Best Backpacking in Maine

Person backpacking on an Ocean Path at Acadia National Park, Maine
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Maine, a land of untamed natural wonders, calls out to adventurers in search of extraordinary experiences. With its diverse landscapes encompassing majestic mountains, serene lakes, and rugged coastlines, this northeastern gem of the United States has something to offer every backpacker’s soul. Whether you’re an avid hiker seeking thrilling challenges or a nature enthusiast yearning for secluded tranquility, Maine’s wilderness provides an unforgettable playground to explore. Join us as we journey through the breathtaking backcountry of Maine, uncovering some of the most captivating and lesser-known spots for backpacking in this enchanting state.



Baxter State Park

Baxter State Park, a pristine wilderness in northern Maine, beckons adventurers with its rugged charm and diverse landscapes. Home to the iconic Mount Katahdin, Maine’s tallest peak, the park boasts a range of backcountry trails for intrepid backpackers to explore. From challenging routes like the Knife Edge to more accessible paths, this enchanting destination promises unforgettable experiences amidst untamed nature.

Reasons To Go Backpacking in Baxter State Park:

  • Iconic Mount Katahdin: Experience the thrill of hiking Maine’s tallest peak, offering breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Diverse Landscapes: Wander through varied terrains, from lush forests to rocky ridges, creating an ever-changing and captivating backdrop.
  • Abundant Wildlife: Encounter a rich array of wildlife, including moose, black bears, and various bird species, adding to the park’s natural allure.
  • Remote Wilderness: Immerse yourself in true backcountry solitude, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, fostering a deeper connection with nature.
  • Scenic Trails: Embark on a multitude of well-maintained trails, catering to hikers of all skill levels, ensuring an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Recommended Gear: Backpack, Hiking Boots, Sleeping Bag, Tent, Water Filter, Headlamp, Trekking Poles


Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park, an enchanting coastal wonderland in Maine, captivates visitors with its harmonious blend of mountains, forests, and rocky shores. This picturesque gem offers over 120 miles of hiking trails, showcasing breathtaking vistas, serene lakes, and cascading waterfalls. Nature enthusiasts can revel in diverse ecosystems, spotting diverse wildlife, while the majestic coastline offers awe-inspiring sunrises and unforgettable seascapes.

Reasons To Go Backpacking in Acadia National Park:

  • Coastal Beauty: Experience the unique charm of a coastal backpacking adventure with stunning ocean views and rocky shoreline.
  • Diverse Trails: Explore over 120 miles of diverse and well-maintained hiking trails, catering to hikers of all skill levels.
  • Spectacular Sunrises: Witness breathtaking sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean, creating unforgettable moments on the trail.
  • Abundant Wildlife: Encounter diverse wildlife, including seabirds, deer, and the chance to spot marine life along the shore.
  • Serene Wilderness: Escape into the peaceful and serene wilderness, leaving behind the hustle and bustle to reconnect with nature’s tranquility.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Backpack, Water Bottle, Binoculars, Rain Jacket, Headlamp, Trail Map/Guide


Gulf Hagas

Gulf Hagas, a hidden gem in the heart of Maine’s wilderness, beckons adventurers with its rugged beauty and captivating allure. Often referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Maine,” this stunning gorge features dramatic waterfalls, rocky cliffs, and lush forests, creating a breathtaking tapestry of natural wonders. Hikers can explore a network of trails, including the renowned Rim Trail, offering an unforgettable journey through this untamed paradise.

Reasons To Go Backpacking in Gulf Hagas:

  • Spectacular Gorge: Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Gulf Hagas, known as the “Grand Canyon of Maine,” with its stunning gorge, waterfalls, and rugged cliffs.
  • Untamed Wilderness: Immerse yourself in untouched nature, surrounded by lush forests and untamed landscapes, offering a true backcountry adventure.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore a network of scenic trails, including the challenging Rim Trail, providing a variety of options for hikers of all skill levels.
  • Waterfalls: Discover a series of magnificent waterfalls, adding to the allure and offering rewarding sights along the backpacking journey.
  • Secluded Serenity: Enjoy a serene and secluded environment, away from crowds and distractions, allowing for a peaceful connection with nature.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Backpack, Water Filtration System, Trekking Poles, Map/Compass, Tent, First Aid Kit


Goose Eye Mountain

Goose Eye Mountain, a majestic peak in Maine’s rugged wilderness, entices adventurers with its commanding presence and stunning vistas. Rising above the picturesque Mahoosuc Range, this mountain offers a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience. With its rocky ridges, alpine meadows, and panoramic views, Goose Eye Mountain promises an exhilarating journey for hikers seeking to immerse themselves in nature’s untamed beauty.

