Maine might be famous for its rocky coastline, but it’s really the mountains that should get the credit. Granite peaks with stunning foliage, especially during the fall months, dot most of Western Maine. Some of the toughest miles of the Appalachian Trail runs through Maine and ends on top of Maine’s largest mountain, Mount Katahdin. From Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park to Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley, Maine has some many incredibly scenic hike that it’s hard to just pick five. Here are our favorites.
Cadillac Mountain stands at 1,530 feet and is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard. From October through March, it’s the first place in the United States to view the sunrise. Formed millions of years ago by volcanic forces and glaciers, Cadillac Mountain is one of over 20 mountains on Mount Desert Island. The top of Cadillac Mountain is exposed granite and provides an almost 360-degree panoramic views of Bar Harbor, Schoodic Peninsula, and Acadia National Park. You don’t want to miss the sunrise here!
Standing at 5,267 feet, Mount Katahdin is Maine’s highest peak and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Named by the Penobscot Native Americans, Katahdin means “The Greatest Mountain.” There are several trails that lead up to Pamola and Baxter Peak with the famous Knife Edge trail connecting the two peaks. Due to its height, the peaks of Mount Katahdin are above tree-line and provide stunning panoramic views of Baxter State Park and northern Maine.
Mount Megunticook is the highest peak in Camden Hills State Park standing at 1,385 feet. While Mount Battie might be the most popular hike in the park due to its open ledges overlooking the bay, Mount Megunticook offers great views, too. The mountain’s true summit has no views, but Ocean Lookout and Maiden Cliff offer great views of the sea coast. You can take the Tablelands Trail from the top of Mount Megunticook down to the Mount Battie Trail where you can summit Mount Battie for even more views.
Caribou Mountain, standing at 2,828 feet, is a fun day hike in Evans Notch with stunning views of Maine and New Hampshire. It’s a perfect hike during the fall months when the leaves are at their brightest. The Mud Brook Trail and Caribou Trail creates a nice seven-mile loop that winds through the native forest. The summit is an open rocky ledge providing excellent panoramic views.
Straddling the Bridgton-Denmark town lines, Pleasant Mountain is southern Maine’s tallest mountain at 2,006 feet. Located within an hour drive from the city of Portland, it’s the perfect day hike providing excellent views of western Maine and even Mount Washington if the skies are clear enough. Pleasant Mountain has six trails of varying lengths and difficulties leading to the top with the Ledges Trail as the most popular. If you time it right, you can pick wild Maine blueberries at the top during the summer months. Alternatively, the foliage is great here during the fall months.