Hiking Maine | Amazing Views at the top of the Maiden Cliff Trail in Camden

I’m just going to put this out there up front. This hike pushed my limits. I struggle when a hike has a lot of elevation to it and this mountain trail rises about 800 feet although the saving grace is that it’s not exceptionally long.

We went to Ireland a few years back and I spent a lot of time in the months leading up to our vacation running up and down the stairs in our house in ten minute intervals in preparation for climbing Skellig Michael. The remote island off the coast of Ireland has the remains of a monastery at the top but you have to climb around 600 steps to reach it. The more current claim to fame for the island is that some of the new Star Wars movies were filmed there. I made it to the top but it was rough. I haven’t improved much with my vertically inclined hikes.

Why do I keep doing them? Because the payoff when you reach the top is always amazing and our hike at the Maiden Cliff Trail in Camden reinforced this point. When you reach the end of the trail it opens up onto gorgeous views of Megunticook Lake down below.


As a testament to how amazing the views were after reaching the top of the Maiden Cliff Trail we continued on a little further along the Scenic Trail which meant more climbing. Overall, the hike was just under 2 miles but it felt longer. The trail is rated moderate on most sites. You have to navigate a lot of rocks, boulders and roots on the climb so be sure to wear appropriate hiking shoes. We hiked up on a warm September day but there was lots of shade on the way up although the top is fairly open to the sun so I recommend a hat.

A few things stand out about this hike. The first is that it’s extremely well marked which came in handy once we got to the top and away from the trees. The granite outcroppings are everywhere and it’s easy to get turned around but the blue trail markers painted onto the rocks kept us on track.

One of the focal points at the top of the trail is an enormous white cross that was erected in memory of a young girl from the late 1800s who died after falling off the cliff. Here is a link to an article that goes into more detail about the history of the trail.

Finally, it’s a busy trail. We passed a lot of other hikers on our way up and again on our way down. It’s an extremely popular trail.  The only tough part, at least for my ego, was seeing so many young kids maneuvering the trail with ease while I had to keep stopping to catch my breath.

After we returned from our trip to Ireland, my husband framed a picture of Skellig Michael for me. I get to look at it every day. Maybe I’ll have to start framing some pictures of my Maine hikes too to remind myself that sometimes the hikes that are the most challenging often lead to the best rewards.


things to know
Place Maiden Cliff Trail
Address Camden, Maine
Website Maiden Cliff Trail | AllTrails
Favorite ♥ Stunning Views

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Hiking Maine | Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth

Hiking in Maine

So, summer got away from us a little bit. We were so focused on getting our girls ready to leave the nest, that there was little time left over for blogging. On the plus side, I now know all about VISA requirements for Sweden and how to vacuum seal a comforter so it will fit in a suitcase.

Even with all the chaos, we did find a little time here and there to fit in some summer adventures (more coming on those soon) and keep up with our weekly hikes (well, for the most part).

As we approached the drop off date to bring our youngest to college for her Freshman year, we headed out for a later afternoon hike and she decided to join us. Our girls aren’t big on hiking, so it was a nice to have her decide to come along with us for this one.

While we originally planned to hike Mackworth Island, the parking lot for this popular hiking destination is small and can fill up. Since it was already full, we had to rethink our hiking destination. In the end we took a lovely detour to the Audubon Center at Gilsland Farm. Both hiking spots are located in Falmouth, Maine.

The Audubon Center is a great family destination. While the Education Center located on the property was closed on a Sunday, the trails were open. We hiked a loop around the perimeter. The trail passed through open fields covered in sunny yellow flowers and into a few forested areas with observation blinds overlooking the Presumpscot River estuary.

The trails are not challenging and extremely family friendly. They’re designed to relax and spend some time. It was a beautiful way to spend an afternoon.


things to know
Place Gilsland Farm Audubon Center
Address 20 Gilsland Farm Road
Falmouth, Maine 04105
Website Audubon Center
Favorite ♥ Family Hike

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Sunrise Views from Cadillac Mountain

The full size bed took up all but a narrow path that circled the perimeter of the room requiring us to take turns as we got dressed in the dark. We had chosen this bed and breakfast because of sentimentality. We got engaged here almost a half century earlier. We’d chosen this particular room because of the lower cost and the fact that it was available on short notice.

