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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at

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Posted: January 15, 2018

Hiking in Maine: A roundup of great adventures from 2017 (part 2)

Written by: Carey Kish

This is the second is a series of recaps of Carey Kish’s hiking and camping columns from 2017. Stories presented here cover tips for solo hiking, maintaining the Appalachian Trail, eight terrific hikes that are “hidden in plain sight”, climbing Katahdin via the rerouted Abol Trail, ranger-led nature tours in Acadia National Park, a how-to guide to exploring the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and fun summer hikes near cool swimming holes. Click on the highlighted links to read each story.

I hope you enjoy this roundup. Be sure to look for parts 3 and 4 to come in the days ahead. Your feedback is always welcome. Thanks!


Solo hikes are rewarding, but be prepared for challenges. As the old saying goes, “Getting to the top is optional, but getting safely back to the car is mandatory.”

Carey Kish on a long and remote solo hike on Black Mountain, Deboullie Public Lands. Carey Kish photo.


Clearing the way on the Appalachian Trail. May is when trail maintainers work hard to remove brush and blowdowns on the AT.

More than one hundred MATC maintainers hit the trail each spring to clear the winter blowdowns. Carey Kish photo.


8 Maine hikes hidden in plain sight. You don’t have to go deep in the wilderness to find good walking trails.

Here’s a look at a handful of not so obvious, but easily accessible hikes with the detective work done for you. These fun, scenic walks range between a quarter-mile and five miles in length and are easy to moderate in difficulty, like the one pictured here in Freeport. All are sure to surprise and delight every hiker. Carey Kish photo.


The trail most traveled. There is no longer a ‘slide’ on the Abol Trail, but nonetheless it remains a stunning choice to get to the top Maine’s highest peak.

Carey Kish enjoying grand views southward from high on the new section of the Abol Trail on Katahdin. Carey Kish photo.


Guided tours add to Acadia experience. Whether it’s a walk, a hike or a boat cruise, Acadia National Park ranger- or volunteer-led programs will teach you about the natural and human history of Mount Desert Island and the park.

The next time you visit Mt. Desert Island to tackle another of Acadia’s fabulous hikes, consider adding one of the many park ranger programs to your list of fun things to do. Carey Kish photo.


How to navigate Maine’s new national monument. The future of Katahdin Woods & Waters may be uncertain, but there’s plenty to explore right now.

A visit to the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument presents a unique opportunity to see this new parkland in Maine’s North Woods in its infancy, its wildly raw and virtually undeveloped state. Carey Kish photo.


Bring your bathing suit on these fun hikes with nearby swimming holes. What better way to end a summer sojourn than with a refreshing dip in the water?

When you pack up your day hiking gear this summer, be sure to include a bathing suit and towel. Here are eight great hikes around the state, with nearby places to swim. Carey Kish photo.


Check out Hiking in Maine: A roundup of great adventures from 2017 (part 1) here.


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