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Mooselookmeguntic Lake, from the "Height of Land" on Route 17.

Mooselookmeguntic Lake, from the "Height of Land" on Route 17.

Hiker in Acadia National Park

Hiker in Acadia National Park

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Baxter State Park

If you want to get far away from civilization, you can explore the backcountry of Baxter State Park. You can hike along a 215-mile trail system that leads deep into the park to Davis Pond, Russell Pond and Wassataquoik Lake. East of South Branch Pond, you'll find a network of trails to access the Fowler Ponds area. At the north end of the park, you can hike the Freezeout Trail, which traces an old logging road along a 35-mile route past ponds, streams and waterfalls. If you need shelter from the elements, look for the three sided lean-tos along the way.

The Appalachian Trail

The 281 miles of the Appalachian Trail that run through Maine from Mahoosuc Mountains to Mt. Katahdin's summit are generally considered the most difficult of the entire Trail. The eastern section between Katahdin and Monson, referred to as “the Hundred Miles," is made up of solitary mountains, forest, lakes and streams. Although it’s less mountainous than other Trail sections in Maine, it does offer some very rugged climbs.

Between Monson and the Bigelow Preserve, the trail hits a short, rugged patch before settling into a moderate stretch and crossing the Kennebec River. The less-strenuous section is popular, with plenty of log shelters and tent sites along the way. The toughest part of the entire Appalachian Trail is arguably its end, full of extremely steep 4,000-foot mountains. The 16 miles of the Barren-Chairback Range crosses five major summits, ascending and descending a total of nearly 4,000 vertical feet. It’s a challenging hike, but it rewards backpackers with panoramic vistas of the Maine Woods and, on a clear day, distant glimpses of Mt. Katahdin's summit. Hikers should be aware that this range is remote, with no real exit opportunities or resupply points. For a more unobstructed view of Mr. Katahdin, there’s the moderate 28.1-mile route over White Cap's summit, which also has the benefit of excellent swimming at Crawford Pond and Cooper Brook Falls.

Maine Public Reserved Lands

You can camp in secluded areas of the more than half million acres of public lands that Maine owns—just be sure to plan your trip carefully as these areas are not staffed like state parks are. If you're hoping to spot a moose in the wilderness, you can try the Debsconeag Backcountry or Turtle Ridge Trails near Nahmakanta Lake. At Cutler Coast, you can tackle the Bold Coast Trail, which winds along the ocean for four miles and offers three primitive cliff-top campsites where you can spend the night.

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