Maine is host to 32 state parks cared for by the Maine Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands, and many other parks that are open to the public and cared for independently. Some parks feature sand beaches where you can bathe in the surf and sun, and many parks have picnic tables and grills where you can cook out, relax, and enjoy the Maine outdoors.
Baxter State Park. The Baxter Park Authority is responsible for the 200,000+ acres of land that was given to the state by the late Governor Percival Baxter. At the heart of Baxter Park is the famous Mt. Katahdin, which stands 5271 feet above sea level, making it the highest peak in Maine. It is also the most northern mountain in the Appalachian range. Because Baxter Park is restricted from hunting, wildlife spotting is frequent and photo opportunities are great.
Camden Hills State Park is a 5,500 acre park with 25 miles of hiking trails along the shore and in the Megunticook Mountain range, whose peaks rise from near sea level to a height of 1,380 feet. One outstanding feature of this range is Maiden Cliff, a rock formation that rises 800 feet from the shore of Megunticook Lake with beautiful views from the top. One of the most popular scenic attractions in the park is the 1.4 mile road to the top of Mount Battie. From the summit, the panoramic view includes shining lakes, wooded hills, busy Camden Harbor, and the islands of Penobscot Bay.
Wolfe's Neck Woods - In Freeport is Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park, with five miles of hiking trails that take you through the woods, along the Harraseeket River, or along the rocky shores of Casco Bay. Explore for crabs and other sea life, and observe nesting ospreys in early summer.
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway is a canoeist's paradise flowing through two Maine counties, Aroostook and Piscataquis. This 92-mile corridor of lakes and river connects several large public reserved land units and is surrounded by a vast, privately-owned commercial forest.
Grafton Notch has 3,112 acres throughout the towns of Upton and Newry. Several hiking trails extend through this spectacular, scenic area at the end of the Mahoosuc Range. The 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail passes through the park on the way to the trail's northern point, Mt. Katahdin. Sights include: Screw Auger Falls, Spruce Meadow, Mother Walker Falls, Old Speck Mountain, and Moose Cave.
Mt. Blue State Park located in Weld is 5,021 acres and includes a campground; sand beach with bathhouse; boat launch; amphitheater, and nature center in the Webb Lake area. The nearby Center Hill Area provides a scenic picnic spot and nature trail. Mt. Blue is a very popular day hike.
Popham Beach is 529 acres located in Phippsburg. It features a long beach of light sand, sandbars with tidal pools, and rocky outcrops. It offers fishing, swimming, and picnicking. Nearby enjoy a bit of Maine history and visit Fort Popham.
Rangeley Lake, in the town of Rangeley, is 691 acres located in an area famous for trout and landlocked salmon fishing. The park offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the state in this western region of mountains and lakes.
Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth is 40 acres. This rocky headland has a marvelous view of Casco Bay and remnants of World War II coastal defense installation. Crescent Beach State Park is a half-mile away.
Acadia National Park is the second-most-visited of our national parks, and one of the best-loved, due in large part to the unusual variety of its natural environments. Acadia has mountains, lakes, streams and forests, as well as ocean and islands within its boundaries, Acadia is unique among our national parks.
Visitors will find Crescent shaped Sand Beach among the many attractions. Thunderhole, named for the thunderous sound made by the surf as it crashes into a U-shaped cleft in the granite of Otter Cliffs at half-tide rising, puts one in awe of the raw force of the North Atlantic. The park is almost split in half by untouched Somes Sound, a narrow deep inlet surrounded by steep granite cliffs; the only natural fiord on the east coast of the United States. Acadia National Park is home to Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the Atlantic Seaboard north of Brazil. The summit of Cadillac "greets the dawn" before most other places in the United States. The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray has a variety of Maine wildlife on exhibit. The Wildlife Park is maintained by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The Park is a place where wildlife that have been orphaned and/or injured are brought in and cared for. The Park does not keep healthy wild animals in captivity, or prevent any wild animal capable of surviving in the wild to do so. Most of the animals exhibited at the facility have been brought to them because of, injuries due to accidents, they were orphaned due to the death of their parents, or they were dependent on humans from being raised in captivity.
For complete listings of all of Maine's State Parks, Public Reserved Lands and Historical sites please visit the Maine Department of Conservation, Bureau of Parks and Lands at http://www.maine.gov/doc/parks/index.html.