Reasons To Go Backpacking at Goose Eye Mountain:

  • Breathtaking Scenery: Experience awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding Mahoosuc Range and beyond, rewarding your efforts on the trail.
  • Challenging Hike: Enjoy a physically demanding yet rewarding hike, making it an excellent choice for experienced backpackers seeking a challenge.
  • Alpine Meadows: Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of alpine meadows, a rare and captivating sight during your backpacking adventure.
  • Wildlife Sightings: Encounter various wildlife species, including birds and small mammals, adding to the allure of this wilderness journey.
  • Backcountry Solitude: Revel in the tranquility and seclusion of the backcountry, far away from the hustle and bustle, for a truly immersive nature experience.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Backpack, Trekking Poles, Map/Compass, Headlamp, Layered Clothing, Water/Snacks


Bigelow Preserve

Bigelow Preserve, a wilderness gem in western Maine, beckons adventurers with its rugged beauty and diverse landscapes. This captivating preserve features a chain of majestic mountains, offering breathtaking vistas of surrounding valleys and lakes. Hikers can explore a network of trails, including the challenging Bigelow Range Loop, which rewards their efforts with an unforgettable backcountry experience amidst nature’s grandeur.

Reasons To Go Backpacking at Bigelow Preserve:

  • Spectacular Mountain Views: Experience breathtaking vistas of surrounding valleys and lakes from the summit of the Bigelow Mountains.
  • Challenging Hiking Trails: Embark on the iconic Bigelow Range Loop, a challenging and rewarding multi-day backpacking adventure.
  • Abundant Wildlife: Encounter diverse wildlife, including moose, deer, and various bird species, in their natural habitat.
  • Secluded Wilderness: Enjoy a serene and secluded environment, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the backcountry.
  • Unforgettable Sunrises and Sunsets: Witness awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets from high vantage points, creating lasting memories on your journey.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Backpack, Trekking Poles, Map/Compass, Camping Gear, Water Filtration System, Layered Clothing


Grafton Notch Trail

Grafton Notch Trail, an enchanting gem in Maine’s wilderness, invites nature enthusiasts to explore its captivating beauty. This trail winds through the picturesque Grafton Notch State Park, offering a mesmerizing blend of rugged mountains, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. Hikers can savor the journey on well-maintained paths, witnessing awe-inspiring views and immersing themselves in the tranquility of this untouched paradise.

Reasons To Go Backpacking on the Grafton Notch Trail:

  • Scenic Beauty: Experience the captivating beauty of Grafton Notch State Park with its rugged mountains, waterfalls, and pristine landscapes.
  • Well-Maintained Trails: Enjoy well-maintained and clearly marked trails, making it accessible for backpackers of various skill levels.
  • Abundant Wildlife: Encounter diverse wildlife, from birds to mammals, adding to the allure of this wilderness experience.
  • Photography Opportunities: Capture stunning photographs of the picturesque scenery, creating lasting memories of your backpacking adventure.
  • Serene Escape: Revel in the tranquility of nature, far away from city noise and distractions, offering a peaceful and refreshing escape.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Backpack, Water Bottle, Map/Compass, Rain Jacket, Headlamp, Camping Gear


Hundred-Mile Wilderness

The Hundred-Mile Wilderness, an unspoiled and remote region in Maine, offers a true backcountry adventure for avid backpackers. Stretching along the Appalachian Trail, this challenging stretch meanders through dense forests, serene lakes, and picturesque mountains. With limited access to amenities, hikers must be self-sufficient, making it a test of skill and endurance. Embrace the untamed wilderness as you embark on a journey of epic proportions.

