TAKE A (NOT DIFFICULT) HIKE
TAKE A (NOT DIFFICULT) HIKE
TAKE A (NOT DIFFICULT) HIKE
Some reasonable walks and climbs for reasonable people
WORDS / SAM PFEIFLE
While we very much enjoy consuming beer and weed at this here publication, there are of course any number of activities that do not lend themselves to pairing with active consumption. Like maybe scuba diving, or sword-fighting, or rock climbing.
But maybe you disagree! You have a taste for danger!
Regardless, we’ve found Maine offers a ton of opportunities to get outside, get some exercise by hiking around, and still keep things at a level where you can enjoy a pop at the top or a puff on the trail without endangering yourself. And May and early June are great opportunities for that. Sure, the bugs can be bad, but that’s why we recommend staying in places that are either near the ocean with a good breeze or get you out of the wetlands and onto a bit of a hill. Fewer bugs.
And while the trees are still not completely in full leaf, the views can be better and the trails a little more free of vegetation to wade through.
While these are all hikes we’ve personally taken, we can’t claim we just found them by happenstance. We highly recommend the Maine Trail Finder web site, which is not only voluminous, but is incredibly well designed from a user-interface standpoint and offers you the ability to save hikes for later and build your own trail-hiking history. It’s our new outdoor experience Bible.
(Also, if you’re into, like, Pokemon, this site may just appeal to your gotta-hike-’em-all instincts. You can even earn badges.)
So, get yourself outside this spring, and while you’re on the way there or back, feel free to hit one of these breweries and dispensaries. One of the best things about exploring Maine’s hiking spots is that it takes you to new parts of the state — and that means great new spots for grabbing some beer and weed, too.
Bald Pate Mountain, Bridgton and Sebago
This is a spot with options! Take the long way around for an easy hike that delivers you to a spacious, rocky open, with low brush and plenty of places to sit, or find the quick, steep route and be rewarded with a huge rock outcropping with unobstructed views and a warm place to bathe in the sun if it’s out.
316 Portland Rd., Bridgton
The only spot for miles around in Bridgton, this is a cute, local shop with some local crafts and big jars filled with flower. We recently grabbed some of the best Garlic we’ve ever had in a pre-roll, with distinctive flavor and a nose you could smell from the minute you walked in.
860 Maple Ridge Rd., Harrison
Welcome to the beer dome! If it’s cold, make sure you get a reservation ahead of time for your own cozy beer-tasting experience, with some snacks to boot. If it’s warm, expect some great scenery out in the woods. Either way, try the DDH River Haze, a flagship that they just keep tweaking.
Washburn-Norlands Living History Center, Livermore
Take a step back in time and relive the Maine 1800s experience here, walking along old carriage roads and exploring the estate. The walk out to the reflecting pools is an easy one with a beautiful payoff.
1520 Auburn Rd., Turner
(Website via WeedMaps)
An especially convenient roadside shop, Vacationland has a ton of floorspace and uses it to showcase inventory. Look for some Tastefully Baked bon bons and a Blue Sky spring water to wash them down with (featuring nanos! For fast-acting edible experiences).
Van Der Brew
30 Summer St., Winthrop
With the weather warming, the deck is open and the views are popping. Check ahead to see if they’re open beyond Friday and Saturday afternoons, or whether the open mic has started back up, but make sure to grab a Jump Back Barley, regardless. The Irish-style session beer will get your spirits up for sure.
Bauneg Beg Mountain Conservation Area, North Berwick
This may be the trickiest climb of the bunch, if you choose the hardest route, which takes you through the Devil’s Den boulder field. But by “hardest route,” we just mean, “maybe don’t take a toddler.” The views at the top of the middle peak just keep going and going, and it’s among the highest spots in York County.
Baston River Brewing and Distilling
12 Western Ave., Kennebunk
While they just opened a second location in Portland’s Bayside area, this is the original and it’s a treat if you like a cozy experience, as you can reserve your own fish shack to drink in. And everyone knows fish shacks are for drinking. They even have their own rum, bourbon, vodka, and gin.
1609 Main St., Sanford
Owned and operated by a mother-daughter team of nurses, the name of the shop comes from their pivot from working in standard health care and feeling veterans deserve an alternative to the pharmaceutical approach. This is your spot if you really want to dive into the details.
