Summer hiking is finally here as we head up to Carabasset Valley.

I’ll admit it. The mosquitoes win. They may be small but they are relentless. It’s the reason we rarely hike during the spring. It’s just not worth it.

No matter how many layers of all natural insect repellent I put on, it’s just never enough. I know something more high-test with deet might do a better job but I’m not a fan so instead we mostly avoid the woods during these months. But now that summer is here, we’re heading out to the trails again which is a good thing. I did not move nearly enough this winter and am excited to get back into our hiking routine.

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Seven things that take a hiking trail from mediocre to amazing.

Summer was a little challenging but we’re finally getting back to our weekly hiking routine at least for the most part. Our favorite thing to do is take a road trip where we spend the day exploring a new area of Maine. We’llĀ find a fun place to hike that’s in the vicinity of a nearby craft brewery which is not difficult in Maine. We have a lot of them. We also find someplace new and fun to eat and maybe explore a few shops in the area. That last one is probably more me than my husband.

It’s always a great day, but in order to up our hiking frequency we need some trails that are closer to our house for those days where we don’t have the luxury of time.

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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.

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#AtoZChallenge | B is for Bradbury Mountain State Park and Snowshoeing Adventures

I love a bargain. Sale is probably my favorite four letter word. So when we bought our first Maine state park pass, I was excited to learn that if you buy it after August 15th it is actually good through the end of the following year which meant we could go on even more hiking adventures.

When the credit card sized blue pass arrived in the mail, we started researching state parks and making plans. While we had already hiked many trails throughout the state, we hadn’t yet gone to many of the state parks so this was our opportunity to try some new destinations.

Our first winter hike while using our park pass was to Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal. Fate was kind to us and it was the perfect day to visit.

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Hiking Maine | Finally made it to the not so secret Seawall Beach in Phippsburg.

Ever since our visit to Popham Beach in Phippsburg, I have been wanting to head back to the area for a hike at nearby Seawall Beach. Most articles that I have read refer to this spot as a hidden beach since the only access point is by hiking in and then back out. However, after my recent visit, it’s clear that it’s a fairly well-known destination based on the number of other hikers that we encountered on our way to this beautiful beach.

I had romanticized the idea of traveling through the forest on a rarely used, slightly overgrown trail before emerging suddenly from the wilds onto the beach. The treasure at the end of the hike. That is not this hike other than the treasure at the end. The trail is actually a wide road covered in a mixture of asphalt patches and packed dirt. It was easy to follow and not strenuous.

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