There is so much more than scenic coastal towns, rugged coastlines, and a prosperous fishing and maritime heritage to the Pine Tree State. Maine is home to a wealth of state parks, recreational areas, and public lands that offers a wealth of recreational activities, outdoor pursuits, scenic landscapes, and breathtaking panoramic vistas.
1.Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park is a 47,000-acre recreation area on Maine's Mount Desert Island along the Atlantic coast. Located southwest of Bar Harbor, the park was established to preserve half of Mount Desert Island, along with many adjacent smaller islands, and part of the Schoodic Peninsula on the coast of Maine. The 49,075-acre park features pristine landscapes ranging from rocky beaches and dense woodlands to grand granite peaks, the highest point on the United States’ East Coast and is home to a wide variety of wildlife such as bears, moose, whales, and seabirds. The bayside town of Bar Harbor features many restaurants and shops and a popular gateway into the park, and recreational activities include hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, rock climbing, kayaking and canoeing, swimming, sea kayaking and guided boat tours on the ocean.
Bar Harbor, ME 04609, Phone: 207-288-3338
© Wollwerth Imagery/stock.adobe.com
The Androscoggin Riverlands is a recreation area along the Androscoggin River which features 15 miles of multiple-use trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. The area is comprised of two areas, namely a 1,909-acre tract in Turner and a 336-acre parcel in Leeds. The famous Homestead Trail is lined with the foundations of numerous houses dating back to the late 1800s, which were razed to the ground due to the rising waters of the Gulf Island dam. The Androscoggin Land Trust provides informative brochures on the area with a wealth of historical and ecological information on the surrounding landscapes.
Center Bridge Rd, Turner, ME 04282, Phone: 207-998-4104
3.Aroostook State Park
Aroostook State Park is a state park and public recreation area set within the city limits of Presque Isle in Aroostook County. The 898-acre park lies next to Echo Lake and encompasses the twin peaks of Quaggy Jo Mountain, and offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities such as boating, swimming, fishing, canoeing, paddle-boating, hiking, and picnicking. The Aroostook State Park also features a campground with 30 wooded sites for tent camping and RVs, bathroom facilities, and a kitchen pavilion, and a small playground for children. Three miles of hiking trails lead to lookout points high on Quaggy Jo Mountain. The park is also home to the Double Eagle II Memorial Park, which is famous for being the launch site for the first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight in August 1978 that went from the United States to Miserey in France. The year-round outdoor Nordic Heritage Center features restrooms, showers, and a sauna, along with 20 miles of single-track mountain biking trails.
87 State Park Rd, Presque Isle, ME 04769, Phone: 207-768-8341
4.Bigelow Preserve Public Land
© Lora Hilton Photos/stock.adobe.com
Bigelow Mountain Preserve is a 36,000-acre state-owned nature preserve in Stratton, Maine that was established in 1976 to stop a proposed development of a ski resort in the area. Located about 40 miles north of Farmington just east of the village of Stratton, Bigelow Preserve encompasses the entire Bigelow Range, which includes seven summits, the highest of which is West Peak at 4,150 feet. Bounded on the north by 20,000-acre Flagstaff Lake, the preserve offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, ranging from pleasure boating, fishing, kayaking and swimming to hiking, mountain biking, camping, wildlife watching and more. The lake is part of the historic 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail, which winds through New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, and Maine.
W Flagstaff Rd, Stratton, ME 04982, Phone: 207-287-3200
5.Bradbury Mountain State Park
Bradbury Mountain State Park is a state park and public recreation area spanning 730 acres that offers a wealth of outdoor recreational activities. Located near the town of Pownal in Cumberland County, Bradbury Mountain State Park was established as one of Maine's original five state parks in the 1940s and offered panoramic views over the surrounding landscapes. Bradbury Mountain State Park offers visitors a range of activities including several multi-use trails for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and snowmobiling in the winter months.
528 Hallowell Road, Pownal, ME 04069, Phone: 207-688-4712
6.Camden Hills State Park
© Natalia Bratslavsky/stock.adobe.com
Camden Hills State Park is a 5,710-acre state park and public recreation area managed by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry that offers a variety of outdoor activities and recreational pursuits. Overlooking Penobscot Bay just outside the town of Camden in Knox County, Camden Hills State Park boasts several multi-use trails to scenic spots such as the 800-foot high Mount Battie and the 1,385-foot-high Mount Megunticook, which can be used by hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders in the summer and snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and snowshoeing hikers in the winter. The mile-long Maiden Cliff Trail leads to the historic 12-year-old Elenora French monument, whose misadventure in 1864 gave the site its name. Visitors to the park can also enjoy camping, picnicking and seasonal hunting with a permit.