I didn’t need my phone alarm to rouse me although I had set it as a precaution. I woke up naturally when I heard my husband get up first and, once he finished dressing, I got out of bed reluctantly but determined not to miss the first rays of sunshine to hit the East Coast. We were quick and ready to leave in ten minutes giving us just enough time to get to Cadillac Mountain before the scheduled sunrise which according to our tandem google searches the day before would be 4:50 am.

We quietly walked down the narrow staircase and opened the large wooden entrance to the Castlemaine Inn eager to see the impending sunrise only to be greeted by light immediately followed by confusion. Not being early risers and having rarely seen a previous sunrise, we didn’t understand that the darkness slowly starts dissipating before the sun officially rises.

Since we were already up, we made our way to Acadia National Park anyway. It was a short 8 minute drive to the Cadillac Mountain entrance. Once we were inside the park, we began maneuvering the winding road to the top but well before reaching the parking lot we began seeing cars parked on the side of the road a sure sign that the lot was already full and that we had gravely misunderstood the popularity of being the first to see the sunrise in the United States.

We found a spot tucked off on the side of the road and proceeded to rapidly walk towards the summit.  We had left so little buffer time to get there for the official sunrise that we raced to the top although, as it was already light out, we probably could have walked a little more leisurely.  As we got closer to the top, we saw that people were everywhere. The stone wall that bordered the left of the parking lot had been commandeered with people squeezed into every open spot of the winding wall.

The summit also had pockets of people in every nook and cranny many who looked like they had camped out for many hours if not overnight. There were people huddled in blankets and others dressed for summer. The one thing they all had in common was that they had planned their sunrise viewing better than we had.

The clouds covered all but a few slivers of the sky limiting the view but there were still some stunning bands of yellows, with occasional hints of pink and orange peaking through. It was beautiful and even if we were not the first to see the sunrise, as that honor goes to someone who planned far better than us, it was still fun to join this expansive group who made it to Cadillac mountain to be the first to see the sunrise on the east coast.

I’ve also included pictures from our day time visit to the summit that we took the day prior to our sunrise stop proving that Cadillac Mountain is beautiful no matter what time you come.

Cadillac Mountain.png

things to know
Place Cadillac Mountain
Address Acadia National Park
Website Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park
Favorite ♥ The Views

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Hiking Maine | Trek along the Bold Coast in Cutler

Sometimes the timing of a hike impacts the end result and even the most beautiful of spots ends up feeling like more of a challenge and a little less fun than expected. After a day spent getting up close with the Puffins of Machias Seal Island, we were more tired than we realized and underestimated the difficulty of the hike we had planned to Cutler to explore the Bold Coast.

It didn’t help that we left our go bag in the car and didn’t have any bug spray to ward off the mosquitoes that were coming out as the day was winding down especially as the first mile of the trail is through the woods without any ocean breezes to keep them at bay.

At least you move quickly when the mosquitoes are out since stopping is just an invitation to have them linger and snack on you. So, we pushed through until we hit the coast. While much of the view is obstructed, there are some well placed openings in the path where you can get closer to the edge to enjoy some especially amazing views. The bold coast is the right name for this part of the Maine coastline where dramatic, steep cliffs border the water’s edge.

The path leading up to the coast was challenging with rocks and tree roots carpeting the floor and slowing our pace. Or, maybe it was just our exhaustion. Without our bug spray, this first part of the trek was not much fun but once we finally hit the coast, we understood why this trail is so highly rated.  The views were even worth the mosquito bites.

The trail itself is actually fairly long, but we didn’t have the energy to hike the full path so we missed much of the coastal section as we turned back and retraced our steps knowing that we would already be a little over three miles by the time we finally got back to our parked car. Three miles was about all we had in us.

I would love to come back to this hike another time when we have the energy to hike the full trail especially the path along the coast which we only tasted a small part of on this trip. I’d plan a little better and not schedule back to back activities next time. I think hiking the Bold Coast is a best done when you’re fresh and rested.

That’s okay. We still got a great peak at what this trail offers and it’s a good excuse to come back to this area again someday and do a little more exploring.

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Bold Coast.png.png

Hiking Maine | A walk along the ocean at Goose Rocks Beach

Parking in the summer can be challenging at Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport. You need a parking pass and demand generally exceeds supply.  But, in the spring, it is less busy but no less beautiful.

Below are a few pictures from our recent spring hike to Goose Rocks Beach.

Spring inland hikes can be challenging. As I talked about in my earlier post, Hiking Maine | The Hirundo Wildlife Refuge Trail the mosquitoes are fierce and detract from the experience.

The best option during this time of year is to stick to the coast and Goose Rocks Beach was a great option.

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