Maine is home to some of the most beautiful and remote backcountry hiking and camping adventures. Maine’s parks and public lands offer scenic campsites in a number of beautiful settings including coastal islands, mountains and remote lakes.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Before heading off the beaten path there are some things you need to know. Almost all campsites on state-maintained lands are on a first-come, first-serve basis. This is why most paddlers and boaters head out early and end the day in the early afternoon. Getting that choice sunset-facing campsite depends on getting there before anyone else does. Don’t bring your own wood unless it came from the local area where you are camping. “Buy it where you burn it,” as they say, and help keep our woods healthy and beautiful. Most sites have a fire ring, rustic picnic table (some with a pole above the table and fire pit area for a rain fly), and access to a pit toilet or outhouse. Some locations require a burn permit for the fire ring, so do your research before you head out.
WHERE TO GO BACKCOUNTRY Hiking & CAMPING
Deboullie Public Lands – With over 22 miles of hiking trails, this 21,871 acre preserve is popular among trout fishermen. Hike rugged mountains that tower above crystal-clear ponds and wild forests, then set up camp at one of the many remote campsites next to the ponds.
Nahmakanta Public Lands – Part of the Appalachian Trail winds through this 43,000 acre public land as well as a large network of trails. Hike through deep forests and over ledges, then past lakeshores to any of the six campsites on Nahmakanta Lake or one of the hike-to campsites.
Bigelow Preserve – This preserve surrounds the Bigelow Range which is seven summits including West Peak, one of Maine’s 10 summits that are over 4,000 feet in elevation. The Appalachian Trail passes through the Preserve and many other side trails provide excellent wilderness camping opportunities.
Mahoosuc Public Lands & Grafton Notch State Park – Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of western Maine along some of the most challenging trails in the state. The Appalachian Trail traverses the lands along with the 38 mile Grafton Loop Trail.
Cutler Coast Public Lands – Hike through a boreal forest to undeveloped coastal cliffs along the Atlantic coast. Rugged hiking trails lead to primitive campsites with ocean views along this remote section of the coast.
Appalachian Trail – The Appalachian Trail ends at Mt. Katahdin after crossing 281 miles of the state. Some of the most challenging and beautiful sections of the AT are in Maine, crossing Mahoosuc, Four Ponds, the Bigelow Preserve and Nahmakanta Public Lands.
THE BACKCOUNTRY IS CALLING
So grab your hiking boots, pack your backpack and enjoy some of the most exciting and scenic backcountry hiking and camping in Maine!