Back in July we compiled a list of some of the best beaches in Maine for you and your pup to enjoy together. Now that the days of laying on the beach are over and the cool weather is blowing in, we made a list of some of the best walking and hiking trails our great state has to offer. Whether your pup is a hiking pro or likes to take things slow and steady, we guarantee that he’ll love each of the locations on our list of the best dog-friendly trails we know!
Mount Agamenticus, York
Consisting of over 10,000 acres and 40 miles of trails, Mount Agamenticus does not disappoint when it comes to dog-friendly hiking and scenic views. You and your pooch will love getting down and dirty on the more difficult, rocky Ring Trail which begins at the base of the mountain and ascends gradually to the top through dense forest and some rocky climbs. If you have an older, more casual companion, The Big A trail is a much easier walk that circles the mountain up to the summit with only mild hiking spots. Once at the top, breathtaking views of Cape Elizabeth, Casco Bay and the Boston skyline can all be seen, as well as some of the Presidential Range, including Mount Washington. All dogs must be leashed and cleaned up after during their adventure, but we’re sure both you and your furry friend will love this hike!
Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor
Known as the Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast, Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor is responsible for protecting and preserving the natural beauty of the highest rocky headlands along the Atlantic coastline of the United States. While much of the park is off-limits to pets, there are still over 100 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads that welcome dogs and encourage on-leash hiking. There are also several campgrounds that permit pets and allow for you and your furry friend to camp out during your stay. All views of and from this park are breathtaking and wildlife is in abundance as you hike through thick forests and past placid lakes. Just remember to always clean up after your dog and consider enrolling them in Acadia’s B.A.R.K Ranger program for extra benefits and fun!
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Wells
Established in 1966, the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge was established to protect and maintain the valuable salt marshes and estuaries of Maine, specifically for migratory birds. Located along 50 miles of coastline in both York and Cumberland county, the refuge consists of 11 different divisions and contains approximately 14,600 acres of of preserved land that is open for both you and your dog to explore! Whether it be on-leash or off, you and your furry friend will love the quiet, scenic walks through open salt plains and marshes and past the rocky coastlines that only Maine can offer. While the refuge entrance is located on Port Road in Wells, the trails extend from Kittery to Cape Elizabeth with plenty to see along the way and many nooks and crannies for your dog to explore. Leash control or voice command over your dog is always appreciated and picking up after them is a must. However, we promise your pooch will be nice and tired after this explorative, trail walk!
Mackworth Island Trail, Falmouth
Another preserved sanctuary for birds, Mackworth Island is connected to the mainland in Falmouth by a causeway at the mouth of the Presumpscot River and is home to Baxter School for the Deaf. The public trail, which follows the perimeter of the island, is open to both humans and canines to enjoy and is maintained by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. While there is a small entrance fee you must pay to access this trail, most would tell you it’s well worth it! With over 100 acres to explore and a 1.25 mile walking path to trek, you and your pooch will love the great, open views of the harbor as well as the never-ending activity of marine and bird life. If you get tired, there is a private, walled area that you can rest at that commemorates some 19 Irish settlers who befriended the governor of the island back before it was donated. An island rich in cultural and ghostly lore, we think you and your furry friend will love visiting this trail. Just make sure your dog is leashed at all times and to clean up all waste!
Bauneg Beg Mountain Conservation Area, North Berwick
Consisting of 89 acres of forested land and including the 866-foot tall Bauneg Beg Mountain, which consists of three separate peaks and a panoramic view of the area, this conservation area in North Berwick is great for some off-leash hiking with your furry friend. The Bauneg Beg Trail starts at the base of the mountain and winds through thick forests before ascending and crossing a large boulder section of the mountain known as the Devil’s Den. Filled with small, bouldered caves or “dens” and some rocky terrain, Devil’s Den is great for the seasoned, hiking pooch who loves to explore and climb some steep rocks. However, if your dog is more into a casual hike with some mild elevation, the regular mountain trail is just a short trek to the peak and offers some lovely views of the forested land below. As always, just be considerate of surrounding wildlife and clean up after your dog!
Maine is a state full of beautiful hiking trails through natural forests and rocky mountains and we’re lucky that most are open to our dogs as well. Whether your both hardcore hikers or just want a casual walk through the quiet woods, Maine is the perfect state for you and your pup to get some exercise, fresh air and quality time together. Happy hiking!