Step Outside - Maine WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 http://stepoutside.org/ Step Outside - Maine 144 144 http://stepoutside.org/ https://cdn-step.americantowns.com/img/stepoutside_logo.gif Sat, 25 May 2024 21:42:37 -0500 5 Beautiful Scenic Hikes in Maine 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.    

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5 Exhilarating Jet Skiing Spots in Maine With thousands of miles of coastline, lakes, ponds, and rivers, there are plenty of places across the state of Maine to go jet skiing. Whether you have your own on a trailer ready to go or need to rent one for the day, here are some of the coolest spots to put your jet ski in the water in Maine! 

Wells Harbor is a quiet place to enjoy ocean jet skiing. If you don’t have your own jet ski then you can rent one by the hour or for the day from Ocean Jet Ski Rentals. Wells Harbor is just a 15-minute drive from Old Orchard Beach so you can spend the day hopping from beach to beach on your jet ski. With calm waters, Wells Harbor is a great place to learn how to ride one of these fun machines.

Sebago Lake is Southern Maine’s largest lake, popular with boaters, swimmers, and fishermen for decades. The lake is over 45 square-miles with tons of small bays and inlets just waiting to be discovered. If you want a quiet ride, then head out in the early mornings. For a fun day of wave hopping, you’ll want to head out in the afternoon. Don’t have your own jet ski? You can rent one from Maine Jet Ski on the Causeway in Casco. 

Rated as one of the best places to live in Maine by Downeast Magazine in 2016, the Rangeley Lakes region in western Maine is a beautiful place to explore by jet ski. Rangeley is a four-season paradise with a large lake perfect for boating, swimming, and fishing. Popular lakes in the area include Rangeley, Flagstaff, Mooselookmeguntic, Richardson, and Aziscohos. You can rent a jet ski by the hour, day or week from Dockside Sports Center & Marina.

Ogunquit Beach is a beautiful location during the summer months. From sunbathing on the beach to strolling around with a lobster roll in your hand around Perkins Cove, you don’t want to miss discovering this scenic stretch of coastline by jet ski. You can drive your jet ski rental from Wells Harbor down to Ogunquit and enjoy the thrills of flying across the incredible Maine waters. Just remember your sunscreen! 

Moosehead Lake in Greenville in western Maine is the state’s largest lake covering nearly 120 square-miles. TripAdvisor recently named the Moosehead Lake region one of the top 11 places to rent a summer house. With an abundance of native wildlife, miles of shoreline, and unlimited water activities, Moosehead Lake is the perfect place to enjoy a day of jet skiing. You may even see a moose taking a dip in the lake!  

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5 Cool Spots for ATV Off-Roading in Maine Maine is one of the most rural states in the country, meaning that much of the state is untouched pine forest, granite mountain peaks, and potato fields. During the winter months, snowmobiling is a favorite pastime of many Mainers, but once the snow melts, the snowmobiles go in the shed and the ATVs come out. Here are five cool spots to off-road in the state!  

Balsam Woods is perfectly positioned on a network of over 1,000 miles of ATV trails. Open from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend, Balsam Woods is located about 20 miles south of Moosehead Lake in the small town of Abbot. From the campground parking lot, you can hop on a trail and ride all the way to Greenville, Jackman, Bingham, Cambridge, and back again. The campground even has coin-operated pressure washing stations to wash the mud off your ATV after a day of roughing it in the dirt.  

The Jackman-Moose River Region, home to the small town of Jackman, boasts some of the best ATV trails in northern New England. ATV off-roading has become very popular in the recent years and you’ll find over 300 miles of trails that will take you through Maine’s unspoiled wilderness and up on scenic vistas overlooking the Canadian border into Quebec. Pick up a trail map from the local Chamber of Commerce Booth or online at the Border Riders Club, the local ATV club in Jackman. 

The Houlton to Phair Junction Trail is a 37-mile-long gravel, multiuse trail that extends from Houlton through the towns of Monticello, Bridgewater, Mars Hills, and Presque Isle. This spot is popular with ATV riders in northern Maine. The trail winds through forestland and pastureland, giving a glimpse of real Maine. There are several picnic areas along the trail so pack a lunch and go for an all-day adventure. Just remember that the trail is open to everyone, including cyclists, walkers, and horseback riders. 

Mount Blue State Park in Weld is nestled in the western mountains near Farmington. The state park has 25 miles of designated ATV trails that wind through deep forest vegetation where you can see an abundance of native Maine wildlife like deer, moose, and black bear. You can even camp onsite in the state park at their campground near Webb Lake. 

The Down East Sunrise Trail extends 87 miles from Ellsworth to Ayers Junction. This multiuse trail is designed for ATVs, horses, snowmobiles, and hikers. The route parallels the coast with many ocean views along the former Maine Central Railroad. When you’re not seeing views of the ocean, you’ll enjoy views of Schoodic Mountain, salmon streams, and dense pine and birch forests. Just remember that the trail is open to others and be considerate. 

