5 Best Hikes Near Portland, Maine

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5 BEST HIKES NEAR PORTLAND, MAINE

Portland, Maine isn’t a city with a lot of hustle and bustle. It’s got plenty of outdoor activities to do, well-known places to eat, and top-notch craft beers to enjoy within the city limits. However, there’s a lot more to this beautiful state than Portland itself, and any outdoor enthusiast will love getting out and exploring some of Maine’s best hikes that are just a short drive out of town.

Since moving to Portland, we’ve loved discovering how many incredible places are close enough to do a full or half day hike. One of the best parts of being in Maine is being able to get to the mountains, the forests, and the oceans all in one day — sometimes, you’ll even get it in the same hike.

As it goes in all of the destinations we share, please practice good trail etiquette and remember to Leave No Trace. This means packing out all of your garbage, being respectful to others on busy trails, and following the established rules.

Here’s the outdoor adventurer’s guide to the best hikes near Portland, Maine.

Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail, Burnt Meadow Mountain

  • Length: 3.6 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation Gain: 1,391 feet
  • Fee: None
  • Dog-Friendly: Yes

The Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail delivers with varied terrain, rock scrambles, wildflowers, and panoramic views. Drive for almost an hour towards the New Hampshire border in Brownfield for one of the best full-day hikes near Portland, Maine. Hike up the Blue Trail to get a glimpse of the White Mountain Range, and possibly a view of the snow-covered Mount Washington (the highest point in the Northeast) and follow the Yellow Trail around and all the way back down for even better views.

It’s a very exposed and sunny trail, so bring plenty of sunscreen a hat or bandana to stay covered. Keep yourself fueled with water and snacks to enjoy at the top. The Yellow blazes aren’t clearly marked on the way down, so stay alert and aware of your surroundings. On the drive back, stop at Lone Pine Brewing’s second location in Gorham to enjoy a cold one before heading back to Portland.

Discover 5 of the best hikes to do near Portland, Maine for the best coastal scenery and mountain views just a short drive from the city.

Morse Mountain to Seawall Beach, Popham Beach State Park

  • Length: 3.8 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation Gain: 433 feet
  • Fee: None
  • Dog-Friendly: No

The hike from Morse Mountain to Seawall Beach is a meandering and scenic trail that leads out to one of Maine’s best beaches. It’s both a conservation area and private property, but is open to hikers who tread lightly and follow the rules. The pristine environment is what makes it one of the best hikes near Portland, Maine and you’ll love walking through pine forests, estuaries, and out to the sprawling coastline (just leave the beach umbrellas behind, they aren’t allowed at Seawall Beach).

Don’t miss the turn at the last fork before the beach, where you’ll see a sign for both Private Property and a trail marker. Hikers are allowed to walk up the road to get to the lookout where you’ll see a vista point with gorgeous views of the woods and waterways. Hike back down the road, turn right, and continue on the beach. Make sure to bring snacks, water, and sunscreen for this hike.

Discover 5 of the best hikes to do near Portland, Maine for the best coastal scenery and mountain views just a short drive from the city.

Tote Road Loop, Bradbury Mountain State Park

  • Length: 1.9 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation Gain: 334 feet
  • Fee: $4 for Maine residents; $6 for non-Maine residents
  • Dog-Friendly: Yes

A quick 30 minute drive north of Portland proper will take you out to Bradbury Mountain State Park. Its accessibility and scenery complete with campsites, picnic areas, and trails that are open to both hikers and mountain bikers, make it one the best hikes near Portland, Maine. This is a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to travel too far for a nice day hike in a beautiful area with panoramic views. Hike the Tote Road Loop for an easy way to scope out the entire park and take a break at the summit.

Discover 5 of the best hikes to do near Portland, Maine for the best coastal scenery and mountain views just a short drive from the city.

Our tips for post-hike foot rehab

Harraseeket and White Pines Loop, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park

  • Length: 2 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Elevation Gain: 173 feet
  • Fee: $4 for Maine residents; $6 for non-Maine residents
  • Dog-Friendly: Yes, must be kept on a leash

A hike in Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park gives you a lot of scenery (wilderness, coastline, trails, and views) within a short trail. Hike through a forest full of White Pines and Hemlock trees before skirting alongside the Casco Bay. The trail will eventually loop you around to a stunning point on the shoreline with several islands in full view. It’s a 30 minute drive from downtown Portland and only 10 minutes from Freeport’s town center. Get a head start on your hike so you can visit the L.L. Bean flagship store, grab a bite to eat, or enjoy a beer at the Maine Beer Company.

Discover 5 of the best hikes to do near Portland, Maine for the best coastal scenery and mountain views just a short drive from the city.

Southwest Ridge Trail, Pleasant Mountain

  • Length: 5.4 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation Gain: 1,984 feet
  • Fee: None
  • Dog-Friendly: Yes

The Southwest Ridge Trail is a beautiful hike near Portland that is worth taking an hour-long scenic drive through Southwestern Maine. It has your quintessential Northeast terrain: rocky, bouldery trails through a pine forest, which makes it a bit challenging in some of the steeper parts. At the beginning, you’ll gain plenty of elevation, but then the trail flattens out mid-hike and you’re rewarded with some gorgeous lookouts of the surrounding lakes and mountains. At the summit, it opens up to reveal a vast panoramic view of the New Hampshire range of the White Mountains, which makes all of the effort well worth it. If you’re hiking on a hot day, bring plenty of food, water, sun protection and bug spray.

Discover 5 of the best hikes to do near Portland, Maine for the best coastal scenery and mountain views just a short drive from the city.

What’s your favorite hike near Portland, Maine? Leave a comment below or join the discussion in our Bearfoot Theory Outdoor Adventurers Facebook Group!

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