Maine Parks & Recreational Areas
Mystical, magical Maine. Home to a craggy coastline kissed by Atlantic Ocean swells and inland forests that bid goodbye to summer with blankets of red and gold. With all this natural beauty it is not surprising that a number of state and national parks are part of Maine’s treasures. Whether you prefer hiking through the inland wilderness or wiggling your toes in the sand on a windswept beach, there is a park waiting for you.
Baxter State Park – Mt Katahdin
North-central Maine, also known as the highlands, is home to Baxter State Park in Penobscot County. Mount Katahdin at 5,268 feet is Maine’s highest mountain and one of the highlights of the park. The mountain itself is at the northern end of the Appalachian Trail and the beginning of the International Appalachian Trail that leads into New Brunswick and Quebec, Canada.
Baxter National Park offers more than 200 miles of hiking trails. This is a wilderness area, so be prepared to climb around boulders and splash through the occasional stream. In winter some trails are used for cross-country skiing. Camping is available in the park year-round. Campgrounds that are near backcountry ponds offer rental canoes. Seasonal fishing and certain types of hunting are allowed in the park.
To the south of Baxter State Park are the Nahmakanta Public Reserve and the 100 Mile Wilderness Conservation Area, considered the most remote stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Read More >
Acadia National Park – Mt. Desert Island
There was a time when Mt. Desert Island was a playground for the rich and famous. Beginning in the 1880s affluent city dwellers found this land of undulating coastlines and fiery fall foliage the perfect retreat. Elegant estates belonging to prominent folks like the Fords, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts graced the island. The good life lasted until the Great Depression and the outbreak of World War II. Mother Nature had the final say when a fire broke out in 1947 and destroyed many estates.
Today Mt. Desert Island looks much the same as it did in 1604 when Samuel de Champlain arrived and claimed the island and all surrounding territories for France. Acadia National Park also includes parts of the Schoodic Peninsula along the mainland coast, and parts of Baker Island and Isle au Haut, meaning “isle at the top.”
Cadillac Mountain is on the eastern end of Mt. Desert Island and a favorite destination of hikers and bikers. Once at the top the reward is a panoramic view of the surrounding forests, lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors may opt to make a day trip into the park or spend the night at one of Mt. Desert Island’s campgrounds. Other activities include wildlife watching, fishing, boating and horseback riding. Read More >
Roosevelt Campobello International Park near – Lubec Maine
Campobello Island, located north of Lubec, Maine is part of Canada. In 1964 two world leaders, President Lyndon B. Johnson of the United States and Lester B. Pearson, the Prime Minister of Canada signed a treaty giving dual jurisdiction over this bit of land sitting at the entrance to the Bay of Fundy.
The Roosevelt Campobello International Park preserves the summer retreat of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The restored home is only part of the attraction. Some 2,600 acres of wilderness are criss-crossed with walking trials leading through coastal forests and along the rocky beaches of Passamaquoddy Bay. On clear days you might catch a whale spout or two off-shore. A picnic area next to the Mulholland Point Lighthouse offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the town of Lubec, Maine and the FDR Memorial Bridge. Thanks to the combined effort of Canada and the United States, Campobello Island is just as wild as when it was FDR’s summer home. Read More >
Maine Lakes & Mountains – Gift of the Glaciers
Created by retreating glaciers, the western edge of Maine is a combination of rugged wilderness and tranquil lakes. Rangeley Lake State Park is just one of many recreation areas that offer the best in fishing, boating, hiking, photography and winter sports. The 869 acre park features a campground near the lakeshore with a sandy beach and views of Saddleback Mountain. Hiking trails lead through the forest and rim Rangeley Lake.
Sebago Lake Park is one of Maine’s first state parks. The lake itself is the second largest in the state. Visitors flock to the lakeside campground, a short walk from a sandy swimming beach and marked hiking trails that lead into the forest. Sports fishing, boating, and in winter cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are all available.
Mt. Blue State Park covers 8,000 acres and is the largest of Maine’s state parks. Webb Lake effectively divides the park in two and offers lakeside camping near Webb Beach. The park is known for its seasonal hiking and groomed winter cross-country ski trails. Mixed use trails that allow horses, ATVs, mountain bikes as well as hikers are also available. Read More >
Greater Portland & Casco Bay – Bradbury Mountain State Park
Bradbury Mountain State Park is 800 acres of wilderness less than an hour’s drive from Portland, Maine. One of the state’s original parks, it is the only one to allow mixed use trails for horse, mountain bikes and snowmobiles. The park is open year round, but the busiest time is during the fall when the trees are cloaked in their autumn colors. Hawks and eagles migrate over the park in both fall and spring. An annual bird-watching event, Feathers over Freeport, is held each spring. Read More >
Mid-Coast Maine – Warren Island State Park
This is the park for those that want to get away from it all. Located three miles off the mainland near Lincolnville, you will need a boat or kayak to travel to the uninhabited 70-acre Warren Island State Park. It is the perfect place to fish, do some wildlife watching or spend the night at one of the primitive campsites. The park is open from Memorial Day until mid-September. Park rangers do patrol the island, but for most of your stay it’s just you, the wildlife and the deep blue sea. Read More >