*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-cool-spots-for-atv-off-roading-in-maine http://stepoutside.org/article/5-cool-spots-for-atv-off-roading-in-maine Mon, 08 Apr 2024 00:00:00 -0500
10 Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Maine! Are you looking for the best dog friendly hiking trails in Maine? Look no further! The state is full of diverse dog friendly hiking trails, read on for an expert guide of the ones to choose. From breathtaking views and natural waterfalls, to tranquil ponds and ancient streams, these trails are the perfect destinations for you and your four-legged friend.

This gem of a park is 123 acres of woodlands and wetlands, with an expansive 10 acre pond. The trail that loops around the pond is great for you and your agile dog to go hiking, snowshoeing, and fishing. There’s even a Story Walk for the youngest hikers and eager pups.

The Presumpscot River is a beautiful 48 acre nature preserve that is perfect for a leisurely stroll with your pup. Portland Trails and the City of Portland Land Bank Commission collaborated to save this land and open it up for public use. There’s plenty of wildlife to spot, and the sights and sounds of the river will keep you and your furry friend relaxed and happy.

Spanning over 325 acres of woodlands and teeming with recreational opportunities, what more could a dog dream of. There are trails for hiking, biking, and snowshoeing, you and your pup will be spoiled for choice on what to explore. There is also plenty of beautiful wildlife to spot, as well as picnic spots to stop for a break.

The Eastern Trail is a fantastic resource for you to bring your four legged family member to conquer! This trail is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast and their pup, offering miles of enjoyable hiking. There are also plenty of wildlife, rivers, and streams for them to sniff and explore.

The steep summit trails offer stunning views of Old Speck, as well as 12 of the most challenging miles along the Appalachian Trail. With its rugged terrain, this trail is perfect for your hiker pup. Pack accordingly and test you and your dog’s agility in this Newry wonderland.

This 85-acre preserve is a great spot to take your pup for a nature walk. Home to Jewell Falls (Portland’s only natural waterfall) and the site of the former Cumberland and Oxford Canal, this network of trails is great for a leisurely stroll with plenty of wildlife to sniff out. Soak up the natural and historic beauty within Portland with your pup.

This 62-acre park is filled with plenty of scenery to discover. You can take your pup for a stroll along the stunning “pocket beach’ or let them splash around at the edge of the bay. With its pristine views, this is the perfect spot for a quiet day with your pup.

Cliff Trail is one of the most popular dog friendly trails in Harpswell and is part of a network of trails that span 194 acres. It offers a variety of terrains and sights, from steep summits to old Mill Ponds. A great spot for an invigorating hike!

This dog approved recreational oasis is filled with trails and streams. Towering trees will keep your pup cool and covered and there’s plenty of wildlife to explore. With its peaceful and tranquil setting, this is the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

This two and a half mile trail is a great spot for a relaxing hike with your pup. This trail offers varied terrain, scenic overlooks, and plenty of history. Let your dog splash around in the streams and enjoy the sights along this tranquil trail.

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-dog-friendly-hiking-trails-in-maine http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-dog-friendly-hiking-trails-in-maine Mon, 08 Apr 2024 00:00:00 -0500
5 Best Dirt Motorcycle Trails in Maine Maine is the ultimate destination for ATV, dirt bike, and snowmobile lovers as the state is covered with thousands of miles of trails accessible year-round. Trails range from wide maintained gravel routes to remote dirt trails deep in the northern woods of the state. Unlike other states, many of Maine’s state and municipal parks have trails open to ATVs and dirt bikes. Here are the five best places to take your dirt bike in Maine. 

Rocky Mountain Terrain Park is Maine’s premier off-road terrain park with over 700 acres of rocky terrain for dirt bikes, ATVs, 4x4 trucks, and more. There is even a 12 and under track for the little ones! In addition to tons of wooded trails, there is a campground, guided trail riding, and even a shooting range. The park is always changing so make sure you come back to see what’s new. And, don’t forget about the mud bogs!

The 14-mile Jay to Farmington Trail is a multi-use hard packed trail that is popular with ATVs and snowmobiles. Dirt bikes can use the trail system during the summer if they are registered as an ATV. Open year-round, except during mud season, the trail offers scenic views of rolling hills and farmlands at the foot of the western mountains.   

Hemond’s MX and Off-Road Park is northern New England’s premier motocross and off-road riding facility. With over 400 feet of elevation change and 600 acres of land, the park is home to over 10 miles of off-road trails and two full-size motocross tracks. For over 15 years, this much-loved park has been hosting world-class motocross events attracting riders from all over Maine and the country. 

Opened to the public during the summer months, MX 207 is home to numerous NESC, NEMA, NEMX, and MMS sanctioned events throughout the year. The large facility, close to the New Hampshire border, features a long and challenging motocross track with natural hills and fast straights to get any seasoned racers heart pumping. Check out their race schedule online and get practicing for your big race debut.

