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.