Best Hikes In Portland, Maine Suitable For All Levels!

Best Hikes In Portland, Maine Suitable For All Levels!

Who doesn’t love getting out into nature? Even though Portland, Maine, is traditionally known as being the city of sun, craft beer, and delicious seafood – you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are a variety of hiking trails that you can enjoy – no matter what your hiking level might be!

Even though Maine is known for being one of the best seaside towns in the USA, thanks to it being so close to the sea, Main is also full to the brim with mountainous terrain, which means that it’s the perfect place to visit for families, soloist, and friends looking to get out in nature and explore the great outdoors. 

Not only that but there’s a ton of different hiking trails to choose from in Maine, too!

From easy, relaxed walking trails, all the way to hiking trails that will allow you to scale the mountaintops – you’ll be spoilt for choice and be able to enjoy a side of Maine that often goes unnoticed!

But, which hiking terrain is the right choice for you? This is where we come in to lend you a helping hand!

To help you decide which hiking terrain is right for you, below we are going to be talking you through all of the best spots in Maine – so that you can get the very most out of your visit.

So, backpacks and hiking boots at the ready? Just read on! 

Simple, Beginner-Friendly Trails In Maine

Kicking this ultimate hiking guide off, we are first going to begin by talking you through all of the best walking trails in Maine that are suitable for even the most novice of hikers.

Let’s take a look at them all below:

The Back Cove Trail

Fast Facts:

Elevation:

Steady.

Length:

3.6 miles.

Distance From Mainland Portland:

0 miles.

If you’re in the mood to go for a relaxing walk through Maine, then a scenic walk that you’re simply bound to love is the Back Cove trail!

Offering plenty of conveniences, the Back Cove trail is located smack in the middle of Portland, Maine – you’ll be able to access this hiking trail after you’re done exploring the city center!.

Just like its name suggests, the Back Covet trail is located on Back Bay and is the perfect option for hikers of all levels, including those who do not have a whole lot of experience when it comes to hiking.

So much so, that if you happen to have children and you’re looking for a hiking trail that will be suitable for all of the family to enjoy, you’ll be making a great choice to spend a morning or afternoon checking out the scenic ambiance and views that the Back Cove Trail offers. 

Besides offering a steady, minimal incline that won’t feel strenuous or too difficult, it should also be noted that the Back Cove trail also offers some of the most beautiful views in Maine – with a mixture of shores, mountains, and the countryside of Portland.

As a side note, the Back Cove trail is known to get pretty busy and crowded, especially during the sunnier months, so if you’re planning on making a day of it – we recommend that you set out earlier in the day in order to avoid diminishing the beautiful views and ambiance by getting caught up in a crowd.

On the plus side, thanks to the Back Cove trail being in the very heart of Maine, Portland, it means that you will be able to enjoy plenty of parking – no matter how busy it is!

Additionally, this hiking trail also comes with plenty of grassy green spots – so it really is the perfect spot to spend with friends and family. Why not take a picnic with you?.

Best Hikes in Portland, Maine Suitable for All Levels!

The Mackworth Island Trail

Fast Facts:

Elevation:

Very slight

Length:

1.4 miles

Distance From Mainland Portland:

located right in the heart of the city.

If you’ve already been on the Back Cove trail or you’re simply looking for a hiking trail that draws in a little less of a crowd – then another alternative that’s perfect for beginners or those who are just getting started in the world of hiking in the Mackworth Island Trail – which is also located right in the heart of Portland! 

Besides making a great alternative to the super popular Back Cove trail, the Mackworth Island Trail is a wonderful choice for those who are on the search for a scenic, beautiful hiking route that isn’t going to be too difficult or strenuous!.

On top of all that, besides being suitable for those of all levels – the Mackworth Island Trail is also a great option for those who are looking for a short and sweet trail because it’s a mere 1.4 miles in length, which means that it will take you around one hour to walk at a relaxed and leisurely pace.

Plus, thanks to the shorter length of this particular trail combined with the very minimal and slight incline, it also means that this trail is the perfect option for those who are planning on hiking with their little ones – it’s a perfect option for children!

