Mount Kineo State Park

The sheer face of Mount Kineo, with 700-foot cliffs, forms the centerpiece of a spectacular landscape long cherished for its natural beauty and plentiful resources.
Trail Activity
Snowshoeing Walking Hiking
6.10 miles, Network
Easy, Moderate
Kineo Twp
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone, Rock/Ledge


Mount Kineo has gentle slopes to the northwest and steep southeast faces shaped by a mile-thick ice sheet that moved across the region from northwest to southeast. The trails on Mount Kineo highlight the results of this glacial movement which occurred between 18,000 and 12,000 years ago.

Indian Trail (0.9 miles, moderate): climbs steeply along open ledge, making it the shortest but most strenuous route to the summit and fire tower. While more challenging, The Indian Trail also provides the best views of any trail.

Bridle Trail (1.1 miles, easy): is the original fire warden trail and provides a less steep route to the summit for hikers. It begins 0.3 miles along the Carriage Trail, traversing through stands of maple and birch before converging with the Indian Trail just shy of the summit.

Carriage Trail (2.2 miles, easy): parallels the west shore of the peninsula, following the waters of Moosehead Lake to Hardscrabble Point. The Carriage Trail then connects to the North Trail creating a perimeter hike of the peninsula.

North Trail (1.9 miles, moderate): offers a view of the eastern peninsula and when combined with the Carriage Trail, the longest hike to the summit of Mount Kineo. From Hardscrabble Point, the North Trail winds through the low level mixed hardwood forest and then rises more steeply up Mount Kineo's southeastern cliffs.

Eventually, all trails lead to the summit, which has a converted fire tower, used until about 1960 by the Maine Forest Service. From the summit, hikers can indulge in 360-degree views: Little Kineo, Big and Little Spencer Mountains in the northeast; the Lily Bay Mountains in the southeast; Big Moose in the south; the peak of Coburn in the southwest and Boundary Bald Mountain in the west. Of course, all around Kineo is the magnificent expanse of Moosehead Lake.

In addition to the breathtaking views offered by the summit of Mount Kineo, the peninsula is permeated with historical and natural significance. The name Kineo derives from a Wabanaki warrior of legendary power, Kinneho. The geological attributes of Mount Kineo also provided utilitarian purposes for original inhabitants. Native Americans utilized the flint-like felsite and rhyolite from Mount Kineo to craft stone tools. Today Mount Kineo is peregrine falcon territory. After near extinction in the 1960s, the first wild pair of peregrine falcons returned to nest on the cliffs of Mount Kineo in 1987.

View BPL's map and guide for the Moosehead Lake Shoreline Public Land.

Other Information

When traveling to Mount Kineo via the boat shuttle in Rockwood, confirm departure times before hiking and gauge plans accordingly. Moosehead Lake water is cold and winds can arise suddenly and create dangerous conditions for boats. Children 10 years of age and under must, by law, wear a Type I, II, or III PFD while on board all watercraft. All boaters should wear a PFD at all times in small boats; notify someone of your intended route and time of return; and monitor conditions carefully (particularly when crossing open waters, including the crossing to Mount Kineo). Exercise caution near cliffs, particularly in damp and slippery conditions.

LMF Logo

This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage.

Trail Manager

Visit Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands online for more information and a detailed trail guide or contact:

Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Lily Bay State Park

Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Lily Bay State Park
13 Myrle's Way
Greenville, ME 04441
Phone: (207) 695-2700, (207) 941-4014

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Avoid hypothermia, even in warm weather, by limiting your sweat and exposure to cold water. Bring warm and dry clothes in case the shivers set in.
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Trailhead Information

Mount Kineo is accessible by water only, with the nearest public boat launch site in Rockwood. Take ME Routes 15/6 through Greenville (also known as the Rockwood Road). Rockwood is 15 miles northwest of Greenville. Turn right on a road marked with signs for the Rockwood town landing and docks. A commercial boat shuttle (fee charged) to Mount Kineo leaves routinely from Rockwood in summer months. From the Mount Kineo docks, turn left and follow the shoreline path, an old carriage road, for 0.8 miles leading past private property to the State lands. Bear right on the Indian Trail or left for the other trails.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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July 14, 2023
Hiked on July 13. Took the boat over at 10 am. Was full of hikers and a few golfers, much more than ten people. It was $15 per adult cash. The trail starts to the left of the dock. This part is flat and goes to either the bridle trail or the steeper Indian trail. Although we are seasoned hikers we chose to go up and down the bridle trail and we were glad we did. The trails were very wet, muddy, and slippery and steep in a lot of places. One woman needed rescuing after slipping and breaking her ankle. There was one view where the trails meet about half way up but the trail is mostly woods. You must climb the fire tower to get any view but from there it is 360 degrees. No problem with bugs just lots of water and mud.
September 18, 2022
Husband and I did the entire trail system. Took our 1 year old lab.
We are not avid hikers.
The north trail is not for first timers. It was definitely more than moderate.
Trail markers fading easy to get off trail steep difficult footing.
Need some warning for this trail that definitely is a challenge!
October 02, 2019
My wife and I got the early boat over today and hiked the Indian Trail up and the Bridal Trail down. Indian was a little steep but we took our time ( both of us over 65 yrs old!) and made it fine. Super views on Indian. Fire tower gives an awesome view. All woods on Bridal but fine coming down. Colors were at their peak (Oct 2). Well worth every step!
July 17, 2019
Hiked this past weekend. Did the Indian Trail to the summit, which was steep but not too crazy (but I'm from Washington and am used to steep hikes). The peregrine falcons are beautiful to look at, but we were warned that people die hiking off trail to get closer to them, so we kept our distance. Nice fire lookout at the top that is sturdy and historic. Wish there was more information about it posted. Friends hiked back down the Bridle Trail, but I decided to solo the North Trail (heading down) and then wrap back using the Carriage Trail from Hardscrabble Point. All was really beautiful. Bugs only bad in a few places. Didn't see anyone else on the trail the entire time (we had gotten a pretty early start though--took the first ferry over). Glad I didn't run into any animals, though a lot of prints in the mud--maybe a type of large cat?
August 28, 2016
My wife and I just did the Carriage to the North Trail loop and I would advise that the north trail is very unused and unkept. Also once we got to the backside of the mountain it was as vertical as you can get without needing ropes. 1/2 way up we met some people coming down the backside to North Trail and they said that the Indian Trail was harder than expected and they had just done the knife at Katahdin.
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