280 Belfast Rd, Camden, ME 04843, Phone: 207-236-3109
7.Cobscook Bay State Park
Occupying 888 acres on the western shore of Cobscook Bay in Washington County, Cobscook Bay State Park is a public recreation area that offers spectacular views of the bay’s dramatically changing tides that can reach heights of up to 28 feet. Established in 1964 as part of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, the state park offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities including hiking, mountain biking, pleasure boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking, camping, and bird watching. Cobscook Bay State Park is home to over 200 species of birds, including the magnificent American bald eagle.
40 S Edmunds Rd, Dennysville, ME 04628, Phone: 207-726-4412
8.Crescent Beach State Park
Crescent Beach State Park is state-operated, public recreation area located eight miles south of Portland in picturesque Cape Elizabeth. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the state park was established in 1966 and features a spectacular mile-long, crescent-shaped beach which is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and sea kayaking. The park boasts different eco-systems ranging from white sandy beaches, grass-studded dunes and saltwater coves to rocky ledges and wooded areas, offering a variety of recreational activities for all tastes. There are also several hiking trails that can be used for exploring the park on foot, mountain bike or cross-country skis in the winter.
109 Bowery Beach Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107, Phone: 207-799-5871
9.Dead River Public Land
The Dead River Public Reserved Land parcel surrounds the Dead River Township on the northern shore of Flagstaff Lake in Somerset County. The beautiful tract of wilderness is home to a favorite camping spot below Long Falls Dam called The Big Eddy and offers activities such as fishing, pleasure boating, kayaking and canoeing, and bird-watching. There are several hiking and mountain biking trails around the shoreline of the lake, as well as equestrian and cross-country skiing trails, and the lands are part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Other activities in the area include ATV riding, canoeing, off-road biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and wildlife watching.
Farmington, Maine 04938, Phone: 207-778-8231
10.Deboullie Public Lands
© Michele Ursi/stock.adobe.com
The Donnell Pond Public Lands are located in a remote section of the North Maine woods and provides excellent opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, and wildlife watching. The 21,871-acre Deboullie Public Lands encompasses 17 crystal-clear trout ponds surrounded by low rugged mountains and ranging in size from 8 to 341 acres which are ideal for fishing. A 12-mile trail network with several loop options leads to many remote ponds, as well as up the 1,981-foot Deboullie Mountain which offers expansive views of the surrounding region. Other activities include backcountry hiking and pond-side camping in a beautiful landscape east of the Allagash Region.
Eagle Lake, ME 04739, Phone: 207-435-7963
11.Donnell Pond Public Land
Located about 12 miles east of Ellsworth in Hancock County, the Donnell Pond Lands spread out over 14,000 acres in eastern Maine and feature spectacular landscapes of rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and remote ponds, including the Schoodic Mountain and Schoodic Beach. Schoodic Mountain's summit boasts breathtaking 360-degree views and dramatic views over Frenchman Bay and Mount Desert Island, while the beach is perfect for swimming, boating, picnicking and camping. Other activities in the area include hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and wildlife watching.
Franklin, ME 04634, Phone: 207-941-4412
12.Duck Lake Public Land
Located just to the east of Grand Lake Stream and south of Lakeville in northern Hancock County, the Duck Lake Public Lands are comprised of more than 27,000 acres, including Duck Lake and Gassahias Lake, which offer fishing, boating, swimming, camping, and snowmobiling opportunities. The eastern portion of the lands has been established as the Duck Lake Ecological Reserve, which is home to many exemplary ecological features including a hemlock forest and unpatterned fen ecosystem and provides opportunities for scientific study and low-impact recreation. Services and facilities include a hand-carry boat launch and a trailered boat launch.
Lakeville, Hancock County, Phone: 207-941-4412
13.Eagle Lake Public Land
Spanning 23,000 acres across reserved land near the town of Eagle Lake, in Maine’s Aroostook County, Eagle Lake Public Land is a reserve that includes most of Eagle Lake and abuts Square Lake. Eagle Lake covers 5,581 acres with a maximum water depth of 136 feet and is one of the most remote bodies of water in the Fish River chain. Popular with fishermen and anglers, the lake is well stocked with brook trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon and rainbow smelt and provides excellent freshwater fishing year-round. Other activities in and around the lake include pleasure boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, picnicking, and camping.
Eagle Lake, ME 04739, Phone: 207-435-7963
14.Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is a U.S. National Monument spanning 87,563 acres in northern Penobscot County. Comprised of rugged mountains and dense woods and forestland, the monument is located on the eastern border of Maine's Baxter State Park and includes a section of the East Branch Penobscot River. The Katahdin Woods & Waters Scenic Byway travels through some of the most spectacular natural landscape that inland Maine has to offer with Maine’s tallest mountain Katahdin, standing at 5,268 feet, along with the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Highlights of the park, monument and Scenic Byway include boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking trails, historical landmarks, whitewater rafting, snowmobiling, and wildlife watching.
