How can you not love hiking? Think about it. Aside from a pair of sturdy shoes, no special gear is required for this outdoor adventure. It’s a sport that you can enjoy in almost any season. And it takes you into nature and away from the hustle of everyday life. Go for a hike and embrace the sense of adventure that comes with discovering a new place. We promise you’ll return a changed person.
With nearly 100 trails spread throughout the region, anyone can find one that suits their skill level and ambition. There are even several ADA accessible trails, including Wes Baker Trails at Robbins Hill which offers picnic tables and striking views of the western mountain ranges.
Families will find hiking a great way to get outdoors and experience much of what makes Maine’s Kennebec Valley so special. Nicknamed “Hobbitland” by locals due to its stunning beauty and natural wonder Vaughan Woods is a popular trail system in the heart of historic Hallowell. Classic stone bridges, picturesque waterfalls, and a wild meadow make these some of the most unique walking trails in Maine. In Fairfield, the Good Will-Hinckley wooded trails offer walks to explore the Maine forest habitat, bird watching, and wetland creatures. The trails are dotted with local fieldstone monuments and trailheads.
One of the world’s most famous and life-changing hikes, the Appalachian Trail, crosses through the region. The Kennebec River is the most formidable un-bridged crossing along the entire 2,185-mile Appalachian Trail. Luckily, The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has contracted with Greg Caruso of Maine Guide Service, LLC to provide the 2020-2022 ferry service for AT hikers. You can read more about Greg, his ferry service, and the history of the crossing at Outside.com.
Top Hiking Trails
|Kennebec River Rail Trail||Augusta/Gardiner||6.5 Miles||Easy|
|Viles Arboretum||Augusta||6 Miles||Easy|
|Rotary Centennial Trail||Benton/Winslow||3 Miles||Easy|
|Lake George Regional Park||Canaan/Skowhegan||10 Miles||Easy|
|Vaughan Woods Trail (Hobbit Land)||Hallowell||1.7 Miles||Moderate|
|Sally Mountain Trail||Jackman||6.8 Miles||Moderate|
|Weston Woods & Waters Trail||Madison||1.2 Miles||Easy/Moderate|
|Moxie Falls||Moxie Gore (The Forks Area)||1 Mile||Easy|
|Messalonskee Stream Trail||Oakland||2.6 Miles||Moderate|
|French Mountain Trail||Rome||0.8 Miles||Easy|
|Robbins Hill-Wes Baker Trails||Solon||1.4 Miles||ADA Accessible|
|Mount Pisgah Conservation Area Trails||Winthrop||2.5 Miles||Easy|
|Quarry Road Trails||Waterville||6.5 Miles||Easy/Moderate/Advanced|
|Kennebec Messalonskee Trail System||Great Waterville Area||Various||Various|
Know Before You Go
- Before setting out on any hike, check with Maine Trail Finder or guidebooks about a hike’s difficulty ratings, descriptions, and uses.
- Observe the seasons. Trail conditions vary with each season.
- Never hike alone; always tell your friends and family where you are going and when you plan to return and keep them updated on your location if possible.
- Each person should carry one liter of water for every two hours of hiking time. Keep hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Bring plenty of high-energy snacks that will help keep your energy up back to your car.
- Practice Leave No Trace principles on the trails and respect nature and private lands and Look Out for ME.
Other Visitor Resources: Central Maine New England Mountain Bike Association | Lake George Regional Park | Maine Trail Finder | Quarry Road Trails | Kennebec Messalonskee Trails | 7 Lakes Alliance Trail System | ATV Maine