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Top 10 Maine Parks

These Ten Maine Parks Top Our List for 2024

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Portland Regency Hotel

Old Port Portland, ME

One of the most charming and historic hotels in the Old Port district, this hotel offers an elegant and cozy atmosphere, with a full-service spa, a fitness center, steam rooms, and hot tubs. The hotel is within walking distance of many area attractions including the Portland waterfront.

20 Milk Street
Portland, ME 04101

Courtyard by Marriott Downtown, Portland Maine

Courtyard by Marriott Downtown

Waterfront Portland, ME

The Courtyard by Marriott Portland Downtown/Waterfront is a modern and convenient hotel in the heart of Portland. It offers spacious rooms and suites with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and luxe bedding. The hotel has a high rating for its location, cleanliness, service, and value.

321 Commercial Street
Portland, ME 04101

Strawberry Hill Seaside Inn

Rockport, ME

The Stawberry Hill Seaside Inn is a scenic getaway in Glen Cove, ME overlooking Penobscot Bay. It offers oceanfront lodging with private balconies, outside pool. cable TV, refrigerators, and binoculars. It is near several midcoast Maine attractions and is highly rated by travelers.

886 Commercial Street
Rockport, ME 04856

Top 10 Maine Badge

PARKS

With its striking rocky coastline, rugged mountain ranges, vast forests, and crystal clear lakes, Maine offers some of the most spectacular and varied natural scenery and outdoor recreation in the Northeastern United States. From Acadia National Park’s granite peaks and seaside cliffs to Baxter State Park’s remote wilderness surrounding Mount Katahdin, Maine’s parks showcase the state’s incredible beauty.

This article summarizes ten of Maine’s top must-see parks for visitors and tourists. The parks listed contain iconic lighthouses, beaches, trails, waterfalls, and more that exemplify the diversity of landscapes and experiences across the state. Whether you love the coast, mountains, lakes, or forests, you’ll find your ideal park adventure in Maine. The following overview provides a brief introduction to each of these ten highly recommended destinations.

TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Acadia National Park

Cadillac Entrance Road, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Located on rugged Mount Desert Island along the scenic Maine coast, Acadia National Park is renowned as one of the East Coast’s most stunning national parks. Acadia offers 120 miles of hiking trails traversing granite mountain peaks, seaside cliffs, and forested areas that showcase the diversity of ecosystems on the island. Highlights include Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the U.S. eastern seaboard, and attractions like Thunder Hole and the Jordan Pond House.

With its proximity to Bar Harbor and scenic drives like the Park Loop Road that links the coast and mountains, Acadia provides easy access for visitors to experience the iconic rocky Maine shoreline. Outdoor activities range from biking the carriage roads to picnicking and swimming at Echo Lake Beach. Whether you visit for a day or a week, Acadia National Park is a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude and challenging adventures in Maine’s scenic coastal Downeast region.

TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Baxter State Park

Togue Pond Gatehouse, Millinocket, ME 04462

Baxter State Park in Maine

Baxter State Park in northern Maine near Millinocket offers visitors the chance to experience true wilderness hiking, camping, and seclusion less than 60 miles from the city of Bangor. Encompassing over 200,000 acres, the massive park contains hundreds of miles of hiking trails past pristine lakes, remote ponds, and across rugged Katahdin Mountain terrain.

The most notable hike leads to the 5,267 foot summit of Mount Katahdin, the legendary northern endpoint of the Appalachian Trail. Baxter preserves its wilderness feel by limiting roadways and restricting access, so advanced reservations are required. With its vast trail network and peaks to explore, Baxter State Park is a “must-see” destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking fun and challenging adventures in Maine’s scenic northern woods region.

TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Bradbury Mountain State Park

528 Hallowell Road, Pownal, ME 04069

Bradbury Mountain Summit View, Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, Maine

Located just north of Freeport, Bradbury Mountain State Park packs great hiking and panoramic views into a small package perfect for an afternoon or weekend trip. The main attraction is the moderate 0.5 mile hike up the 485-foot summit of Bradbury Mountain. The granite dome offers a 360-degree vista over the surrounding forests and lakes, providing sweeping views of the area.

Other trails wind through the hardwood forests below the peak, connecting to the larger 12 mile network that extends outside the park. With its family-friendly hikes, scenic overlook, and proximity to Portland and the coast, Bradbury Mountain is a popular spot for day-trippers and campers alike seeking beautiful natural scenery and hiking within easy reach of southern Maine’s attractions.

TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Camden Hills State Park

280 Belfast Road, Camden, ME 04843

Located in the scenic mid-coast of Maine in Camden, Camden Hills State Park is best known for its panoramic vistas overlooking Penobscot Bay from peaks rising over 800 feet. Hiking trails like the moderate Maiden Cliff Trail and Tablelands Trail ascend to exposed granite ledges and cliffs showcasing breathtaking views of the harbors and islands dotting the coastline below. The park also features camping, swimming at Megunticook Lake, and nearly 30 miles of multi-use trails for hiking and mountain biking across its 5,700 acres.

With attractions like the historic Mt. Battie auto road and scenic Sagamore Picnic Area, Camden Hills has options for visitors of all activity levels to take in the natural coastal beauty. It’s an ideal spot to experience the rugged Maine shoreline from its amazing panoramic viewing heights.

TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Ferry Beach State Park

95 Bayview Road, Saco, ME 04072

Ferry Beach State Park in Saco, Maine

Located along Maine’s southern coast between Old Orchard Beach and Kennebunkport, Ferry Beach State Park contains over a mile of sandy beachfront perfect for swimming, fishing, and beachcombing. The park’s diverse ecosystems including dunes, pine forests, coastal wetlands, and the ocean shoreline offer scenic hiking along nature trails and abundant opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Ferry Beach is a popular camping destination, with RV and tent sites at the campground near the beach. Amenities include bathhouses, playgrounds, and picnic areas nestled within the shade of scrub oak trees. With its family-friendly amenities and recreation options paired with a breathtaking stretch of Maine coast, Ferry Beach State Park makes for a picturesque oceanfront getaway.

TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Fort Knox Historic Site State Park

740 Ft Knox Road,, Prospect, ME 04981

Located along the Penobscot River in Prospect, Maine, Fort Knox Historic Site State Park allows visitors to explore a remarkably intact 19th century granite fortress. This massive coastal defense fort was built between 1844 and 1869 to protect the Penobscot River valley and Bangor from naval attacks. Guided fort tours traverse underground tunnels, climb to the rooftop observatory, and walk atop the imposing earthworks and walls.

Nearby, the Penobscot Narrows Observatory soars 420 feet, offering panoramic views from the tallest public bridge observatory in the world. An elevator whisks visitors to the top for sweeping vistas up and down the river. Between the beautifully preserved fort showcasing military history and engineering feats and the unmatched views from the observatory, Fort Knox Historic Site & State Park provides interactive experiences of the region’s coastal culture and natural beauty. It’s an ideal destination for history buffs, architecture fans, and nature lovers alike.

TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Fort Williams Park

1000 Shore Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

Located along the rocky southern Maine coastline in Cape Elizabeth, Fort Williams Park allows visitors to explore the historic remains of a late 19th century military fort while taking in sweeping ocean views. Perched atop a seaside bluff, the 90-acre park surrounds the ruins of Battery Blair and other fortifications that remain from Fort Williams’ past as a defense site for Portland Harbor.

Visitors can wander the grassy grounds, appreciate the scenic vantage over Casco Bay, and learn about the military history through interpretive displays. Nearby Portland Head Light, Maine’s oldest lighthouse, adds to the maritime ambiance. With walking trails along the rugged shore and cliffs, as well as picnicking facilities, Fort Williams Park combines military history and natural coastal beauty into one easily accessible oceanside destination.

TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Grafton Notch State Park

Grafton Notch State Park, Newry, ME 04261

Screw Auger Falls in Grafton Notch State Park near Newry Maine

Nestled in the Mahoosuc Mountain Range of western Maine, Grafton Notch State Park showcases the rugged natural beauty and recreation opportunities of the state’s forested interior. Carved by the Bear River, the park features scenic gorges, cascading waterfalls like Screw Auger Falls, and panoramic mountain vistas. Hiking trails like the moderately strenuous Table Rock Trail offer challenging cliff climbs, while swimming and picnicking at the base of waterfalls provide family-friendly options.

Bear Mountain and Old Speck Mountain supply scenic overlooks accessible by hiking or the roadway. With remote backcountry and developed, accessible sites both found within the park’s 3,150 acres, Grafton Notch supplies options for outdoor enthusiasts of all activity levels to experience the striking but lesser-known mountains and forests of Maine.

 
TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Scarborough Beach State Park

418 Black Point Road,, Scarborough, ME 04074

Scarborough Beach State Park in Scarborough Maine

Located just south of Portland, Scarborough Beach State Park provides a scenic stretch of sandy coastline perfect for swimming, relaxing, and taking in views of the open Atlantic Ocean. The park contains over a mile of beachfront, where visitors can go saltwater swimming, walk along the water’s edge, build sandcastles, and enjoy seaside picnics in the shade of scrub oak trees.

Nature trails wind through the coastal grasslands adjacent to the beach, offering scenic hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. With its convenient proximity to Portland and old-fashioned seaside amenities like snack bars and changing rooms, Scarborough Beach State Park is a popular summertime destination. Its family-friendly recreation options and unbelievable sunset views make it an ideal spot for an easy coastal beach and hiking adventure.

TOP 10 MAINE PARKS

Sebago Lake State Park

61 Cub Point Road, Casco, ME 04015

Beach at Sebago Lake State Park in Casco Maine

Sprawling along the shoreline of Maine’s deepest and second largest lake, Sebago Lake State Park is a beloved summertime destination for swimming, boating, camping, and enjoying the beauty of giant Sebago Lake. The park’s own sandy beach provides an excellent spot for swimming in the clear, clean waters, while boat launches allow visitors to explore the expansive lake.

Campsites and cabins nestled among tall pines cater to overnight guests who wish to fall asleep to the loon calls. Miles of diverse hiking trails loop through the forests and along the coastline, offering scenic views of the water from various perspectives. Whether you are there for the day to play on the beach or an extended stay to boat, fish for salmon and lake trout, and experience the lake after dark, the pristine beauty and variety of activities available at Sebago Lake State Park encapsulate the magic of summer fun in Maine.

TRAVEL MAINE BLOG

Discover the best of Maine with our travel blog highlighting special travel tips, sightseeing suggestions and regional interest stories to make the most of your Maine vacation trip. We bring you insigthful articles about unique places, kid-friendly activities, and regional entertainment that will help in planning your trip to Maine.

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