Penobscot, ME 04476, Phone: 207-456-6001
15.Lake St. George State Park
Lake St. George State Park is a state park and public recreation area on the northwest shore of Lake St. George in Waldo County that covers 358 acres and offers a variety of activities from swimming, picnicking, and canoeing to camping, motorized boating, and fishing. Set near the town of Liberty, Lake St. George State Park surrounds the beautiful Lake St. George whose shoreline offers idyllic camping, and whose waters are stocked with plenty landlocked salmon and brook trout. Day-use areas have picnic tables and grills close to the beach, along with swings, volleyball and basketball courts, and a sandpit for young children. Three to five miles of hiking trails are within walking distance from the campground.
278 Belfast Augusta Rd, Liberty, ME 04949, Phone: 207-589-4255
16.Lamoine State Park
Nestled in the heart of Downeast Maine, Lamoine State Park is a state park and public recreation area set on the of Frenchman's Bay that boasts spectacular views of the mountains on Mount Desert Island and Lamoine's working waterfront. Spanning 55 acres close to the town of Lamoine, the state park’s central location offers a tranquil escape from the crowds on Mount Desert Island and provides easy access to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, area lighthouses and rockbound islands. Activities in the park include boating, fishing, canoeing, camping, and pleasure boating. The park is open for cross country skiers during the winter and the nearby town of Ellsworth if the commercial center of the area and is known as the gateway to Downeast Maine.
23 State Park Rd, Lamoine, ME 04605, Phone: 207-667-4778
17.Lily Bay State Park
Lily Bay State Park is a state park and public recreation area on the eastern shores of magnificent Moosehead Lake that spans 925 acres and offers a variety of activities including mixed tent and RV semi-private and well-maintained campsites, hiking trails, of fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Located nine miles north of Greenville in Piscataquis County, the state park and the surrounding region boasts breathtaking scenic landscape views and is home to an array of birds and wildlife. Several miles of walking trails offer excellent hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing in the winter, and other facilities include a spacious beach with a playground, picnic tables, and grills.
Beaver Cove, ME 04441, Phone: 207-695-2700
18.Little Moose Public Land
Located just west of Greenville in Piscataquis County, the Little Moose Public Land covers more than 15,000 acres in Moosehead Junction and Big Moose townships and is a popular hiking destination. The land features landscapes of gently rolling hills, rocky streams, steep slopes, and tranquil ponds, and activities include hiking, mountain biking, picnicking, camping, fishing, canoeing, and seasonal hunting. Hiking trails include the 3.7-mile Eagle Rock Trail that offers stunning vistas along the western flank of Big Moose Mountain. Other trails include the Big and Little Moose Ponds trailheads, the Notch Ponds trailhead, and the Mountain Road trailhead and the public land is home to an array of birds and wildlife.
Farmington, Maine 04938, Phone: 207-778-8231
19.Mt. Blue State Park
Mount Blue State Park features 7,489 acres of bifurcated land on the west shore of Webb Lake and boasts beautiful views of Mount Blue and other peaks to the east of the lake. Located in the town of Weld in Franklin County, the park is home to a variety of mammalian species including black bears, foxes, coyotes, moose, white-tailed deer, and squirrels. Activities and amenities in the park include a nature center, motorized and non-motorized boating, fishing, swimming, and an extensive trail system is used for hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ATV riding. Mount Blue State Park is open year-round.
297 Center Hill Rd, Weld, ME 04285, Phone: 207-585-2261
20.Peaks-Kenny State Park
Peaks-Kenny State Park is a seasonal state park and public recreation area in the town of Dover-Foxcroft that includes a white sandy beach at South Cove, along with hiking trails, camping sites, canoeing and kayaking rentals, and a picnic area. Spanning 813 acres on the south shore of Sebec Lake, the Peaks-Kenny State Park offers day visitors and campers a peaceful, wooded setting with stately trees and large glacial boulders near the lake in which to enjoy recreational pursuits. Renowned for its scenic beauty, Peaks-Kenny State Park is home to the Appalachian Trail, Moosehead Lake, and the southern end of Baxter State Park, all of which can be explored on a morning drive.
401 State Park Rd, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426, Phone: 207-564-2003
21.Popham Beach State Park
Popham Beach State Park is a state park and public recreation area in the town of Phippsburg along the on the Atlantic Ocean coastline that is home to the state’s busiest state park beach. Covering 605 acres in Sagadahoc County, Popham Beach State Park features a spectacular shoreline landscape that has formed a peninsula between the mouth of the Morse River and the Atkins Bay portion of the Kennebec River. One of Maine's rare geologic landforms, the area offers a variety of activities ranging from picnicking, fishing, and hiking to kayaking, swimming and sunbathing, and the peninsula is the site of several historic sites, including Fort Baldwin, Fort Popham, and the remains of the Popham Colony.