The Houlton to Phair Junction trail is a gravel multi-use 40-mile trail from Houlton to Phair Junction. Dirt bikes can use the trail during the summer as long as they are registered in the state as an ATV and abide by all the rules. The trail is largely flat as it is built on an old railroad bed making it a great trail for beginners or more timid riders. With plenty of picnic spots and shops along the way, the Houlton to Phair Junction is the perfect day trip. If you’re looking for a longer adventure, you can pick up the northern segment of the Bangor and Aroostook Trail in Mapleton and ride all the way to Presque Isle. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-dirt-motorcycle-trails-in-maine http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-dirt-motorcycle-trails-in-maine Mon, 08 Apr 2024 00:00:00 -0500
5 Awesome Trail Running Spots in Maine Is there anything better than running through the wilderness with fresh air in your lungs and the dirt beneath your feet? With thousands of miles of walking, biking, and hiking trails, Maine has a lot of opportunities for trail running. During the warmer months, you’ll find plenty of trail running events across the state so prepare to get muddy!

Home to the Bradbury Mountain Breaker and Bradbury Bruiser, Bradbury Mountain State Park is one of the most popular trail-running spots in Southern Maine. With miles and miles of trails on both the west and east side of the park, runners have many options depending on the terrain. Bradbury Mountain is only 485-feet tall, but it’s enough to get your heart pumping. Choose from the fast and steep Summit Trail or longer more challenging trails like Boundary and “O” Trail. 

Every May, Pineland Farms hosts Maine’s largest trail running event, the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival. Organized by the Trail Monsters Running Group, the event has a mix of 5K, 10K, 50K, and even a 50-mile race on Pineland Farm’s 30 kilometers of professionally designed and maintained trails. Most of the trails are wide and wind through the rolling hills of the historic farm. After a morning of running, refuel at the market. 

Nestled on Maine’s Midcoast, Hidden Valley Nature Center comprises of 1,000 acres of woodland on Little Dyer Pond. With over 25 miles of mixed-used trails, the nature center offers an opportunity for runners to challenge themselves and get close to nature. The Bog Trail is one of the most ecologically diverse and quite beautiful. Most of the terrain is rolling hills so expect a tough workout, but at least you have beautiful surroundings as you sweat.

Founded in 2001 by residents of Grand Lake Stream, the Downeast Lakes Land Trust protects over 370,000 acres of lakeshores, watersheds, forests, and over 180 species of bird. Popular with boaters, fishermen, and hunters, the Land Trust is also a great place to hike and trail run. Many of the lakeshore trails, like the Little Mayberry Cove Trail and Pocumcus Lake Trails, are great for trail running. The terrain can be challenging in areas, but it is quiet and true Maine wilderness. 

Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region protects over 10,000 acres in York County, including Mount Agamenticus. The mountain and the surrounding area is popular with mountain bikers, hikers, and trail runners. Once an old ski hill, Mount Agamenticus is home to several miles of mixed-use trails. Many of narrow with challenging terrain while others are wider and faster. Many of the trails, especially around the summit, are quite short, but combine them together and you’ll have a great day of running. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-trail-running-spots-in-maine http://stepoutside.org/article/5-awesome-trail-running-spots-in-maine Thu, 04 Apr 2024 00:00:00 -0500
ATV Off-Roading Adventure at Jugtown Forest Maine is a true wonderland for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Home to thousands of miles of mixed-use trails, Maine is a great place to off-road with an ATV or other vehicle. While most people will head to the northern woods, one of Maine’s hidden gems is found in the southern part. Here’s how to make the most out of your adventure at Jugtown Forest. 

You’ll want a hearty breakfast before you hit the trails for the day. Stop at Chutes Family Restaurant in Windham where they serve the “best breakfast in Lakes Region.” Chutes is a longtime local favorite and you’ll know why as soon as you take the first bite of your breakfast. The breads and pastries are baked fresh daily and you’ll find plenty of traditional dishes like omelets, hash n’ eggs, and pancakes. 

In 1848, Hancock Land Company purchased a 400-acre timber forest in Casco and began logging it over the decades. Since the 1800s, the forest has grown to 5,000 acres and is currently open to the public to enjoy horseback riding, ATVing, snowmobiling, and more. Come visit the Jugtown Forest today and find out why it’s one of the best places to go off-roading in Southern Maine!

After spending a day off-roading on the miles of trails through the Eastern White Pine forest, head to the Black Bear Café, an authentic Irish pub, for a pint of cold beer. Hailing from Ireland, the owners offer a warm and inviting ambiance with great food. There is live music on most weekend nights and you’ll enjoy local favorites like steaks, salads, and seafood. Along with local craft brews on tap, you’ll have your choice of Guinness and a variety of Irish whiskeys. 

