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 headlands, bold ocean cliffs and blueberry barrens, quiet salt marshes and wildlife-rich estuaries, long finger-like peninsulas and deep-water coves, spruce-studded islands and wide bays, pristine lakes and ponds, free-flowing rivers and streams, woods of pine and oak, maple and birch, gentle hills and mountain peaks of pink granite.

Hundreds of miles of foot trails await hikers for many hours and days of exploration through the wealth of conservation lands that protect these special places, from state parks and public lands to federal wildlife refuges, a national park and an estuarine research reserve, to private land trusts and conservation organization properties of every shape, size and character.

Maine’s coastal trails vary widely from easy forest paths to moderate oceanfront rambles to strenuous mountain treks, and a measure of each are included in a new guide book. Most of the described hikes will provide an uncommon measure of solitude, while on a handful you will almost always see at least a few people.

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