Top 11 Accessible Trails in Maine

Time outdoors provides a range of physical, emotional, and mental benefits for your health and well-being and is something that people of all abilities should be able to enjoy. Whether you have a wheelchair, walker, stroller, or another mobility device, or simply want to spend time in nature, here’s our list of some of Maine’s best accessible trails.

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Central Maine

1. In Central Maine, the Peabody-Fitch Woods and Narramissic Farm in Bridgton is a must. Go for a walk on this Loon Echo Land Trust property and see a Civil War-era farmhouse maintained by the Bridgton Historical Society. There is a half-mile, wheelchair-accessible trail around the meadow that has stunning mountain views.

2. In the Bangor area, the 1-mile Orono Bog Boardwalk is a wheelchair-friendly hike through a wide range of plants and animals in a Maine bog, some of which are described on illustrated signs along the way. Benches are provided at least every 200 feet along the trail. Please note that the bog walk is closed in winter.

3. Range Pond State Park in Poland, Maine, has a couple miles of handicapped-accessible trails, as well as a swimming transition dock for wheelchair users along the sandy beach and two accessible playgrounds. Open year-round, this is a popular place to be in Androscoggin County!

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Western Maine

4. The Bethel Pathway is a flat, paved, nearly 1-mile section of the 1.7-mile trail, with a main trailhead that begins at the Davis Park picnic area on ME-26 in Bethel, Maine. This easy-to-follow path connects several public areas, including the skate park, and goes over a miniature covered bridge and a single-span bridge over the Androscoggin River. There is another section of the pathway that is made from crushed stone, which goes east to Sunset Road. Though that portion of the path is not paved, it is still very hard and smooth.

5. The Sandy River Trail in Farmington, Maine, is a half-mile hike on crushed stone to the river banks. It is flat, fully accessible, and dogs are welcome. Begin at Prescott Field and travel out to the water and back.

6. If you’re looking for a chance to see moose, birds, and loons, the Magalloway River Trail has a three-quarter-mile section of the 1.3-mile trail that is wheelchair accessible. OK, technically the trail is in Wentworth’s Location, New Hampshire, but it is part of the Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, which is in both Maine and New Hampshire. Follow the easy trail through the forest to a wildlife viewing platform that looks across the river. The orange and green trails are at least four feet wide and open year-round.

7. Paved and suitable for all ages and abilities, the half-mile Swift River Trail in Rumford, Maine, is through a forest that follows along the shallow, rocky Swift River at the edge of Hosmer Field Park.

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Southern Maine

8. In Southern Maine, the Timber Point Trail in the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is a 1.4-mile, universally accessible loop near Biddeford. You’ll pass salt marshes, cattail marshes, forest, mudflats, shrublands, and rocky shores on this hike. There is an elevated platform with views of the Little River, estuary, and islands.

9. Near Freeport, Maine, you’ll find Wolfe’s Neck State Park. The park is known for its nesting ospreys, white pine and hemlock forests, salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shoreline on Casco Bay and the Harraseeket River, and there is an ADA-compliant, family-friendly, gravel, half-mile loop trail along the shore there called White Pines Trail. The picnic areas and restrooms are large and include accommodations for people who use wheelchairs. There is a small entrance fee to access the park, and guided walks are offered sometimes.

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Midcoast Maine

10. Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson, Maine, has an extensive network of trails over 1,000 acres of protected land in Lincoln County, including a mile of shorefront on Little Dyer Pond. Maintained by Midcoast Conservancy, several trails are made of gravel and crushed stone and are wheelchair accessible. There are guided walks and events here at times.

Wheelchair-Friendly Trails in Downeast Maine

In Downeast Maine, popular Acadia National Park is one of the most accessible parks in the U.S. With several wide carriage roads, it is a popular destination for those with strollers, wheelchairs, and bikes. There are also accessible trails, including Jesup Path and a route from Witch Hole and the Pond Carriage Trail to Eagle Lake. Please note that the national park charges an entrance fee.

Bonus: For more accessible hikes throughout the state of Maine, check out a comprehensive list created by Maine By Foot.

Supporting Maine Farms: Healthy for You, Healthy for Our Community

Fresh, unprocessed, whole foods are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients your body needs—think vegetables straight from the garden, hand-picked fruit, and locally raised meat and dairy products. Fortunately in Maine, there are many ways you access fresh, local food to incorporate into your diet that’s not only healthy for you, but healthy for our local community.