Even though it combines a variety of different terrain, including rocky spots, plenty of woods, grasslands, and coastal views – the Mackworth Island Trail is surprisingly easy to walk and will feel more like a nature walk as opposed to an actual hike – so it should come as simply no surprise to hear that it is slowly becoming one of the most popular hiking trails in Maine!

As a side note, the Mackworth Island Trail, while less popular than the Back Cover Trail, can also pull in the crowds during the summer months – which is something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a trail that’s going to be nice and quiet.

Additionally, please keep in mind that, at the time of writing, the Mackworth Island Trail charges an entry fee, so make sure you bring along some loose change.

Best Hikes in Portland, Maine Suitable for All Levels!

Bradbury Mountain Trail

Fast Facts:

Elevation:

Steady, reaching upwards of 209 feet

Length:

1.4 miles

Distance:

22.5 from mainland Portland

On the search for something a little more advanced and suited to hikers that have experience?

If you answered yes to that question, then we recommend that you check out the Bradbury Mountain Trail during your time in Maine – as it might be just what you’re looking for!

Let’s take a closer look at this scenic hiking trail below:

Ideal for hikers of all levels but particularly suited to those who are already experienced in the world of hiking, the Bradbury Mountain Trail offers something for everyone.

Unlike the other two hiking trails that we have already talked you through above, the Bradbury Mountain Trail comes complete with a gradual incline that reaches a maximum incline of 209 feet.

For this reason, even though it is safe enough for children to go on this trail – it might not be the best option if you’re looking for a hiking trail that is a little more relaxed and slow-paced. 

Nevertheless, if you’ve got a love for adventure and want nothing more than to feel the thrill of adrenaline – then you’ll be making an awesome choice to visit this trail during your time in Portland, Maine.

This steady incline hike is just over 1.4 miles in length (so, not too long or too short) and is ideal for a range of different hiking abilities – regardless of whether you’re just getting started out or if you’re an experienced trail walker!

Not only that, but thanks to that gradual incline we’ve just talked about, it also means that this particular trail is ideal for families who are looking for a safe walk that’s going to provide a little bit of a challenge, or even for friends and family that are looking for a scenic trail that will allow them to burn some calories while soaking in the beautiful views.

Douglas Mountain

Fast Facts:

Distance From Mainland Portland:

32 miles

Length:

1.8 miles

Elevation:

469 feet

If you’ve already tried out some of the trails that we have talked you through above and are interested in trying out a trail that’s going to be just a little bit more challenging – than we think that you’ll love the Douglas Mountain walk!

Ideal for hikers of all abilities (so long as you aren’t afraid of a little challenge, that is) the Douglas Mountain walk is a super fun and exciting trail that is a slight level up to the walking trails that we have already mentioned in this guide!

Before we get any further, it’s important to keep in mind that this particular trail is located 32 miles out of the Maine area, which means that it will take you around 1 hour to get there.

Nevertheless, if you’re up for the road trip – you certainly won’t be disappointed with the Douglas Mountain walk.

Once you get there, Douglas Mountain will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy stunning views of Sebago Lake, as well as an unprecedented view of all the surrounding countryside and wildlife. 

Alongside being located around an hour out of Portland, Maine, you should also keep in mind that the Douglas Mountain hike has a relatively steep elevation gain of approximately 469 feet – which means that you can plan to get a mini-workout out of this trail, too!

As you gradually make your way up Douglas Mountain, you will be able to enjoy the various spots of lush green forestation and rolling hills, all the while being able to catch glimpses of the famous Sebago Lake as you make your way to the top.

Nevertheless, even though the Douglas Hike is considered to be one of the safest hill hikes in Portland, Maine, it’s important to remember that the terrain is relatively rocky, which means that you’ll need to make sure that you’re watching your footing as you make your way up and down!

Best Hikes in Portland, Maine Suitable for All Levels!

The Mount Katahdin Hike

Fast Facts:

Distance From Mainland Portland:

216 miles

Trail Length:

8.1 miles

Elevation:

Just under 4,000 feet

Are you in the mood to push yourself to new hiking heights? If you answered yes to that question and you’re up for the challenge, then you might want to consider stopping by the Mount Katahdin Hike during your time in Portland!.

