After a big Thanksgiving meal, there’s a chance you want to get some exercise in. Or, you could have out-of-town visitors who want to see the beauty that all this snow has brought to the area. Hop on over to Hancock County and entertain yourselves with some winter-friendly hikes.
Start the day with breakfast in Ellsworth or Bar Harbor, and then hit the trails to see some of Maine’s charming, early winter sights. Don’t forget to wear sturdy shoes or add ice-traction devices to the bottom, and if you’re lucky, you could even get some snowshoeing in.
Schoodic Head in Acadia National Park
No story about hiking in Hancock County is complete without the inclusion of some trails at Acadia National Park. Take the moderately difficult Anvil Trail, which at 1.1 miles features stunning views of Champlain Mountain, Cadillac Mountain and even the ocean. After the completion of Anvil Trail, pick your own adventure by going on Schoodic Head Trail (0.7 mile) or East Trail (0.5 mile). Learn more about the hike here.
Long Ledges Preserve in Sullivan
One of the snowshoe-friendly jaunts on the list, Long Ledges Preserve spans 318 acres with 3 miles of trails in its network. Each trail has well-marked signage, so you can follow along with the preserve map. Emerge from the forest for a complete view of Long Pond, then return to your winter snowshoeing adventure. Learn more about the hike here.
Flying Mountain and Valley Cove in Acadia National Park
Make your way to Mount Desert Island for this easy-to-moderate hike that’s perfect for newbie hikers or families with kids. Hit the trail and give one of the lowest peaks (284 feet) in Acadia a try. Don’t get too distracted by the stunning views of Somes Sound at the top of Flying Mountain. The water down in Valley Cove is so clear and pristine, especially in winter, you won’t want to miss this stop on the trail. Learn more about the hike here.
Simon Trail in Lamoine
Simon Trail offers an easy stroll with a 1-mile loop through the forest. Walk among the white cedars, white pines and balsam firs. This is a family-friendly (and dog-friendly) trail, and if the snow is still fresh, feel free to bust out those snowshoes. Try to spot some of the wildlife hiding between the trees, too. Learn more about the hike here.
Woodlawn trail network in Ellsworth
This hike is ideal if you want to stop in Ellsworth for a meal either to fuel you up or treat yourself after a stroll in the woods. This three-loop network features less than 2.5 miles of trails, which are all well-maintained and wide. Unfortunately the Woodlawn Museum is not open in winter, so you’ll have to save that trip for the summer. Feel free to bring your pups, too, but make sure they are on a short enough leash and always pick up after them. Learn more about the hike here.
Trenton Community Trail
This simple hike is full of trickling brooks, towering trees and some bog bridges. With an easy to moderate level, the trail is 2.4 miles out and back. Bird watchers will love the bog boardwalk, which features signage outlining the various birds and other wildlife that inhabit the area. Learn more about the hike here.
Hancock County too far? Check out more Maine hikes here.