10 Perkins Farm Ln, Phippsburg, ME 04562, Phone: 207-389-1335
22.Quoddy Head State Park
Set on the easternmost point of land in the continental United States four miles off Maine State Route 189, Quoddy Head State Park is a state park and recreational area in Lubec that features five miles of hiking trails, extensive forests and woodlands, a diverse habitat for rare plants, and the striking, red-and-white striped lighthouse tower of West Quoddy Head Light. The lighthouse warned mariners of Quoddy's dangerous cliffs, ledges, and Sail Rock in the early 1800s and although now closed, visitors can explore the lighthouse grounds and visitors center, which is managed by the West Quoddy Head Light Keepers Association. Quoddy Head State Park offers beautiful landscapes, breathtaking views, scenic picnic sites, and excellent hiking and whale watching opportunities.
973 S Lubec Rd, Lubec, ME 04652, Phone: 207-733-0911
23.Range Pond State Park
Range Ponds State Park is a state park and public recreation area in Androscoggin County that offers a lovely sandy beach with lifeguard-supervised swimming, limited motorized boating, fishing, kayaking, and several hiking trails. Wrapping around the eastern end of Lower Range Pond in the town of Poland, Range Ponds State Park is a short drive from Auburn and Lewiston, and welcomes visitors who flock to the area to enjoy the gorgeous beaches, the activity centers on the waterfront and an array of watersports such as boating, canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing.
26 State Park Rd, Poland Spring, ME 04274, Phone: 207-998-4104
© MLB Photography/stock.adobe.com
Roosevelt Campobello is an international park and natural wonder located on Campobello Island in the Bay of Fundy that was once the summer home of the late U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, where he loved to hike, picnic, and sail. Located at the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay in the Bay of Fundy, the island has several interesting attractions, including the 34-room Roosevelt summer cottage and the historic Hubbard Cottage gardens, which visitors can explore on guided tours. Daily programs include guided hikes on FDR’s favorite trail which winds through the scenic forest, beach, and headlands of Friar’s Head; lighthouse tours, whale-watching tours on the Bay of Fundy, and plenty of bird-watching opportunities.
Lubec, ME 04652, Phone: 506-752-2922
25.Saint Croix Island
Saint Croix Island, also known to locals as Dochet Island, is a small uninhabited island near the mouth of the Saint Croix River in the heart of the traditional lands of the Passamaquoddy people. Forming part of the Canada–United States border and separating Maine from New Brunswick, Saint Croix Island was used by the Passamaquoddy people to store food away from the dangers of mainland animals. The six-and-a-half-acre island measures approximately 200 yards by 100 yards wide, and while there is no public access to the island, a visitor contact station can be found on the U.S. mainland.
84 Saint Croix Dr, Calais, ME, Phone: 04619-4230
25 Best Maine State & National Parks
- Acadia National Park, Photo: tiva48/stock.adobe.com
- Androscoggin Riverlands, Photo: Wollwerth Imagery/stock.adobe.com
- Aroostook State Park, Photo: Evdoha/stock.adobe.com
- Bigelow Preserve Public Land, Photo: Lora Hilton Photos/stock.adobe.com
- Bradbury Mountain State Park, Photo: weedezign/stock.adobe.com
- Camden Hills State Park, Photo: Natalia Bratslavsky/stock.adobe.com
- Cobscook Bay State Park, Photo: Kristina/stock.adobe.com
- Crescent Beach State Park, Photo: ksl/stock.adobe.com
- Dead River Public Land, Photo: shpak/stock.adobe.com
- Deboullie Public Lands, Photo: Michele Ursi/stock.adobe.com
- Donnell Pond Public Land, Photo: ChuckS/stock.adobe.com
- Duck Lake Public Land, Photo: NADEZHDA/stock.adobe.com
- Eagle Lake Public Land, Photo: Kunchit/stock.adobe.com
- Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Photo: Jonathan/stock.adobe.com
- Lake St. George State Park, Photo: evolutionnow/stock.adobe.com
- Lamoine State Park, Photo: Kasi/stock.adobe.com
- Lily Bay State Park, Photo: Vinoverde/stock.adobe.com
- Little Moose Public Land, Photo: Al/stock.adobe.com
- Mt. Blue State Park, Photo: tonktiti/stock.adobe.com
- Peaks-Kenny State Park, Photo: Venera/stock.adobe.com
- Popham Beach State Park, Photo: leekris/stock.adobe.com
- Quoddy Head State Park, Photo: Noradoa/stock.adobe.com
- Range Pond State Park, Photo: master1305/stock.adobe.com
- Roosevelt Campobello, Photo: MLB Photography/stock.adobe.com
- Saint Croix Island, Photo: sakhorn38/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: ericurquhart/stock.adobe.com