When it comes to hiking, Maine is a hidden gem that often goes overlooked. With its rugged coastline, dense forests, and majestic mountains, the Pine Tree State offers some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the country. But beyond its well-known attractions like Acadia National Park and the Appalachian Trail, Maine’s borderlands are home to a wealth of lesser-known trails that offer equally stunning views and unique hiking experiences. From the rolling hills of Aroostook County to the remote wilderness of the Allagash, these trails invite you to explore Maine’s overlooked borderlands and discover the state’s natural beauty in a whole new way.

The Allure of Aroostook County

Aroostook County, also known as “The Crown of Maine,” is a hiker’s paradise. With its vast forests, pristine lakes, and rolling hills, this region offers a variety of trails that cater to all skill levels.

1. Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge

The Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit for nature lovers. The refuge’s 5.5-mile trail system winds through diverse habitats, offering opportunities to spot wildlife like moose, black bears, and over 200 species of birds.

2. The Aroostook Valley Trail

For a longer hike, the Aroostook Valley Trail stretches 28 miles from Presque Isle to New Sweden. This multi-use trail offers stunning views of the Aroostook River and the surrounding farmland.

Exploring the Allagash Wilderness

The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is a 92-mile stretch of lakes, rivers, and streams in northern Maine. While it’s best known for canoeing and kayaking, the Allagash also offers several hiking trails that showcase the area’s untouched beauty.

1. The Allagash Mountain Trail

The Allagash Mountain Trail is a challenging 2-mile hike that rewards you with panoramic views of the Allagash Wilderness. The trailhead is accessible by boat, adding an extra layer of adventure to your hike.

2. The Round Pond to Allagash Lake Trail

This 9.5-mile trail takes you from the shores of Round Pond to the remote Allagash Lake. Along the way, you’ll pass through old-growth forests and have a chance to spot wildlife like moose and bald eagles.

The Bold Coast: Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land

Located in the easternmost part of Maine, the Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land offers some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in the state. The area’s 10-mile trail network takes you along towering cliffs, through dense spruce forests, and past secluded cobblestone beaches.

1. The Bold Coast Trail

The Bold Coast Trail is a challenging 9.8-mile loop that offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The trail can be hiked in a day, but there are also three primitive campsites for those who want to extend their adventure.

2. The Inland Trail

For a shorter hike, the Inland Trail is a 3.8-mile loop that takes you through a diverse range of habitats, from coastal bogs to spruce-fir forests.

Conclusion

Maine’s borderlands offer a wealth of hiking opportunities that go beyond the state’s well-known attractions. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, these trails offer a chance to explore Maine’s natural beauty in a new and exciting way. So lace up your hiking boots, pack your gear, and set off on an adventure in the majestic trails of Maine.

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