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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: May 11, 2016

Six short overnight backpacking trips for summer fun in the Maine woods

Written by: Carey Kish

Looking to get out on the trail for an overnight camp-out in the Maine backcountry this summer? A hike in to a quiet tent site in the wooded wilds among the moose and loons? Below are six suggestions for backpacking trips from the coast to the mountains, with a range of appeal for everybody from novice hikers to experienced trekkers. Hike a couple easy miles in and out, or try as many as 10 miles up a mountain and back.

Hikers heading away from the road should be properly prepared for their camping adventure in the Maine woods. Warm and weatherproof clothing, good footwear, tent, sleeping bag and insulating pad, cookstove and fuel, food, and the  “Ten Essentials” – a classic list of emergency gear, including navigation tools, first-aid supplies and more – are a must for your comfort and safety on the trail.

If you’re unsure what to pack, consult the Appalachian Mountain Club’s “Essential Backpacking Gear Checklist” online. More good planning information, as well as descriptions and maps of these hikes and many more are found in the AMC “Maine Mountain Guide” and “Best Backpacking in New England” guidebooks.

Stop in at your local outdoor retailer for some personal advice and a look at the latest available gear. Carry what you need, but don’t burden yourself with an unnecessarily heavy backpack.

The backcountry campsites mentioned here are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are mostly unimproved earthen pads, although you may find tent platforms in some areas. There may be a fire ring and a privy. If there’s no fire ring, fires are prohibited. If there’s no privy, please dispose of human waste per “Leave No Trace” principles. There are no fees except as noted.

Find more information about these sites by navigating to “backcountry camping” under the camping tab at, or through the “find parks and lands” tab.





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