Today is a gorgeous beach day in Southern Maine and all of New England, but everyone knows that there’s such a thing as too much sun, and when that’s the case, hiking is one of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors and stay out of the sun! Fortunately, there are dozens of hiking trails in and around Kennebunkport that are awesome for a fantastic summer hike! With so many great options, it’s tough to choose, but here are our picks for the top 5 hiking trails in the area.
- Throughout neighboring Kennebunk, the Kennebunk Land Trust preserves large tracts of land including many trails of varying length and difficulty level. Not far from Lower Village lies a personal favorite known as the Secret Garden Trail. The 1.5 mile loop is an absolute gem, but to make it a bit more of a workout, you can walk the mile-is trip from the Maine Stay Inn through downtown Kennebunkport to the entrance at the back of the Evergreen Cemetery. With lots of flora and fauna to enjoy, as well as babbling brooks and vernal pools, there is plenty of scenery to enjoy on this relatively flat hike.
- One of the most popular hikes in the Kennebunkport area is, without a doubt, the Parsons Way walk – a paved path that stretches along Ocean Avenue all the way out to the Bush Estate. As an “out and back” type hike, you can choose to turn back whenever you like – or just stop and enjoy the scenery along the stone wall that runs much of the way. There are some great lookouts and beautiful sights like the famous Spouting Rock, St. Ann’s Church, and, of course, the Bush Family Compound.
- The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust protects over 2200 acres of land with 15 miles of trails throughout town, and encompasses tons of routes to enjoy. I am particularly fond of the Emmons Preserve and Smith Preserve which offer multiple trail lengths. There might not be an ocean view, but the trails are impeccably maintained and well utilized. In the summer, their heavy canopy is much appreciated for the cooler temps and escape from the strong sun, but come fall, they are top of the list for fall foliage hiking!
- Head further south to Mount Agamenticus in York for steeper elevations and incredible views from the top. The Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region protects 30,000 acres on the Southern Maine Coast, and the main site sits on 10,000 acres with trails to be used during all 4 seasons. From the top you’ll enjoy views of the Maine Coast and Atlantic Ocean. But look west and you can see all the way to Mount Washington on a clear day like today!
- But my personal favorite is always Laudholm Farm/Wells Reserve with miles of trails through fields, in wooded areas, over estuaries, and down to the beach. Both the Salt Marsh Loop and Beach Trail take you through a breathtaking landscapes and offer incredible water views. Best of all, until the end of August there are installation pieces by famous sculptors all around the property!
Fortunately, though, there are countless other places to enjoy scenic hiking in the Southern Maine area, so this summer it’s time to hit the trails! No matter which you choose, you can’t go wrong with hiking along the Southern Maine Coast, and all of us at the Maine Stay are happy to help suggest activities and locations that are up your alley.