If you're looking for a challenge, look no further than the mountains of Maine. With peaks that rise thousands of feet into the sky, these mountains offer outdoor enthusiasts an opportunity to test their mettle. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned climber, there's a mountain in Maine waiting for you. In this guide, we'll take a look at the five best mountains to climb in the state and what makes them so special. So grab your gear and let's get started.
5. Bigelow Mountain (Skowhegan City Maine)
Bigelow Mountain is the second tallest peak in the state of Maine, standing at just under 4,500 feet above sea level. It's so tall that it's visible from almost everywhere in the state. It's often called one of the best beginner climbs in all of New England because of its safe environment. It is probably the most popular mountain to climb in Maine and has been developed pretty extensively. According to Trek Baron, some of the best features of Bigelow Mountain is that it's extraordinarily wide, with a base elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level. That makes it one of the easiest mountains to climb in Maine – climbing levels are generally between 2 and 5. It has two distinct summits, with one being the true summit and the other being just a section of rock jutting out from the main mountain. This mountain features several trials that include the West Peak and the Appalachian Trail. There are several activities you can enjoy doing here and they include hiking, skiing and snowshoeing. Bigelow Mountain is just east of Skowhegan, the county seat of Somerset County.
4. Cadillac Mountain (Bar Harbor, Maine)
Cadillac Mountain stands at 1529 feet above sea level. It is located on Mount Desert Island and has been historically significant because of its great height and location. It is often described as one of the most beautiful mountains in the state. At Cadillac Mountain, you'll find not only a beautiful view but also a section of coastline that's perfect for crossing on foot or by kayak. There are trails in this area that are great for beginners. The mountain itself is extremely picturesque, featuring yawning chasms and deep ravines along its rocky sides. It can be climbed using several different trails, with the most common being the Northeast Trail. The trail climbs 900 feet to reach the summit of Cadillac Mountain, making it one of the easier hikes in Maine. There are other activities you will enjoy doing while hiking at Cadillac Mountain. Some of them include camping at nearby Jordan Pond and visiting the summit of Cadillac Mountain as part of a day trip. There are also numerous points you will enjoy chilling at. This includes a shelter known as the Bar Harbor Shelter, which is located just north of the summit. Anyone who wishes to hike at this mountain should wear warm clothes since the temperatures here can be significantly cooler than in other areas in Maine.
3. Crocker Mountain (Farmington City, Maine)
Crocker Mountain is located in the Mahoosuc Range and is part of the Appalachian Trail. This mountain offers a beautiful view of the nearby countryside and has been described as one of the most scenic mountains in Maine. It's not the tallest peak in Maine, but it does have a unique shape that makes it stand out amongst its peers. Standing at 4227 feet, this mountain offers some of the greatest views in the entire state of Maine. This mountain is not particularly difficult to hike, with a moderate level of difficulty. While you may view mountain goats here, there are no caves here that can pose any danger to hikers. There are various trails available for hikers and they lead to different areas on this mountain. The type of gear you need to bring depends on what type of trails you plan to take and the season. However, it's recommended that hikers wear thick clothing since the temperature at this mountain can be significantly cooler than in other areas in Maine. According to Maine Physical Therapy, being part of the Appalachian Trail mountains, these trails can be accessed from multiple sources. This includes the Northeast Trail and the Southeast Spur Trail. The view of this mountain is one of the best in all of Maine, with numerous vistas that can be explored by hikers.
2. Goose-Eye Mountain (Bethel City, Maine)
Goose-Eye Mountain is a perfect place to do a day hike or a weekend backpacking trip. It features three peaks (Mean Elevation – 3,874; Second Highest – 3,277; Lowest - 2,943). Despite its small size and lack of challenging elevation gains, this mountain is a must-visit when you are an avid hiker or backpacker in Maine. You will find Alpine plants that are adored in the mountain and the rocky terrain makes it a visually stunning environment. The mountain is also ideal for climbing, with several different trails and routes available. These are classified according to difficulty and provide hikers of all levels with something to enjoy. For hikers who consider themselves weekend warriors, this mountain will provide the perfect challenge. It's not the tallest mountain in Maine, but its level of difficulty and mountainous terrain add to the fun of hiking here. If you are planning a hiking trip to this mountain, then you should make sure that you know your fitness level beforehand. It's also important to bring the right gear, including hiking boots, poles, and a backpack. You should bring plenty of water as there is no reliable water source at the summit.
1. Dorr Mountain (Bar Harbor, Maine)
Nestled in Acadia National Park, Dorr Mountain is a great place for hiking as well as camping. The top of this mountain offers breathtaking views of nearby villages and the coastline. Dorr Mountain has trails that range from easy to moderate, with the hardest trail being the one that starts at Wadleigh Streams (a swampy area). According to The Culture Trip, the hiking zones include hemlock, Birch Grove, Alpine, and a hardwood forest. Rated as advanced difficulty, it's not for the inexperienced hiker. Hiking in this area is considered to be one of the most spectacular in all of Maine. The geographic location and trails make it a popular place to visit during the summer season. The trail is approximately 6 miles long and it ends at the summit. While climbing to the summit of Dorr Mountain, you'll enjoy amazing views of nearby islands, lakes, and coastline. There are several things to do in Southwest Harbor, which include spending the entire day on Dorr Mountain and basing yourself out of Bass Harbor town. While in this area, it's recommended that you explore Dorr Pond. This is an easy hike with a rich ecosystem that will make it worthy.
As you can see, there are great mountains in Maine that have incredible hiking trails and are certainly worth checking out. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or just starting, both North and South Maine have peaks that will offer an unforgettable experience. Make sure to check on these five mountains, as they will certainly be worth the effort.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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