Maine is one of my favorite states. It has sweeping green mountains, numerous lakes, and streams, along with cute seaside towns bustling with tourists. But the biggest reason that I love Maine is the feeling of extreme peace I feel there. For that reason, at least once a year, I visit Maine’s western mountains. This area has fewer tourists, so more unspoiled wilderness to explore. But aside from chilling on the coast of a lake, there are also many great outdoor activities. Here are some of my favorite things to do in western Maine.
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Eastman Park on the Sandy River, Phillips, Maine
This is a very easy river to get to with kids for rock climbing, swimming in the river, hiking, picnicking, and fishing. I also like to chill and build cairns here.
I am a lover of multicolored gorges, easy-to-access swimming holes, and waterfalls, which makes this set of four falls located just north of Phillips ideal for my family and me. Here, and at the many lakes around the area, you can fish for Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Small Mouth Bass.
You can tell that the animals at this small roadside farm overlooking the Saddleback Mountains are well-taken care of. As soon as they got used to us, the goats and alpacas were happy to be petted, but the baby bull stole my heart. Truth be told, I think he had a little crush on me! The family uses the alpaca fur to make all sorts of products that they sell at the farm, which is in the town of Phillips, Maine.
Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad
My great-grandfather Dick was an engineer on railroads, so we have an affinity for visiting historic railroads. Be sure to take a ride through the mountains on a steam-driven train.
The Best Hiking Trails in Western Maine
Fly Rod Crosby Trail-
If you followed the whole 45 miles of this trail, you would meander through the town of Phillips, walk along old railroad tracks in mixed hardwood forests, and along tumbling streams. You will find swimming and fishing holes. Some of the route is part of the Appalachian Trail…
The Maine Appalachian Trail
Two hundred eighty-two miles of the longest hiking trail in the world are in Maine, and it serves as one of its termini. It contains the hardest mile, some of the most remote parts of the trail, and exciting wildlife, such as moose and loons.
A full-day hike with some steep and tricky areas, this hike affords beautiful views over the surrounding valleys. Read on for the full story of this incredible hike.
A shorter and less crowded, but steep hike providing views of the Weld area and Webb Pond.
My kids love Daggett Rock for the short, easy hike with a big reward- a huge rock to climb on! The rock is a glacial erratic, which is a rock that is not native to the place in which it is found. This huge rock was carried by a glacier a couple of miles to its present resting spot, where it has cracked into a few gigantic pieces providing fun rock climbing possibilities for adventurous kids.
ATV Riding and Snowmobiling
Trails for snowmobiles and ATVs are ubiquitous in this area, so if you feel the need for speed, you have come to the right place. The Narrow Gauge Riders ATV Club can help you find trails or rentals.
Fox Carlton Pond Sporting Camp
I have known the Pound family for years, and they are how I was initially introduced to this area. I spent many years coming to their private camp. Side note, most people in Maine have a “camp,” a place to escape from their own homes and get into the wilderness. A camp can run the gamut from a camping spot on one’s property to a lake house.
A while back, they opened up a sporting camp for the public to enjoy some time away from home in the Maine wilderness. They have rooms in the main lake house, cabins, RV, and tent sites for rent. They have a spot for sleeping in the clouds (hammock camping). Their rates include boat use and fly fishing in their private trout pond. The property is gorgeous and peaceful, a beautiful retreat! If you would like more information about staying on their beautiful property, be sure to visit their website. Which brings me to reiterate the biggest reason that I love Maine’s western mountains-
This area of the country is ideal for getting away from the craziness of life. My family puts away our electronics. We spend time surrounded by nature- chasing frogs, watching beavers build a dam and fireflies fluttering at night, cooking s’mores on the lake at Fox Carlton Pond, or just relaxing by the lake. Perfection.
Where do you feel your zen best? Let me know in the comments.
Of course, I love Maine so much; I also spend time in the touristy parts. Read on for my Guide to Acadia National Park and 47 Cool Things to do in Portland.
Read more about my adventures in New England here.
10 thoughts on “Why I Love Maine’s Western Mountains”
“If you love it, please save it.” That’s a very true sentiment expressed at the bottom of your blog. Maine’s western mountains are under assault from industrial development and the result could be the alteration of 12,000 square miles of Maine’s iconic mountain view sheds. If we love Maine’s mountains, we must save them from this. We need to repeal Maine’s Expedited Wind Law. Nothing as environmentally degrading and damaging as industrial wind should be fast tracked through the permitting process. Please speak out to save our mountains and wild places. http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/urgent-dep-needs-your-advice-comments-due-at-5pm-monday-the-8th
Daggett Rock when I was a child, you could not see through the crack! Now you can walk through it! The memories in the mountains of Maine are many!! Thank you for such a great reminder of Gods creation!!
Leilani, That is amazing to know! His world is spectacular, with wonder everywhere to those who take the time to explore it!
I’ve only ever been to coastal Maine, so these pictures are breathtaking and a good reminder to return to the state! Love the idea of hiking more.
Happy to have reminded you!
I’m a big fan of spending a lot of time in the mountains!! You really inspired me to go and discover the western mountains of Maines! I love to be disconnected for a while from people, cities and electronical devices and soak up the energy and peace that the outdoors offer. There are also a lot of activities, such as rock climbing that I like to do! Thank you for the inspiration!!
Cynthia, the rock climbing is a great idea!
What a lovely place,the landscape is nothing less than spectacular. I was also fascinated by the old railroad. Looks like an absolute dreamland.
Cairns image (those stacked stones) remind me of Ladakh! Maine seems beautiful!
I love to find them all over the world. They remind me of humanities similarities, even if we don’t act like we are one.