White Mountain National Forest

A bit of the White Mountain National Forest extends into Maine. The mountains might not be as grand or impressive as in New Hampshire, but they offer their own kind of charm, and they’ll still make you tired at the end of the day! Plus, the rivers and brooks criss-crossing this area create many deep little pools that make for refreshing swimming holes. Dogs are allowed here.

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Map shows Oxford County

  • Caribou Mountain — Loop is 6.7 miles, although the network of trails here makes for a longer hike. Dogs allowed, although they must be leashed on top of the mountain because of the fragile alpine plants. Moderate difficulty. Open summit, lots of rocky ledges, nice views.
  • Albany Brook Trail to Round Pond — One mile there and back to a small pond, with no ascent! This is a peaceful, easy trail. 
  • The Roost — This is a roughly two-mile loop, or if you don’t want to walk back along the road, it’s .5 to the summit. Views are from the scenic outlook, accessed by a spur off main trail.
  • Lord Hill and Pine Hill Trail network — This is a great two-summit hike, or if you want to do just one, that works fine! Total network is about seven miles or so. The individual hikes are two to three miles. I would say these are easy-to-moderate grade.
  • Little Deer Hill and Big Deer Hill trails — This is a great little two-summit hike (or one, if you just want a quick scamper). It also includes, at the bottom, a rather fun river crossing with some biggish, shallow pools for cooling off in. Total distance is under four miles, not including a detour to the spring. I’d say easy-to-moderate difficulty.
  • Speckled Mountain — With Caribou Mountain, one of the bigger mountains in this part of the park. You have several options to summit. Some of the trails are prettier and more popular than others. Be ready for a long hike!
  • Blueberry Mountain and Rattlesnake Pool — A really nice, moderate mountain, about 3.5 miles round trip, that is very popular — partly for the hike and partly for the cold swim at the end in gorgeous Rattlesnake Pool.
  • East Royce Mountain — A steep one! You can go up East Royce or Laughing Lion trails for short, steep climbs, or up Royce Trail for a more gradual climb (with a steep finish).
  • Albany Mountain — Another lovely, fairly short hike, 2ish miles to the top and to beautiful views. Moderate hike.
  • Shell Pond Loop — If you don’t want to climb a mountain, you can do a four-mile loop around Shell Pond. There is one spot with views of the western mountains.
  • Haystack Notch Trail — Not sure the point of this 5.4-mile there-and-back trail, but if you want a long walk in the woods without much up and down (a little, for sure) and no views, this one is for you! There are some pretty streams and good mushrooms.
  • Round Mountain — This is not technically in the National Forest, but it’s close! And it’s in an unorganized territory, so it’s easy to stick it in with a more familiar region. This is a steep little hike, about 1.9 miles in total.