Part of what equates Maine with "the way life should be” is its wealth of natural landscapes and outdoor activities. Whether it's hiking a mountain, exploring an isolated forest, or biking along the edge of the ocean or on a wooded lakeside path, this state is the perfect destination for folks who adore the outdoors.
Acadia National Park - Bar Harbor, Maine
The state's most famous park is Acadia National Park
, located in Mt. Desert Island, about a three and a half hour drive from Portland. This idyllic park is home to the tallest mountain on the U.S. coast of the Atlantic, and visitors come from everywhere (primarily during the warmer months) to camp, rock-climb, hike, bike, boat or simply rent a seaside cottage and enjoy the serenity of the landscape. There are more than 125 miles of "historic hiking trails,” according to the website, and unique to this state park is its carriage roads which can be explored either by bike, (however some are quite hilly!), or a horse-drawn carriage. Some of the best popovers in the country are at Jordan Pond House, a restaurant established in 1870 and seated atop a hill with a breath-taking view of the park. Try the lobster stew while you're there… before taking a trip to one of local beaches to rest and digest.
Baxter State Park - Millinocket, Maine
There are approximately 40 state parks in Maine; one could presumably make a trip to the state and visit only parks. Baxter State Park
in Millinocket is another well-known destination for hikers as it offers over 200 miles of trails. Just as with Acadia, trails vary greatly according to the level of challenge each hiker wishes to pursue. Visitors can also opt out of hiking altogether and try fishing, kayaking through a lake or pond, or a picnic on the beaches. After a strenuous day trek, a dip in the water may be the perfect antidote to the sweat of the workout. Ledge Falls is a favorite swimming destination for visitors, especially during the mid-afternoon heat of the Maine summer.
Bradbury Mountain State Park - Pownal, Maine
Visit Bradbury Mountain State Park
for fall foliage viewing in the early months of fall. The park is known for its namesake, Bradbury Mountain, and is open all year round. Don't be surprised if you pass a horse on your hike, as this is one of the only parks with shared-use trails for horseback riders, snowmobilers and mountain bikers. With over 800 acres of land, there's a lot of land to share!
Wolfe's Neck State Park - Freeport, Maine
If you've spent a day shopping in Freeport and are longing for the peace of nature after a bout of consumerism, visit Wolfe's Neck State Park
, a five- minute drive from downtown. Visitors can engage in bird-watching, as ospreys dwell close by on Googins Island during the summer months, vacationing in the warm Maine sun before making the trek to South America in the fall. Guided nature programs are available to visitors who wish to explore trails with the added informative aspect of a tour guide. Walks, short talks and activities are just some of the programs offered to those who are interested.
The Maine State Passport Program
The Maine State Passport Program
is a fun, interactive program that provides the visitor with information on our 48 state parks within the state of Maine. Visit a park and get your passport stamped by an official Maine Park Ranger.
With each park stamp you gather you earn points to reach things like a free park pass for the year or overnight camping!
No matter what the season, the various state parks in Maine offer a taste of the beautiful natural atmosphere that is Maine. Visitors will wonder what ever happened to the bustle of metropolitan life, as the nature truly transports visitors to a timeless, serene existence without the trials (but instead the trails!) and tribulations of everyday life.