wanted: Volunteers to adopt sections of Maine Appalachian Trail

With a hiking pole in one hand and pruning shears in the other, Ron Dobra picked his way along the Appalachian Trail, snipping overhanging branches and making note of eroding soil. For the past 20 some odd years, he has helped maintain the popular hiking trail, which spans from Georgia to Maine and is seeing more foot traffic each year. “The entire length of the AT —...

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It’s Worth the Trip: Land trusts provide great hiking sites

Land trusts are the underrated stars of Maine’s outdoor landscape. Nearly 90 nonprofit land trust organizations dot the state, from Kittery to Aroostook County. While state and national parks are much more visible and widely promoted, the network of land trusts holds some of Maine’s best hiking. This panoply of land trusts is aided greatly by the Maine Land Trust...

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Baxter State Park pushes back on rising number of Appalachian Trail ‘thru-hikers’

“Sputnik” had just emerged from the most remote stretch of the Appalachian Trail – 100 miles of Maine “wilderness” with no stores, towns or even paved roads – when he paused to consider a different ending to the life-changing trek he was about to complete. Behind him lay 2,170 miles worth of footsteps stretching from Georgia to this spot on Abol Bridge offering two...

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Hiking in Maine: Producing a wonderful guide for discovery

The Maine coast ranges more than 230 miles from Kittery to Lubec 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. The topography of the coast is as varied as could be, a natural museum of sandy beaches and rocky...

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Hiking in Maine: Whiskeag Trail is 5 miles of ‘signature achievement’

One of the longest hiking routes along the coast of Maine can be found within the densely populated boundaries of Bath. There the Whiskeag Trail traverses three conservation preserves and several municipally owned properties on its five-mile journey through the wooded outskirts of town, much of it along Whiskeag Creek. The trail is a project of Bath Trails, itself a...

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Hiking in Maine: Saco Beach Loop has history and an ocean vista

Ferry Beach State Park in Saco, Maine is a 117-acre gem in Maine’s state park system that features a nice stretch of oceanfront beach, a pleasant network of foot trails and some interesting history. Long before the advent of roads, a ferry crossing connecting Hills Beach and Camp Ellis at the mouth of the Saco River served early travelers along the beach from as far away...

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Walking in the footsteps of a pre-traitorous Benedict Arnold

In early October 1775, Gen. Benedict Arnold and a contingent of 1,100 American soldiers made the portage over the Great Carrying Place between the Kennebec River and the Dead River in Maine on their wilderness expedition to Quebec City. The lengthy and difficult portage greatly weakened Arnold’s army, which ultimately failed in its attempt to wrest control of the city...

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New Maine Topo Maps Feature National Scenic Trails

Newly released US Topo maps for Maine now feature segments of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.). Several of the 715 new US Topo quadrangles for the state now display parts of the A.T. along with other improved data layers. “Located within a day’s drive of 2/3rds of the U.S. population and open year-around to all visitors, the Appalachian Trail is America’s...

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Hiking in Maine: Caribou Mountain offers a wonderful day hike

Route 113 weaves back and forth along the Maine–New Hampshire border between Fryeburg and Gilead for 30 miles, threading a route through some of the prettiest mountain country in New England. Between Stow and Route 2, the road slices through the White Mountain National Forest, where a bounty of foot trails leads deep into the wild and rugged country that characterizes...

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Restoring Acadia’s Historic Hiking Trails

Hiking Acadia is a pastime almost as old as the state of Maine itself. “People have been hiking Mt. Desert Island and these moutains since the mid-1800s,” said Gary Stellpflug, Trails Foreman at Acadia National Park. Between the 1890s and the 1930s some 130 miles of trails were cut in this park. But then… “Finances for the trails program dwindled over the course of the...

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Restoring Acadia’s Trails

By PORTER FOX for the NY Times A 120-foot white pine shaded what was left of the trail. The best indication of which way to walk was an auburn arc of fallen pine needles, bending to the right. Then a small clearing. Then flecks of blue filtering through the branches and the muted growl of the Atlantic meeting the shore of Mount Desert Island, in Maine. My guide,...

