Maine’s mountains are splendid in all seasons. While most people think of vacationing on the coast of Maine, the western lakes and mountains of Vacationland are incredibly scenic, offering a great place to relax, and to enjoy the great outdoors with hiking, biking, golf in spring, summer and fall, and alpine, cross-country skiing or snowmobiling in winter.
Vacationing in Maine’s mountains, you should consider staying in a mountain resort, so you have the best of both worlds – a vacation resort with lodging, swimming, dining and spas, plus the great outdoors for exploring whether on foot, on a bike, snowmobile or skis.
There are so many mountains to explore in Maine from northern Millinocket and Moosehead to Pleasant Mountain with a view of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There is plenty of mountain resort lodging awaiting you after your day’s exploration.
You can choose from rustic mountain cabins and camps in Maine to full service mountain resorts and luxury ski homes. Maine mountain resorts are also host to some of Maine’s best festivals, from Rangeley Lakes Snowdeo in January, to Sugarloaf’s Reggaefest where Bob Marley music fills the Maine mountainside in April, to Sunday River’s mega Wife Carrying Competition and Oktoberfest event.
Ski Mountain Resorts in Maine
Maine is home to a dozen 4,000 footers—seasoned hikers’ terms for worthy climbing mountains. In the Maine mountains, you will find mountain resorts and lodging at Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Saddleback, Shawnee Peak and Camden Snowbowl for winter skiing – both alpine and Nordic, plus snowmobiling, snow tubing, tobogganing and even dog sledding.
Staying mountainside at a Maine ski resort you are by the slopes for first tracks to last chair, you can often walk to resort amenities and après ski at Sunday River’s Foggy Goggle, Sugarloaf’s The Bag, and Saddleback’s Swig and Smelt.
Seasonal Mountain Resort Lodging
In summer, Maine’s mountain resorts are perfect places for hiking, mountain biking, and trail walking. Sunday River and Sugarloaf both offer summer zip lining and adventure courses, plus championship golf at their resorts with spectacular mountain views and crystal-clear mountain streams nearby.
Visiting these ski resorts in summer and fall you are treated to spectacular scenery and you can enjoy chairlift rides on select weekends.
Autumn is amazing in the Maine mountains, the splendid fall foliage on these dramatic peaks is picture perfect. In fact, people come from all around the world to see Maine’s fall foliage in the mountains – best viewed in late September and early October.
Sunday River and Bethel have several mountain lodges and resort hotels including Sunday River Resort. These resorts, as well as Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, offer heated swimming pools, fitness facilities and spa services, and onsite dining.
State Park Mountain Resorts in Maine
As for mountains located in Maine’s State and National Parks, Mount Katahdin is known as the toughest hike in the Northeast, and the northern end of the Appalachian Trail in Baxter State Park. You can lodge near Katahdin at Five Lakes Lodge along the famous 100 Mile Wilderness of the AT – hiker code for Appalachian Trail.
In Camden Hills State Park, you can hike 2.7 miles to the top of Mt Battie, or drive the auto road. This panoramic peak offers incredible views of the sea and Penobscot Bay, and you are a short drive to the seaside village of Camden for lodging near the mountain at properties like Mount Battie Motel overlooking Penobscot Bay.
In Acadia National Park, Cadillac Mountain is the first place to see the sunrise on the Eastern Seaboard, and a great place to ride bikes and hike the carriage roads and park trail system first established by John D Rockefeller in 1919. Lodging is plentiful on Mount Desert Island from hotels, inns and resorts in Bar Harbor, Southwest and Northeast Harbor.
Some of Maine’s Biggest and Best Mountains:
- Mt Katahdin – 5,269′ in Baxter State Park – Maine’s highest peak
- Saddleback Mountain – 4,121′ in Rangeley Maine, home Saddleback Mountain Ski Resort
- Old Speck near Sunday River – 4,170′
- Sugarloaf Mountain – 4,249′
- Bigelow Mountain – 4,091′
- Crocker Mountain – 4,229′
Black Mountain – 3,140′ at Sunday River – known as Oz and Jordan Peak, the resort’s highest mountain
Small but Spectacular Maine Mountains by the Sea:
- Mount Agamenticus 692′ in York with ocean views as far as Boston and Boone Island
- Cadillac Mountain 1,529 in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island
- Mount Battie 800′ in Camden with exceptional views of Penobscot Bay
- The Beehive – Acadia National Park