Let’s take a look at why it’s such a great hike to consider if you’re interested in trying out a more challenging hiking route:

Besides being one of the more challenging hikes currently offered in Portland, Maine, the Mount Katahdin Hike just so happens to be one of the most famous hikes in Maine, too!

As you will have already seen from our fast fact section above, the Mount Katahdin Hike is located around 216 miles out of central Portland, which works out to around 3.5 hours in a car.

While this might seem like a dealbreaker, if you’re willing to make the journey from mainland Portland to the Mount Katahdin area and you already deem yourself to be an experienced hiker, you truly won’t be disappointed with this hiking experience! 

Boasting an elevation of 3,987 feet, the Mount Katahdin hiking trail offers a steep but steady incline that will provide you with a workout while also providing you with the chance to soak in the surrounding natural beauty all around you as you make your way to the top.

However, while the Mount Katahdin is an area that is full to the brim with natural beauty and wildlife, the Mount Katahdin hike is home to the equally famous Knife’s Edge, which is an extremely steep ridgeline located right in the middle of the Mount Katahdin walk.

For this reason, we recommend that you only head over to this hike if you are okay with the stamina level that will be required to complete this hike, as well as have enough experience to ensure that you are going to be able to navigate safely throughout the entirety of the walk.

The last thing that you want to do is decide to do this hike, only to discover that it is far too difficult or overwhelming while you are halfway through it.

Your safety is always going to be the most important thing that you should prioritize, and there are plenty of other awesome hikes that you can take that won’t be so daring.

In addition to this, we also recommend that, regardless of what your level of hiking experience may be, you refrain from attempting to do this hike if it is a particularly gloomy, rainy day with bad weather, as like we have already mentioned above, this hike can get a little bit dangerous if you’re not careful.

As a final side note, it is also important to keep in mind that you might need to make a parking reservation if you plan on driving to this hiking location yourself.

Making the reservation is easy as can be, just visit the site’s official website, where you will be able to go ahead and reserve your parking spot for the day that you wish to attempt this thrilling hike.

Make sure that you remember to make the reservation, the last thing that you want to do is to make the long drive there from central Portland, only to discover that you have to turn around and go back because there is nowhere to park!

Best Hikes in Portland, Maine Suitable for All Levels!

Acadia National Park

Fast facts:

Distance From Mainland Portland:

173 (equivalent to around a 3-hour drive)

Last but certainly not least, the final hiking trail that we are going to be sharing with you today is the famous Acadia National Park hike!

Now, before we jump any further into why this hiking trail is such a great option to consider, as you might have already guessed from our fast fact area – the Acadia National Park is situated quite far out from central Portland.

which means that it’s one of the trickier and more obscure places to visit if you are planning on spending some time in Portland on vacation with friends and family. Nevertheless, if you’re willing to make the road trip down to Acadia National Park, you’ll be in for a treat – because it’s one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Portland!

To give you some backstory on why it’s so unique, the Acadia National Park is one of the few national parks in the New England region of Portland and has a reputation for being one of having some of the most striking natural beauty, hence why it has become protected as a national park.

The Acadia National Park is home to a variety of different trails that will each offer you an unprecedented view of the stunning green landscape that this national park is home to.

From rolling hills, rich and expansive forests, and thrilling sea cliffs, the Acadia National Park offers something for everyone, so it should come as no surprise to hear that it’s a great hiking spot for families, experienced hikers, and even soloists that are looking for an adventure that they’ll never forget.

Some of the most notable hiking trails include the Beehive trail and the Precipice trail, so make sure to check those out if you plan on making a day of it.

All in all? If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience while in Portland, Maine, then making a trip down to the Acadia National Park should be on the very top of your to-do list!.

As a side note, if you are planning on heading down to the Acadia National Park, then do make sure that you take plenty of water, food, and other refreshments with you.

Even though we hear that there are some food spots in this national park, they can tend to get pretty crowded and filled up, especially during the busier seasons, which is why we recommend that you take your own food just in case.

Emily Winters