Ways to Find Fresh, Local Food in Maine

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a system in which a farmer offers shares of their harvest in exchange for money at the beginning of the season, either paid in full or through partial payments. This model helps the farmer pay for early expenses while ensuring the CSA member has food at regular intervals (usually weekly). Many CSA farms offer vegetables and fruits, while some offer meat, dairy, eggs, grains, and more.

Find a CSA farm close to you.

Farmers markets are fun venues to socialize and find a ready supply of healthy, fresh food and Maine-made goods—especially in the spring and summer, when farm-fresh produce is in abundance.

In the early summer months of Maine, expect to find produce such as strawberries, salad greens, spring onions, zucchini, beets, cooking greens, broccoli, summer squash, sugar snap peas, snow peas, scallions, carrots, cucumbers, garlic scapes, fresh herbs, kohlrabi, radishes, salad turnips, microgreens, and fennel. Later in July, you can add blueberries and raspberries to that list, as well as corn, French beans, and new potatoes.

Find a farmers market near you.

Most farmers markets accept cash, local checks, credit cards, and SNAP/EBT funds, with the latter two options usually operating from a booth near the entrance. It’s simple and discreet to use SNAP/EBT funds at the farmers market, and many markets offer special bonuses to SNAP customers, such as Maine Harvest Bucks, that stretch SNAP dollars further. SNAP benefits and Maine Harvest Bucks can also be applied to a CSA share in many cases.

Low-income seniors may be eligible to participate in the Maine Senior FarmShare Program. Through this program, older adults receive fresh, local produce at no cost directly from local Maine farmers during the growing season.

Local Food: Healthy for You

You may have heard the advice to “eat the rainbow”—an easy-to-remember way to incorporate a wide variety of vegetables and fruit in your diet. By shopping at a farmers market or participating in a CSA share, you will naturally find a wide array of diverse offerings.

Have you ever tried eating kohlrabi? If garlic scapes come in your CSA box, what will you make with them? You may try something new—and like it! The many types of fruits and vegetables you’ll encounter will contribute to keeping you in good health by ensuring you are getting an assortment of vital nutrients and vitamins from local, fresh sources, and the newness keeps your diet interesting and your mind churning.

Choosing in-season produce from local farms assures you are getting the best nutrition for your dollar. Fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional value over time, so the sooner it’s eaten after it’s picked, the more nutrients can be gained. Local produce generally lasts longer in your fridge because it’s picked and sold promptly, compared to produce from away, which often travels more than a week before it reaches grocery store shelves—where it may sit even longer. Fresh fruits and vegetables also have a higher water content, making it a good source for hydration—which can particularly be an issue in hot summer weather.

Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is a substantial step forward for your health and wellbeing.

  • Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, compounds that help fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to your body’s cells
  • Plant foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes can reduce your risk for diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; reduce your triglyceride levels; reduce blood sugar levels in people who have or are at risk for diabetes; increase your energy level; and promote gut health

Fresh, local fruits and veggies taste better. You’ll find more flavor, more complex notes in each bite. If you’re used to prepackaged meals and processed foods, it may take a short while for your taste buds to adjust. But once they do, processed food simply cannot compare in taste to what’s on offer at the farmers market.

A balanced diet heavy in fruits and veggies is high in fiber, which provides many positive health effects, including boosting digestive function, metabolic health, and feeling satiated. It’s good for your skin and it’s low in sugar. (Yes, fruit contains sugar, but it’s also high in water and fiber—not to mention other nutrients—so it is healthier than soda, juice, and processed foods.)

Local Food: Healthy for Our Community

Selecting local produce not only contributes to your health, but our community’s health as well. By shopping at the farmers market or belonging to a CSA, you are supporting local farms and businesses and keeping more dollars in our local community. This mutual exchange provides for a more vibrant local economy and a lasting economic impact in Maine.

Supporting local farms also means a smaller carbon footprint. The choice to eat local is a sustainable choice, because food is not trucked across the country or flown overseas before it reaches your plate. This reduction in energy needs helps our planet and our community all at once.

In addition to stopping by the farmers market or signing up for a CSA share, you may want to explore Maine farms and get to know your local farmer. Every summer, farmers from around the state participate in Maine’s Open Farm Day, welcoming visitors to learn more about their farms and to meet the farmers (and animals!). MOFGA’s Common Ground Country Fair is also a popular event full of local vendors, speakers and performances on all things agriculture.