Maine, known for its rugged coastline, rolling mountains, and beautiful wilderness, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The state offers a plethora of hiking trails that cater to all levels of experience, from the novice hiker to the seasoned adventurer. But with so many trails to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. That’s where a good guidebook comes in. In this article, we will review some of the best books that uncover the top trails in Maine, providing you with all the information you need to plan your next hiking adventure.

1. “AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast”

Written by Carey Kish, this guidebook is a must-have for anyone looking to explore Maine’s stunning coastline. The book features 50 of the best coastal hikes from the New Hampshire border to Canada, each one rated for difficulty. Detailed trail descriptions, maps, and information about local flora and fauna make this book an invaluable resource for hikers.

2. “Hiking Maine: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures”

Authored by Greg Westrich, “Hiking Maine” offers comprehensive coverage of the state’s best trails. The book includes 50 hikes of varying difficulty, from easy walks to challenging treks. Each trail description includes GPS coordinates, topographic maps, and information on distance, time, and elevation gain. The book also provides tips on gear, safety, and hiking etiquette.

3. “Maine Mountain Guide: AMC’s Comprehensive Guide to Hiking Trails of Maine”

This guidebook, also written by Carey Kish, is the definitive resource for mountain hiking in Maine. It covers over 200 trails, including the 282-mile Long Trail. The book features detailed descriptions of each trail, along with maps, photos, and information on camping and lodging. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, this book will help you find the perfect trail.

4. “50 Hikes in Coastal and Inland Maine”

Written by John Gibson, this book offers a diverse selection of trails, from coastal walks to mountain hikes. Each trail description includes a map, directions to the trailhead, and information on distance, difficulty, and points of interest. The book also includes beautiful color photos that will inspire you to get out and explore.

5. “The Maine Woods: A Fully Annotated Edition”

While not a traditional guidebook, “The Maine Woods” by Henry David Thoreau is a classic that any hiker in Maine should read. This edition, annotated by Jeffrey S. Cramer, provides insights into Thoreau’s journeys through the Maine wilderness in the mid-1800s. It’s a fascinating look at Maine’s past and a reminder of the timeless beauty of its landscapes.


These books offer a wealth of information for anyone looking to explore the trails of Maine. They provide detailed descriptions of each trail, along with maps, photos, and tips on hiking safety and etiquette. Whether you’re a novice hiker or an experienced adventurer, these books will help you uncover the best trails in Maine and plan your next hiking adventure.

Remember, no matter which trail you choose, always respect the environment and practice Leave No Trace principles. Happy hiking!

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