Established in 1783, the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is home to the only active Shaker community in the world. Located on a picturesque 1,800 acres in New Gloucestor, the village is home to a working farm, crafts center, and more. Throughout the year, the Village hosts special events and open farm days. The museum is open daily during the summer months and filled with relics from the past. And, you certainly don’t want to miss the chance to learn woodworking, basket making, or textile arts from some of the best craftspeople in America. 

Rattlesnake Mountain in Raymond is a small mountain with excellent views of Panther Pond, Crescent Lake, and Sebago Lake. The Bri-Mar Trail can be accessed by Route 85 and is a popular day hike. This 2.5-mile intermediate hiking trail only gains 629 feet, but is a fun hike for the whole family and a great way to burn some calories. 

For over 40 years, Point Sebago Resort has been providing award-winning camping, entertainment, and golf. Offering campsites, resort cottages, and park homes, you have a variety of accommodation options to choose from for your weekend away. Enjoy incredible waterfront views of Sebago Lake, free Wi-Fi, and tons of activities and entertainment. You certainly won’t be bored here. 

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5 Excellent Places for Beginners to Kayak in Maine About 13 percent of Maine is covered by water, and that doesn’t cover the Atlantic Ocean that runs along the 3,478 miles of Maine’s tidal shoreline. With picturesque lakes, idyllic tidal marshes, and long, lazy rivers, Maine is a great place to learn how to kayak. Lots of places across Maine are very remote and the only way you can access these pristine areas is via boat. Before taking to the waters, consider a guided tour or a few lessons to learn the basics. Learning to kayak is a great way to open a whole new part of Maine that you would not otherwise have access.   

Owned and managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Scarborough Marsh is the largest saltwater marsh in the state at 3,100 acres. A small Maine Audubon Nature Store is located onsite where you can rent a canoe or participate in a guided or self-guided walking tour. You can also put in your own kayak nearby. The labyrinth-like waterways are quiet and calm, making it perfect for beginners. Just make sure you pay attention to the tidal currents as you don’t want to get stranded. Throughout your kayak adventure, you’ll see plenty of egrets, herons, glossy ibis, and lots of other native wildlife.

Picture brought to you by waiting for Kass to go get the paddle she left behind

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This 25-mile long river is an excellent place for kayakers to start their journey. This river is calm and, great for swimming and fishing, as well. There are no rental shops on the river so you’ll have to rent from a company elsewhere or bring your own kayak. The shorelines are heavily wooded and you’ll see native animals as you pass through the towns Windham, Gorham, and Westbrook.  

Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor are great places to sea kayak for beginners. National Park Sea Kayak Tours offers four-hour tours for all levels around the “Westside” of the island. The remote “Westside” includes Western Bay, Blue Hill Bay, and sometimes Somes Sound. The water is mostly calm with little to no boat traffic. If you keep your eyes peeled you might see some seals, porpoises, bald eagles, and all sorts of other native sea life. 

Moosehead Lake in Greenville is Maine’s largest lake. The lake, with a maximum length of 40 miles and width of 10 miles, is scattered with islands, coves, and peninsulas with tons of places to launch your boat. More experienced paddlers will love doing multi-day journeys where they can camp on one of the many islands, but beginner kayakers will enjoy early morning paddles amongst the calm waters and the chirping wildlife. If Moosehead Lake is just a little too big for you, head over to one of the many small lakes or ponds in the area, like Wilson Ponds, Sawyer Pond, and Brassua Lake.  

Cape Porpoise Harbor is a quintessential small Maine harbor with lots to offer paddlers. The harbor is divided into two sections, with the main harbor being the busy one as it features lots of fishing, lobster boats, and the pier. Stage Harbor is the much quieter harbor that is surrounded by islands, including Goat Island Light with a working lighthouse. Paddlers might also enjoy the western side of the harbor that connects to Turbat’s Creek. It’s important to note that Turbat’s Creek and other parts of Cape Porpoise can only be accessed around high tide. You can easily rent or join a kayaking tour with Kayak Excursions in Kennebunkport. 

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5 Best Birdwatching Hikes in Maine Spanning granite peaks, deciduous and coniferous forests, and rocky coastlines, Maine is one of North America’s top birding destinations. Each year, over 3,330 different bird species can be seen throughout the state. While Maine winters are harsh, you’ll find plenty of birds that live here year-round, including the beautiful harlequin duck. The best time of year to visit Maine for birding opportunities is during the breeding season in June and July. While there are many places across the state to go birdwatching, we recommend these five great hikes. 

Encompassing over 3,000 acres, the Scarborough Marsh is one of the state’s largest saltwater marshes. The marsh is home to an abundance of waterfowl and wading birds, especially during migration season. You’ll see tons of great blue herons, snowy egrets, and glossy ibises. During the winter months, you can see rough-legged hawks and even a rare snowy oak. The Eastern Trail is a great way to experience the marsh by foot. For a closer view of the birds, rent a canoe at the Maine Audubon Nature Center.

Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg is a bird lover’s paradise. In the winter months, you’ll see hordes of red-throated loon, scooters, buffleheads, and long-tailed ducks. In the summer, piping plovers and least terns can be seen breeding amongst the beach grass. The nearby salt marsh is home to many great blue herons and snowy egrets. A walk along the beach and nature trails are a great way to watch for shorebirds.

Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island is a massive national park with several distinct areas to bird watch. Thompson Island is one of the best places in the winter to spot eiders, goldeyes, and other waterfowl. For colorful and cheerful songbirds, visit the Sieur de Monts Spring. The Precipice Trail is the premier spot to peregrine falcons nesting in the area. Acadia National Park has numerous hiking trails to see various bird species as well as the gravel carriage trails near Jordan Pond.

Acadia National Park 5/13/17

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Popular with thousands of hikers, Grafton Notch State Park is more than just pretty mountain tops. Between the granite peaks of Old Speck and Baldpate Mountain, the Bear River winds through the forest where Philadelphia vireos, boreal chickadees, and other songbirds can be heard signing in the bush. Peregrine falcons often nest high above on the cliffs.

Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Milford encompasses over 11,000 acres just north of Bangor. Established in 1988, the wildlife refuge is a breeding ground for waterfowl, wading birds, and other species of birds. The Carter Meadow Road is a two-mile loop of hike to an observation platform with views of the entire wetlands below. The many other hiking and walking trails offer a chance to see boreal chickadees, gray jays, and black-backed woodpeckers.    

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10 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Maine Whether you’re a deep-sea fisherman or more of the fly fishing variety, finding your trustworthy bait and tackle shop is essential. The following 10 are the best in Maine. Check one out the next time the ocean, stream, lake, or pond is calling your name!  

Whether you’re a fresh or saltwater fisherman or woman, you’ll find everything you need for your sport at Saco Bay Tackle Company. They also carry a nice line of ice fishing supplies, including flags and more by Heritage.

Featuring a nice assortment of fly rods and reels by Sage, rods and waders by Simms and reels by Hatch, All Points Fly Shop and Outfitter will have you reeling in fish in no time. Check out their accessories, clothing, and knives, too.

Featuring equipment for freshwater fishing, Unc’l Lunkers carries rod and reels by Shakespeare, Shimano and Zebco. Located close to Sebago and a few smaller Maine lakes, they stock a nice variety of bait as well.

The fishing department at Kittery Trading Post is huge, and it serves both saltwater and freshwater fishing enthusiasts. Check out rods and reels by Okuma, Penn, Shimano and more. Pick up lures by Rebel, Rapala and Hogy, to name just a few out of their vast sampling.

Webhannet River Bait & Tackle sells several tried and true brands to fishermen and women. Pick up hooks by Mustad, surf rods by Lamiglass and lures and line by Yo-Zuri. In addition, check their daily salt or freshwater fishing report and tide charts, and rent a kayak, too.

In addition to all the live bait you’ll need for your fishing adventure, Dag’s Bait & Tackle sells an impressive assortment of rods, reels and lures. Check out their inventory by Penn and Shimano. They also sell ice augers by Eskimo

Lovell Bait & Tackle Shop carries a comprehensive line of Daiwa—a popular Japanese brand of fishing equipment on its store shelves. In conjunction with the Rocky Ridge Maine Guide Service, they conduct fishing expeditions as well.

The Maine Guide Fly Shop is an Orvis dealer—one of the oldest in the Northeast. In addition to the Orvis line of fishing products, they sell Mustad hooks and Cortland fishing line

This family-run business in Oxford, Maine, offers everything from bait, to poles and reel, to tackle boxes, to augers, and much more! Jeff is described as knowledgeable and his shop carries a huge range of fishing accessories and gear for all types of fisherman and woman. His prices are unbeatable, too. 

New lures in today made in norway maine they are 15 doller each made out of wood hand painted vary nice lures

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Serving the entire Sebago Lakes region, this bait and tackle shop is your go-to spot before your next fishing excursion. Note that they are open during the ice fishing season and while they do not carry bait during the spring, summer, and fall, they’ll still have all the accessories and hardware you’ll need. At Sebago Bait, find all kinds of bait from shiners, to smelts, to suckers. This shop also sharpens ice augers! 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-maine http://stepoutside.org/article/10-best-bait-and-tackle-shops-in-maine Thu, 28 Mar 2024 00:00:00 -0500
5 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in Maine Maine is one of the most rural states in the country, so it’s no surprise that many of our best camping spots require a bit of a hike before you can pitch your tent. To truly immerse yourself in the ruggedness of a natural space, pack your backpack and hit the trail to find these five hidden gems. Here are our favorite backpack camping spots in Maine!  