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Hiking in Maine: Happy as a Yarmouth clam

What do mountains of golden fried clams, strawberry shortcake piled high with fresh whipped cream, icy cold and refreshing lime rickeys and hiking have in common? Why, the fabulous Yarmouth Clam Festival and miles of wonderful walking and hiking trails in the scenic and historic village of Yarmouth, Maine of course. The festival, set for July 18, 2014 through July 20,...

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Hiking Maine’s Monhegan Island

The only way to get to this island that lies ten miles off the coast of Maine is by boat. Three ferry lines operate daily in high season, roughly June through August, one line running all year. No cars are allowed. Monhegan Island is approximately one-and-three-quarters-miles long and half-mile wide and features seventeen miles of rugged hiking trails that traverse...

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A backwoods adventure along a hut-to-hut hiking system in western Maine

The rustically modern, off-the-grid ecolodges of the Maine Huts & Trails system (opened in 2008) are attractive, spacious, impeccably clean, and staffed by supremely friendly people who make supremely good food. Your trail discomfort will dissipate upon our arrival. All told, the system comprises 80 miles of trails and four full-service huts (with eight more...

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Something is seriously wrong on the East Coast — and it’s killing the baby puffins

The new poster child for climate change had his coming-out party in June 2012, when Petey the puffin chick first went live into thousands of homes and schools all over the world. The “Puffin Cam” capturing baby Petey’s every chirp had been set up on Maine’s Seal Island by Stephen Kress, “The Puffin Man,” who founded the Audubon Society’s Project Puffin in 1973. Puffins,...

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First Wind and Appalachian Trail coalition agree to protect viewshed lands

Blue Sky West, a subsidiary of First Wind, together with a coalition of non-profit organizations representing the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) announced an agreement to protect Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST) viewshed lands in Maine through the creation of a dedicated $700,000 land conservation fund. The nationally recognized 2,180-plus-mile Appalachian Trail...

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Old Orchard Beach, ME will expand local hiking trail system

The town of Old Orchard Beach, Maine will develop two town-owned areas as community managed forests using a grant from the state’s community forestry program. The $8,000 grant from Project Canopy, the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s community forestry program, will allow the town’s Conservation Commission to expand a local trail system and...

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National Park Proves a Hard Gift to Give

Lucas St. Clair pulled up to an overlook in Maine’s North Woods to a stunning vista of Mount Katahdin, the state’s highest peak and the endpoint of the Appalachian Trail. Stretched out below was a vast green carpet of pine and spruce flecked with golden aspens and blazing red maples; Millinocket Lake glistened in the distance. “I think it’s national-park worthy,” he...

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1-Minute Hike series recaps second year of trails, 100-plus Maine adventures

Aislinn Sarnacki missed her anniversary. At the end of October, the 1-Minute Hike series officially turned two years old. Where was she? Busy hiking, probably. For those of you unfamiliar with the 1-Minute Hike series, here’s how it works. Each week, Aislinn visits a hiking trail somewhere in Maine. She records her experience with video, photos and writing, then drives...

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Veterans on Warrior Hike finish Appalachian Trail in Maine; aids transition to civilian life

After six months, four U.S. military veterans have completed their hike of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, ending with a celebration at the summit of Mount Katahdin. The 2,185-mile Warrior Hike, called “Walk Off The War,” gives veterans a chance to process their wartime experiences while hiking with others who have been through the same thing. It is designed...

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A major Maine — and national — mystery

Geraldine Largay, 66, an experienced hiker on the Appalachian Trail, left the Poplar Ridge Lean-to shelter near Rangeley, Maine on Monday, July 22, a beautiful, sunny day. She checked in with her husband via text message as she headed toward the Spaulding Mountain Lean-to, eight miles north. She had already hiked from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, almost 1000 miles, with...

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Falcon Fledging Over, Precipice Back Open At Acadia National Park

With another successful nesting season in the Precipice Cliff area of Acadia National Park, the area’s trails have reopened to the public. The Precipice Cliff area, the Precipice Trail, and the Orange and Black Path on Champlain Mountain in the park reopened to the public on August 2nd. The peregrine falcons that have occupied this nesting territory since March...

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