Alewive Woods Preserve, Kennebunk
Just on the inland edge of Kennebunk, this 625-acre piece of land has just about everything: mountain biking, Alewife Pond in the middle, great fields of wildflowers, even blueberry picking once July rolls around. If you’re looking for a place to just wander around for a few hours, there aren’t many better spots in York County.
21 Ledgewood Ln., Lyman
Open Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, this spot is as much destination as it is brewery. Plan to stick around a bit, check out the grounds, and have a grand old time with the dogs and people and the brick-oven pizza. With a focus on music, go especially if you get the reference in their Panama Red Ale.
1522 Alfred St., Lyman
One of the newer medical dispensaries, they are currently only offering curbside pick-up, but we’ve found if you drive up and knock on the door, they’ll figure something out. They currently have a beautiful pre-roll featured, with 2 grams of Corn Bread infused with a half gram of Rose Blunt badder, wrapped in rose petals and with a wooden tip. Delicious.
Maquoit Bay Conservation Land, Brunswick
This is an easy walk down to the ocean down an old logging road, with good bird-watching, which opens on Rocky Point, with big views of the water and fun options for jumping into water that is shallow and often fairly warm. You might even see some clammers if the tide is out.
14 Industrial Parkway, Brunswick
This is a great spot for focusing on pain relief, with a number of topicals, sprays, and edibles that work to reduce pain and keep it away. The 1000 mg THC drink enhancer, especially, is a great value and something that’s easy to incorporate into your daily practice.
103 Maine St., Brunswick
Right on Brunswick’s main drag, you can spend some time walking and shopping, maybe grab a gelato, before you pop by here for a bite (maybe some Otto’s pizza if it’s Wednesday?) and a brew via their curbside pickup option. While the taproom might be closed for now, you can still grab a growler of their flagship Belgian red Noble Experiment if you order online.
Linekin Preserve and Burley Loop, Boothbay
On the other side of Linekin Bay from from Boothbay Harbor, this might not be the most accessible hike in Maine, but it’s among the prettiest, which a huge swath of waterfront on the Damariscotta River and cool mix of ocean and woods that you don’t get in many spots. Be safe on those rock ledges!
25 Granary Way, Boothbay Harbor
With an appreciation for locally sourced ingredients and a reputation for fun, small-batch brews, these folks are always on site and open seven days a week, so perfect for an early-week day of hooky. If you’re pre-hike, try the Salty Dogs Gose, which is a refreshing, low-booze option.
638 Wiscasset Rd., Boothbay
A relatively lonely outpost, with no other dispensaries within a half-hour drive or so, it’s good that they’re well-stocked. The flower selection is usually robust, with in-house options like Punch Breath and Biggums OG, in addition to strains from Green Fellas, Canuvo, Norman K, Rejuvenate, and a bunch more. Get a grab bag.
Viles Arboretum, Augusta
If you’re in the Augusta area, this is a hidden gem that should be right around the corner for you. With hundreds of acres to wander around, this is a great spot for a picnic, to take the dog, or to do some serious bird watching. And don’t forget it in the winter, where you’ve got cross-country skiing and a cool sledding hill.
115 Water St., Hallowell
A great, homey brewpub where the game is always on at the bar (in an appropriately sized television) and you can throw some darts while you wait on your burger. While they always have some interesting brews on tap, we have a hard time passing up the Bug Lager, a pub-style drinking beer that never disappoints.
65 River Rd., Chelsea
A well-appointed shop with a large selection of glass behind the counter, this is a true destination location, dedicated to serving Kennebec County and with a real sense of community. Veteran-owned, they also offer 20% off to vets and have a focus on PTSD and other common veteran medical issues.
Monument Hill, Leeds
This is a great testament to Maine Trail Finder because the site’s directions are so much better than Google Maps’, which will send you to a Civil War monument that’s nowhere near the hike. The “monument” of the title is an awesome obelisk that must have taken some serious effort to get to the top of the hill, and the view from the top is definitely worth the one-mile hike.
Grateful Grain Brewing Company
26 Route 126, Monmouth
We’ve told you about this joint once before, but they’re now open Thursday through Sunday, and we got a chance to sample the Triple IPA 1AM Mistake recently, which might last you a month in the growler, it’s got such a kick. This is really worth a visit.
Black Tie Cannabis
797 US 202, Greene
You’ve seen the brand, now hit the retail spot. This Greene outpost is part of a much larger network that Black Tie operates around the country, but is a great spot to get some quality product, straight from the source. Especially for those who really enjoy straight CBD, these folks do great work.
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