Chimney Pond Campground in Baxter State Park is one of the most sought-after backcountry campgrounds. First established in 1938, Chimney Pond is one of the most popular campsites in the park so you’ll want to book early as it sells out fast. The campground offers one of the best hiking accesses to all the Katahdin peaks and to Russell Pond Campground. The small campground is a 3.3-mile hike from the Roaring Brook Campground and is home to nine lean-tos, and a 10-person bunkhouse. Since the campground is backcountry camping, the amenities are primitive. 

Established in 1966 to preserve and protect the 92-mile-long ribbon of lakes, ponds, and rivers in remote Northern Maine, “the Allagash” has been explored by thousands of people over the years. Even Henry David Thoreau enjoyed its beauty. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is home to 81 authorized campsites throughout. All campsites are equipped with picnic tables, fire pits, an outhouse, and tarp poles. Most campsites can only be accessed from the water via canoe or kayak. It’s a unique Maine experience. 

Nahmakanta Public Lands encompass over 43,000 acres of sprawling pine forests and mountains. Maine’s largest ecological reserve, an area of 11,802 acres, is located within the Public Lands. A large portion of the land is road-less and can only be explored by foot, snowmobile, or ATV. Nahmakanta Public Lands has 11 authorized campsites with three that are walk-to. The best backcountry campsites are located at Tumbledown Dick and Leavitt Ponds.

Maine is famous for its rocky coastline and what better way to explore it than by camping in the 12,234-acre Cutler Coast Public Lands. Filled with acres and acres of blueberry barrens, woodlands, and 4.5 miles of granite seaside cliffs, the Public Lands extend from Cutler to Lubec. Backcountry campsites are available at Fairy Heads. You’ll have to hike the 9.2-mile roundtrip loop trail to get there, but you’ll wake up to the sounds of the waves crashing into the rocks in the morning and the seagulls crying for their breakfast.

Encompassing a large portion of Western Maine, the Bigelow Preserve Public Reserved Land just north of Stratton contains over 36,000 acres of pine forests, freshwater lakes, and the seven summits of the Bigelow Range. The Appalachian Trail and its associated side trails run right through the Public Lands offering many backcountry campsites for the toughest hikers willing to rough it for incredible panoramic views of Maine’s western mountains. Popular backcountry campsites situated in the Bigelow Range include Moose Falls, Avery Col, and Cranberry Stream. If you prefer lakeside views, pitch your tent at Ferry Farm or Parson’s Brook.    

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-beautiful-backpack-camping-spots-in-maine http://stepoutside.org/article/5-beautiful-backpack-camping-spots-in-maine Wed, 20 Mar 2024 00:00:00 -0500
Making the Most Out of Sebago Lake State Park When it comes to rustic charm and unparalleled natural beauty, Maine is tops. From whirlpools, to sandy beaches, to majestic forests, you’ll find all types of terrain here. But if you’re looking to experience the woods, shimmering shoreline, and more, make a trip to Sebago Lake State Park. Here’s how to make the most out of your adventure here. 

Opened in 1938 as one of Maine’s original state parks, Sebago Lake State Park is one of the most popular. Located on the shores of Maine’s deepest and second largest lake, the park features 1,400 acres of wooded campsites, ponds, hiking trails, and sandy beaches. While the park offers numerous activities inside for the whole family to enjoy, the nearby towns of Naples and Bridgton offer tons of activities to keep you busy for days.   

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Sebago Lake State Park is divided into two sides: East and West. The West Side of the park is in Naples and has over seven miles of hiking trails of varying length. The 1.25-mile Lookout Trail is one of the most strenuous trails that rises 499 feet above the park. For an easy stroll amongst the seasonal wildflowers and evergreen forest, take the one-mile Twin Brook Trail.  

While not your typical scenic vista, the Songo Lock is the last surviving lock of the former Cumberland and Oxford Canal that moved raw materials from Bridgton and Harrison all the way to Portland. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the Songo Lock is still in use during the summer months. Pack a picnic and relax by the lock and watch as the rangers let boaters float through. 

Some evenings it's like the Caribbean of South Central #Maine. 👌🏼#nothingtoseehere

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Sebago Lake State Park has over 250 camping spots for everything from a small two-person tent to a large luxury RV. About half the campsites have full hookups and the other half does not. As one of the most popular state parks in Maine, it’s best to make a reservation. The campground is open during the winter months, too. 

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The Galley Restaurant & Pub is one of the most highly-rated restaurants in Naples. You’ll find everything from wings and tenders to lobster rolls to mac & cheese. If you’re brave and love a good challenge, try the “Surf and Turf Suicide Challenge.” You must eat seven “Dirty Wings” and seven “Firecracker Shrimp,” which are all covered with the house made “Revenge Sauce.” If you manage to eat all the items under seven minutes, you’ll get your picture on the wall and ultimate bragging rights. 

