Sometimes, we just want to get outside and walk for ever. For those times, here are a few longer trails (in the area I’ve explored, which is mostly midcoast Maine).
Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, Auburn and Turner — The walk from one end to the other of this state park is almost 10 miles, and you can make lots of loops in the interior.
Bradbury Mountain State Park-Pineland Corridor, Pownal and New Gloucester — You can walk the trails at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, then head out through the Corridor trail, down the power lines to the trails at Pineland Public Reserved Lands and then over to the well-maintained trails of Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.
Eastern Trail, South Portland to Kennbunk — This is a trail in progress. Right now, there are glorious stretches of off-road, quiet, easy, gravel trails between South Portland and Kennbunk. But you do have to ride along some roads in part. Eventually, it’ll all be connected. I hope.
West Side Trail, Yarmouth — This trail begins by Rt. 295 and continues all the way to Cousins Island (although I haven’t done this last part yet).
Sprague Pond and Basin Trails , Phippsburg— This is a huge and lovely place to explore, with several trails linked by a dirt road.
Cross-Falmouth Trail, Falmouth and Cumberland — There are several linked trail systems (maybe more to come, too): Blackstrap Hill Preserve, Rines Forest, North Falmouth Community Forest, Falmouth Town Forest, Falmouth Community Park, and Hadlock Forest, all in Falmouth, and Rines Forest in Cumberland
Georges Highland Path (Pleasant, Spruce, Ragged and Bald mountains), Camden, Rockport, Union. This is a WONDERFUL long trail on a section of the 50-mile Georges Highland Path. Additional trails off Ragged Mountain, the Goose River Area trails, appeal to mountain bikers.
Ducktrap River Preserve and Tanglewood Trails, Lincolnville. With the help of some snowmobile trails, you can make an enormous trek here, roughly tracing the Ducktrap River. I haven’t finished exploring, but more snowmobile trails head off toward Camden State Park.
Bold Coast, Cutler. All told, nine miles of hiking. I highly recommend camping at one of the little campsite bluffs overlooking the sea.
Georges Highland Path (Frye and Hogback mountains), Montville, Another good one. Will all these Georges trails link up one day? I haven’t hiked the Hogback section yet.
Georges Highland Path (Thomaston Town Forest and Oyster River Bog), Thomaston, Go and go! A pretty ridge section on the southern part of the Oyster Bog trail was my highlight of this section.
Georges Highland Path, Ridge to River trail from Gibson preserve to Appleton Preserve, Searsmont, Appleton, A flattish trail (with one mild ascent) that passes some historical sites along the Canal Path.
Emmons Preserve, Tyler Brook Preserve, and Cape Porpoise Greenbelt, Kennebunkport — These three linked preserves (which are near to another big one, Edwin Smith Preserve), are popular with mountain bikers.
West Branch Preserve, Jefferson — About seven miles of trails.
River-Link Trail, Boothbay — The connecting trail is about 6.7 miles, linking Dodge Point Preserve with Schmid Preserve in Edgecomb and Zak Preserve in Boothbay.
Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson— You can get a long walk or ski in here because there are so many (groomed in winter) trails!
Speckled Mountain, White Mountain National Forest— With the many trails up and down this nearly 3,000-foot mountain, you can create a long, hard hike. Two cars make this easier.
Sea to Sebago Trail, South Portland to Kennebunk— This is a trail in the making, but parts of it, particularly from Standish to Gorham, are wonderful. From Sebago Lake to Windham, you can ride or walk along a mostly paved trail by pretty countryside.
Edwin L. Smith Preserve, Kennebunkport — This is an unusual trail system because it offers more than 10 miles of trails and long loops. The preserve is popular with mountain bikers.