If you are looking for a truly cool hike this summer, you need to check out the Maine ice caves.

According to Maine Trail Finder, a trail through the Nature Conservancy’s Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area leads to one of the coolest places a Maine hiker can ever visit.  In the shadow of Baxter State Park's Mount Katahdin, the moderate difficulty trail is about a 2 mile round-trip and leads to 3 different destinations: a scenic lookout that offers a vista of  First Debsconeag Lake and the Debsconeag Deadwater, the shores of First Debsconeag Lake, and the ice caves.

The ice caves are a hole under a series of boulders and is so named because its cool, dark environment allows it retain ice throughout most of the year.  Even during the hottest summers, people have reported finding ice in the caves as late in the year as August.

Keep in mind that, while the trail is of moderate difficulty, traversing the ice caves is a little more difficult.  For example, entering the caves requires hikers to climb down a metal ladder.

The following video gives you a pretty good overview of all the trail has to offer.

To get there:

  • Take I-95 to Millinocket
  • Take the Golden Road approximately 18 miles to Abol Bridge.
  • After the bridge, take your next left
  • Keep left at the fork
  • Drive 4 miles
  • You'll find the trailhead at the end of Hurd Pond Road

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