Wishing it was still summer and I was eating this Maine lobster roll #g00deats 🍴

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Marked with buoys, Witch Cove Beach offers a large sandy beach and shallow waters for even the youngest swimmers to enjoy. The beach is family-friendly and it’s not uncommon to see kids floating on inner tubes while parents read a book on the beach. If Witch Cove Beach is too crowded, try Naples Beach, which is also in the state park.  

Open seasonally from May through September, Steamboat Landing is Maine’s only Maine-themed mini golf course. For three decades, locals and tourists alike have enjoyed holes like the Maine Turnpike, Fort Western, Maine Black Bear, and the Grist Mill. For under $7 you can enjoy an afternoon of fun with the whole family. 

Located in the heart of the Naples Causeway, Rick’s Café has been a longtime favorite for over 20 years. Serving up food and stiff drinks, Rick’s Café is a popular watering hole during the summer months. Sit on the top deck and enjoy the views of the lakes. During the weekends, you’ll always find live bands playing all night long. 

"Happy (fish) Taco Tuesday!" Repost from @g00deats 🌮

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http://stepoutside.org/article/making-the-most-out-of-sebago-lake-state-park http://stepoutside.org/article/making-the-most-out-of-sebago-lake-state-park Fri, 01 Mar 2024 00:00:00 -0600
5 Best Fishing Spots in Maine Maine offers thousands of miles of waterways from streams to ponds to massive lakes all stuffed with an abundance of fish. Depending where you fish, you’ll find plenty of brook trout, Arctic char, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and a variety of perch, among other fish species. For the best fishing spots, you’ll want to hire a registered Maine guide or talk to the locals. Just remember that anyone over 16 years-old needs a fishing license to fish in freshwater. Here are the best fishing spots in the state. 

Located just 10 miles from Maine’s capital city of Augusta, the Belgrade Lakes are a series of island-dotted lakes perfect for fishing for the whole family. The lakes are popular for their large stocks of both smallmouth and largemouth bass and brook trout. Large northern pike are also known to make a go at the bait of your hook, too. Maine Wilderness Tours can help you catch your dinner and Day’s Store will supply you with your fishing license and bait needs. 

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Grand Lake Stream is legendary amongst the fly fishers for landlocked salmon. Fishermen come from near and far to fish this waterway as it is ranked as one of the best in North America. Grand Lake Stream is roughly three miles-long with gin-clear water that flows from West Grand Lake towards the St. Croix River on the border of New Brunswick. Due to the river’s deep pools, salmon can be found throughout the summer months. 

Sebago Lake can be fished year-round, but it is one of the best-known lakes in North America during the ice fishing season. Anglers come from all over the country to sit in their huts and await a tug on their line. Maine’s deepest lake is home to a variety of fish, but most notably landlocked salmon and lake trout. Kids can easily catch sunfish and panfish off the docks during the summer months, but you’ll need a boat if you plan to catch dinner. Jordan’s Store in East Sebago is one of the best places around the lake to get bait and tackle. 

Situated in Camden Hills State Park, Megunticook Lake is a more than 1,200-acre lake popular with anglers and kayakers. Its water is clear and the lake has tons of small coves, islands, and long open stretches. You’ll find plenty of small mouth and largemouth bass, and white perch. Fishing can be done by motorboat, canoe, kayak, or from shore. 

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Even if you can’t correctly pronounce the name of this lake, it’s one of the best in the state. In 2013, Bassmaster Magazine named it as Maine’s top bass fishing lake. Known as central Maine’s largest lake, this 5,500-acre lake is stocked with tons of largemouth bass. Its many islands, inlets, coves, and drop-offs make it a great lake for bass tournaments. Other common fish species caught in the lake include northern pike, brown trout, and white perch. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-maine http://stepoutside.org/article/5-best-fishing-spots-in-maine Thu, 22 Feb 2024 00:00:00 -0600
7 Best Winter Cabin Camping Spots in Maine When it’s too cold to sleep in a tent or you don’t own an RV, cabin camping is a wonderful option. All across beautiful Maine, you’ll find numerous campgrounds and cabin rental places perfect for those who are looking for a rustic, but comfortable experience. Here are the best winter cabin camping spots in the state! 

Each rustic, yet cozy cabin at Recompence Shore Campground in Freeport offers incredible views of Casco Bay. Each cottage is equipped with electricity, refrigeration, a microwave, and baseboard heat. These small oceanfront cottages are a great way to enjoy the natural beauty of nearby Wolfe Neck State Park.

Coos Canyon Campground is a small, family-run campground in the western mountains of Maine. Their small cabins have a rustic New England charm that will make you come back for more every year. The two cabins are available year-round and can sleep up to eight people. Each one has a kitchen, dining room, and living room as well has multiple bedrooms and a bathroom. They are also dog friendly! 

