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Fresh Air & Exercise While Social Distancing

Shannon Bryan shares her favorite hiking & walking trails in Maine.

PORTLAND, Maine — Cliff Walk, Scarborough 

This coastal trail on Prouts Neck is a popular destination on account of it’s really nice to look at. It’s also well-known for its lack of parking. But in the offseason, you can park for free at nearby Ferry Beach and walk on over. The trail follows the coast and includes pebble beaches and plenty of rocks to climb on. You’ll also get views of Winslow Homer’s studio and many other really fancy houses.

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Cliff Trail, Harpswell

If Cliff Trails are your jam, check out the Cliff Trail in Harpswell. It’s a splendid 2.3-mile loop that runs along Strawberry Creek on one side and has stunning views of Long Reach from 150-foot cliffs on the other side. The trail has some steep portions and rootsy terrain, so you’ll get your heart pumping. But those cliff views are absolutely stunning.

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Morse Mountain and Seawall Beach, Phippsburg

Speaking of stunning views, here’s another super-popular spot: Morse Mountain and Seawall Beach in Phippsburg. Parking here is hard to get in the warmer months, so the offseason is a great time for locals to visit. It’s a 2-mile walk to the beach on a wide trail of packed gravel and pavement. Along the way, you’ll summit Morse Mountain and enjoy beautiful views of the salt marsh and when you reach the beach, well, you’ll want to linger awhile.

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Beech Mountain, Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island

Another awesome place to visit in the offseason: Mount Desert Island. I was just there a week ago enjoying all the hiking (and the easy parking) in Acadia. One of my favorite hikes of the weekend was Beech Mountain in Southwest Harbor. The loop trail is just over a mile of rocky terrain - and lots of ice when we were there. At the summit, there’s a fire tower and views the overlook Long Pond and the Atlantic.

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Cascade Stream Gorge, Rangeley

Now over in Rangeley, I really love Cascade Stream Gorge. It features a one-mile loop with plenty of flowing water to gawk at. In the summer, it can be a great place for a cool dip. This time of year, maybe just look. The trail follows the gorge and is very rocky, which makes it super fun to climb around and explore. If it’s icy, though, you’ll want to watch yourself. No one wants you slipping into a gorge.

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