Hiking in Maine

Maine hiking has it all; gentle walks into waterfalls, steep ascents to breathtaking views, trails that wind through woods, and peaks that are exposed to the elements. Venture in to Moxie Falls, Maine’s tallest waterfall, hike the Appalachian Trail to Mt Katahdin, find the top family-friendly trails for fun hikes with kids, walk along a riverside trail, or take a short hike to big mountain views.

Maine Hiking: Our Top Picks

Maine has incredible hikes throughout the state – see for yourselves on Maine Trail Finder! Our top picks focus on our two locations in Maine: The Forks area in the Kennebec River valley, and the Baxter State Park region. Each location offers beautiful hikes at all ability levels – and we can’t help but mention the whitewater rafting! Stroll along the banks of the Kennebec, visit waterfalls, or hike the tallest peak in Maine…read on for our favorites!

Hiking from The Forks Adventure Resort

The Forks – Kennebec River Valley
Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort is at the center of incredible hiking trails in the mountains of western Maine. The Appalachian Trail is just minutes away as well as Moxie Falls, New England’s tallest free falling waterfall. Take a hike, and then head back to the Kennebec River Brewery to relax with a pint and enjoy the hot tub!

See The Forks Maine Recreation Map for trail head directions and where to swim after your hike, or stop on in The Forks Adventure Resort and ask the front desk for printed directions.
Moxie Falls Foliage

Moxie Falls Waterfall Hike

An easy 1-mile hiking trail takes you to the top of one of the highest waterfalls in New England. View 90-foot Moxie Falls from one of several boardwalks built atop the steep, wooded gorge. The stream has numerous swimming holes and is a popular spot on warm days–bring your swim suit! A great hike for young and old with gorgeous scenery.

  • Round Trip Distance: 2 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance to Trailhead from Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort: 7.2 miles

Directions to Moxie Falls

Forks area scenic trail biking

Forks Area Scenic Trails – FAST Trail

Directly across from the Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort is the 5-mile Forks Area Scenic Trail (FAST) system (see trail photos). This wonderful multi-purpose gravel trail follows the Old Canada Road along the Kennebec River north to The Forks, located at the confluence of the Kennebec and Dead River valleys. Our giant outdoor hot tub and brewery will be waiting for your return!
  • Round Trip Distance: 10 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance to Trailhead from Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort: 100 yards
Pleasant Pond Summit winter

Pleasant Pond Mountain (2,480 FT.)

This is an outstanding half-day hike along the Appalachian National Hiking Trail that takes you to an open summit atop Pleasant Pond Mountain with spectacular 360° views of seemingly boundless forests and lakes. A couple of short, steep pitches keep it interesting!
  • Round Trip Distance: 5 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Distance to Trailhead from Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort: 8 miles
Directions to Pleasant Pond Mountain
Bald Mountain

Moxie Bald Mountain (2,630 FT.)

This full-day hike takes you into the heart of Maine’s North Woods. The mountain is a long ridge running north-south for about 4 miles. Although the summit is not very high, it has many features of above-timberline summits because of its extended ledges and open crest.
  • Round Trip Distance: 10 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
  • Distance to Trailhead from Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort: 18 miles
Mosquito mountain flag view

Mosquito Mountain (2,216 FT.)

With huge views from a bald top Mosquito Mountain is one of our favorite local hikes.

  • Round Trip Distance: 4 miles with additional side trails of 1.2 miles and 1.5 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate with areas of rugged terrain and steep pitches.
  • Distance to Trailhead from Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort: 12.5 miles

Directions to Mosquito Mountain

Appalachian Trail sign Pleasant Pond

Appalachian Trail in The Forks

The 2,000-mile famous Appalachian Trail (AT) crosses the Kennebec River at Caratunk, a few miles south of The Forks, Maine, where our Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort is located. Don’t try to cross yourself- time your crossing with the Ferry Service. And be sure to stop by the lodge after!

  • Round Trip Distance: varies
  • Difficulty: Moderately strenuous to strenuous
  • Distance to Trailhead from Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort: 2.5 miles

Hiking from The Katahdin Adventure Base Camp

Millinocket – Baxter State Park

If you’re looking for bigger peaks – and even more remote hikes – head to the Katahdin Adventure Base Camp, located 10 miles outside of Baxter State Park. Maine’s North Woods is home to hundreds of miles of Maine’s best hiking trails including our highest peak, Mount Katahdin. Aside from the incredible hike that is Mt Katahdin, our top pick is Blueberry Ledges. Who doesn’t love a hike that ends with a swim?! End your day at Big Moose Inn Cabins & Campground for relaxing amenities after a long day of hiking- and don’t forget about the Penobscot River for a day on the water!

Blueberry Ledges

Blueberry Ledges – Baxter State Park

Northern Outdoors’ Katahdin Adventure Base Camp is just 10 miles away from one of Baxter State Park’s best hiking, swimming and picnic destinations: Blueberry Ledges, where Katahdin Stream flows over smooth granite ledges.
  • Round Trip Distance: 4 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Distance from Katahdin Adventure Base Camp: 10 miles
Katahdin chimney pond

Baxter State Park in the Katahdin Region

If you’re rafting the Penobscot River, there are an infinite number of short and multi-day hikes in the area. Our Katahdin Adventure Base Camp at Big Moose Inn is located 8 miles south of the Togue Pond Gatehouse to Baxter State Park. The 250,000-acre wilderness park is renowned for offering some of the finest hiking trails in eastern North America, with mile-high Mt. Katahdin as its centerpiece. The famous Appalachian Trail also runs through the park. Summiting Mt. Katahdin is a strenuous hike that can be accomplished in one long day. It is truly one of the most spectacular hikes you can experience, and a worthwhile additional adventure to your stay after a day of Penobscot River whitewater rafting!

  • Round Trip Distance: varies
  • Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
  • Distance to Togue Pond Gatehouse (access point for many of the hikes in Baxter State Park) from Katahdin Adventure Base Camp: 8.4 miles

11 Maine Hikes That Will Make Your Kids Forget About Technology

While technology has simplified life in many ways, we all need some time away from our screens. If you’re feeling like your family needs a digital detox during your Maine vacation, heading out into the woods is a great distraction! Here are 11 of the best family-friendly hikes in Maine.

Nine Steps to Making the Best Baxter State Park Reservations

Baxter State Park is a premier outdoor destination in Maine for good reason, and getting the best Baxter State Park reservation is no easy feat. Here are nine steps to help you navigate the state park system and get yourself a prime spot at the base of Maine’s highest peak, Mount Katahdin.