Most Popular Maine Hiking Trails

Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Maine is known for its rugged beauty and outdoors recreational opportunities. After all, one of the best-known brands for outdoors apparel, LL Bean, is located in Freeport, Maine. The many outdoor recreational activities available in the Pine Tree State include canoeing, rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding, wildlife watching, snowshoeing, biking, and camping. But among the most accessible is hiking. Safe to say while there's heavy anticipation for Maine sports betting, the state has no shortage of entertainment options.

BetMaine.com used Travel & Leisure’s 15 Best Hikes in Maine as a starting point to explore which hikes/trails to use in the research for the most popular Maine hiking trails. BetMaine.com then utilized Google Trends to gather search interest of each hike/trail listed in the Top 15 over the past 12 months to finalize a list of the Top 10 hiking trails that people are looking to visit in Maine.  

Here they are.

Best Maine Hiking Trails

Weighted RankTrailLocationSearch Interest*
1Table Rock TrailGrafton Notch State Park34
2Knife Edge TrailBaxter State Park28
T3100-Mile WildernessAppalachian Trail23
T3Mount Battie Trail Camden Hills State Park23
5Mount KineoMount Kineo State Park21
6Cadillac Mountain South Ridge TrailAcadia National Park20
7Tumbledown Mountain Franklin County19
T8Gulf Hagas Rim Trail Appalachian Trail18
T8Moxie Falls TrailCaratunk, ME18
T8Angels Falls Trail Franklin, ME18
* (vs.other topics) over past 12 months

Table Rock Trail Takes The Crown

At the top of the list is Table Rock Trail in Grafton Notch State Park with a search interest score of 34 (over the past 12 months vs. other topics). There are a few trails that make their way to Table Rock. The hike itself is about 2.5 miles, with some steeper stretches, but the “viewpoint” from 1,400 feet is gorgeous, according to those who have made the ascent.

The No. 2 trail is Knife Edge Trail in Baxter State Park with a score of 28. A word that’s used in some descriptions of the aptly named  Knife Edge Trail is “notorious.” Hiking the trail requires balance, stamina and even nerves. Reportedly, the trail is as narrow as four feet in spots with steep drops on either side.

Tied for No. 3 with scores of 23 are the 100-Mile Wilderness, part of the Appalachian Trail, and the Mount Battie Trail, in Camden Hills State Park. The 100-Mile Wilderness, as its name implies, is something of a marathon hike. It should be attempted before mid-October and hikers should be in good physical shape before setting out on this days-long challenge.

The Mount Battie Trail is quite different. This trail measures a little over a mile, out and back, along moderate terrain and is a good trail for novice hikers. Dogs can accompany hikers but must be on a leash. Instead of taking a full day, this hike can be taken in about 1.5 hours.

Best of The Rest

Ranked No. 5 with a score of 21 is Mount Kineo in Mount Kineo State Park. The Mount Kineo hike is certainly more demanding than Mount Battie. The distance is about 3.4 miles, and the elevation rises to about 1000 feet. Hikers will spend a few hours on the trail. The payoff here is great views of Moosehead Lake.

Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail in Acadia National Park is ranked No. 6 with a score of 20. As hikes go, this is no stroll in the park. The distance is 7.1 miles roundtrip. The footing can be challenging, so good footwear is necessary. It’s a forested path and it transitions to granite eventually. Snacks and water should definitely be in a hiker’s pack.

Ranked No. 7 is Tumbledown Mountain in Franklin County with a score of 19. Tumbledown is described as a loop trail of a little more than five miles with elevation of almost 2,000 feet. Those characteristics put it in the “challenging” category, and it should be hiked in better-weather months, say May to October.

Tied for the N. 8 ranking, all with scores of 18, are Gulf Hagas Rim Trail, part of the Appalachian Trail; Moxie Falls Trail, in Caratunk, and Angels Falls Trail in Franklin. Gulf Hagas Rim Trail includes an 8-mile loop and takes about 3.5 hours to complete. Moxie Falls Trail, with a route of two miles, is a trail for beginners and even for children. Angel Falls Trail offers both some good and tricky news. It is a short hike, about a mile, and the elevation is modest, about 200 feet.  But there are some stream crossings, so hikers need to take care hopping rock to rock.

If you enjoyed this piece, keep an eye out for other lifestyle pieces from BetMaine.com, such as: What Are The Best Stephen King Adaptations?

Author

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetMaine.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.