Papoose Pond in Waterford is one of Maine’s best-kept secrets for family fun. The campground has 180 campsites and another 60 cabins for rent. Their 60 cabin rentals range from unique “cabinettes or hutnicks,” which can sleep between four and six people to two, three or four-bedroom lakefront cottages with all the modern amenities. 

Millinocket’s Baxter State Park has many campgrounds, and two with cabins if you’re not interested in roughing it in a tent. Both Daicey Pond and Kidney Pond campgrounds features cabin rental options. Daicey Pond has 10 cabins of varying design and size and Kidney Pond has 12. All cabins are rustic and require you to carry in your own gear and supplies. 

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For upscale cabin camping with easy access to Baxter State Park, stay at Big Moose Cabins where you can stay at fully-furnished lakeside or trailside cabins. Each cabin can sleep between two and 16 people comfortably and all cooking utensils and lines are supplied. None of the cabins have an in-house bathroom, but shared bathroom facilities are located nearby. 

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Located just 800 feet from the heart of Old Orchard Beach, Paradise Park Resort is one of southern Maine’s premier camping resorts. The resort offers several modern luxury cabins for rent during the peak and off season. Most cabins are two bedrooms and can sleep up to five people. 

We have some pavilion snow removal going on today ❄️

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Located on the shores of Penobscot Bay, Searsport Shores Oceanfront Camping is Midcoast Maine’s premier campground offering RV, tent, and cabin camping. The campground offers three different cabin rental options: the Frog and Faerie Cabin, the Honey Bee Bunkhouse, and the Artist’s Retreat Cabins. The Artist’s Retreat Cabins can sleep up to two people in a loft bed and are located near the art studio. The Bunkhouse can sleep up to 10 people and the Frog and Faerie Cabin can sleep five. 

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http://stepoutside.org/article/7-best-winter-cabin-camping-spots-in-maine http://stepoutside.org/article/7-best-winter-cabin-camping-spots-in-maine Sun, 04 Feb 2024 00:00:00 -0600
Camping Done Right: 7 Essential Outdoor Stores in Maine Home to outdoor gear greats like L.L. Bean and Kittery Trading Post, Maine is an excellent place to purchase all your camping gear. Whether you’re looking for a new tent that can withstand the winds of Mount Washington or just a new bladder for your Camelbak, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for at one of these essential outdoor stores in Maine. 

Next to lobster, L.L. Bean is as Maine as it gets. With its flagship store in Freeport, L.L. Bean sells everything from clothing to home goods to outdoor equipment. You’ll find everything you need for camping at L.L. Bean. Almost all their gear is their house brand and has a lifetime guaranteed. If something happens to it, you can bring it back for a full refund. L.L. Bean also carries other brands like Black Diamond, MSR and Osprey

L.L. Bean there, done that. #wanderingweavers

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Since 1938, Kittery Trading Post has been outfitting people for the outdoors. Open daily, Kittery Trading Post offers high-quality brands and products for all your outdoor needs, including camping, hunting, and fishing. You’ll find plenty of backpacks from Deuter and Osprey, and tents from Marmot and the North Face among other camping gear.

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Maine Sport Outfitters is an independently-owned outdoor retailer selling outdoor gear, clothing, and footwear. Their 35,000-square-foot store has three levels of all the gear you need for hiking and camping. You’ll find gear from Mountain Hardwear, Eureka and Petzl among other top outdoor brands. 

Rated as one of the top outdoor retailers by Outdoor USA Magazine, Cadillac Mountain Sports is one of the most extensive outdoor retailers in Downeast Maine. With three stores in Bar Harbor and Ellsworth, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for in one of the shops. Cadillac Mountain Sports carries North Face, Patagonia, and Atayne.  

Located in Midcoast Maine, Outdoor Sportsman sells hunting, fishing, archery, and camping gear for the whole family. With years of experience, the staff at Outdoor Sportsman can help you pick the right gear for your needs. Shop for tents, sleeping bags, stoves, and more from Coleman, Igloo, and other top brands. 

Northwoods Outfitters in Greenville is northern Maine’s top outdoor retailer. Selling everything from outdoor gear to travel packages to canoe and ATV rentals, it is a one-stop-shop. Their large store carries camping gear from brands like JetBoil, MSR, and Peregrine. If you don’t want to buy gear for your camping trip, consider renting from Northwoods Outfitters.

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As one of the country’s largest outdoor retailers, Cabela’s has it all. Whether you’re an experienced camper looking for the best backcountry camping gear or just a weekend camper, Cabela’s will have everything you need. Cabela’s carries brands like Kelty, the North Face, and Sea to Summit. They often have sales so it’s a great time to stock up on your favorite gear.  

Quick stop at the greatest place on Earth with @katie.lynn.white and our little man. #fall2017 #cabelas #Scarborough #maine #family

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http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-essential-outdoor-stores-in-maine http://stepoutside.org/article/camping-done-right-7-essential-outdoor-stores-in-maine Sat, 03 Feb 2024 00:00:00 -0600