Reasons To Go Backpacking in the Hundred-Mile Wilderness:

  • Untamed Wilderness: Immerse yourself in untouched nature, experiencing a truly wild and remote environment.
  • Backcountry Challenge: Test your hiking and backpacking skills on the challenging and rugged terrain of the Appalachian Trail.
  • Scenic Beauty: Encounter breathtaking landscapes, including dense forests, serene lakes, and picturesque mountains.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Witness a diverse range of wildlife, from elusive moose to various bird species, enhancing your wilderness experience.
  • Personal Growth: Embrace self-sufficiency and resilience as you navigate this isolated and rewarding backcountry journey.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Backpack, Water Filtration System, Camping Gear, Map/Compass, Water/Snacks, First Aid Kit


Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit

Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit, an exciting adventure in Maine’s stunning wilderness, beckons hikers to conquer a collection of six scenic peaks. This challenging pursuit offers an exhilarating blend of breathtaking vistas, dense forests, and serene lakes. With each summit conquered, hikers are rewarded with panoramic views of the picturesque Moosehead Lake region, creating an unforgettable journey through nature’s splendor.

Reasons To Go Backpacking in the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit:

  • Scenic Peaks: Conquer six scenic peaks, each offering breathtaking vistas of the Moosehead Lake region.
  • Diverse Landscapes: Immerse yourself in diverse landscapes, from dense forests to serene lakes, creating a captivating and varied hiking experience.
  • Adventure Challenge: Embark on an exciting adventure, testing your hiking skills and endurance along this challenging pursuit.
  • Rewarding Accomplishment: Feel a sense of accomplishment as you conquer each peak, rewarded with stunning panoramic views.
  • Nature’s Splendor: Experience the untouched beauty of Maine’s wilderness, surrounded by nature’s splendor at every turn.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Backpack, Water Bottle, Map/Compass, Snacks, Trekking Poles, Camera


Cutler Bold Coast Trail

Cutler Bold Coast Trail, a hidden gem on Maine’s rugged coastline, captivates adventurers with its dramatic cliffs and pristine wilderness. This enchanting trail weaves through the unspoiled Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land, offering breathtaking views of sea stacks, crashing waves, and coastal forests. Hikers can immerse themselves in the raw beauty of the region, making it an unforgettable exploration of nature’s untamed allure.

Reasons To Go Backpacking on the Cutler Bold Coast Trail:

  • Coastal Beauty: Experience the raw and dramatic beauty of Maine’s rugged coastline with its stunning sea stacks and crashing waves.
  • Pristine Wilderness: Immerse yourself in the unspoiled wilderness of Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land, offering a truly untamed environment.
  • Breathtaking Views: Enjoy breathtaking vistas of the coastline and coastal forests, rewarding your efforts on the trail.
  • Secluded Serenity: Revel in the serene and secluded atmosphere, away from crowds, providing a peaceful escape into nature.
  • Unique Landscapes: Encounter diverse landscapes, from cliffs to forests, creating a captivating and varied backpacking adventure.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Backpack, Water Bottle, Map/Compass, Snacks, Rain Jacket, Camera


Moxie Falls

Moxie Falls, a captivating natural wonder in Maine, entices visitors with its majestic beauty and cascading waters. This stunning waterfall, one of the highest in the state, offers a mesmerizing sight amidst the serene wilderness. Surrounded by lush forests and scenic landscapes, Moxie Falls provides an ideal escape for nature enthusiasts and hikers seeking solace in nature’s breathtaking splendor.

Reasons To Go Backpacking at Moxie Falls:

  • Spectacular Waterfall: Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of Moxie Falls, one of Maine’s highest and most captivating waterfalls.
  • Lush Forests: Immerse yourself in the serene wilderness, surrounded by lush forests and scenic landscapes.
  • Nature’s Splendor: Experience nature’s breathtaking splendor as you hike through this picturesque area.
  • Peaceful Retreat: Find solace and tranquility in the serene surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
  • Hiking Opportunities: Explore a variety of hiking trails, providing options for hikers of all skill levels to enjoy this natural gem.

Recommended Gear: Hiking Boots, Backpack, Water Bottle, Camera, Snacks, Insect Repellent, First Aid Kit


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