Burnt Meadow Mountain in Brownfield, Maine, is a favorite hike of ours, including when daughter was much younger. Our preferred route is via the Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail (blue blazes) and Twin Brook Trail (yellow blazes), an approximately 3.3 mile loop (took us about 2.5 hours at a relaxed pace in June 2018). These trails are well-maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and the Friends of Burnt Meadow Mountain.
Brownfield is less than an hour from Portland, and during mid-late summer, the wild blueberries all the way to the summit make for a pleasant distraction and motivator for younger children.
As usual, the best description of this hike is in the AMC Maine Mountain Guide. And in the new 11th edition of this guide, Burnt Meadow gets its own map. An optional add-on to the loop is Stone Mountain, reached by a .7 mile spur off the Twin Brook Trail. On the most recent June 2018 hike, we decided to save that extra peak for when the blueberries are ready.
The Burnt Meadow Trail took us through shaded woods and over exposed rock faces up a short, steep climb to the North Peak (1,575 ft). On the way, we saw hawks wheeling below us, and visibility was outstanding on a sunny, cool June day.
The broad, open summit of Burnt Meadow is a great place for a picnic. We didn’t linger too long, though, just enjoyed some jerky and proceeded across to the Twin Brook Trail. A large cairn marked the point to start our descent.
The Twin Brook Trail was a rolling course back to its junction with the Burnt Meadow Mountain Trail, and from there back to the parking lot. One of the reasons we love this hike is its proximity to the Brownfield Town Beach, which is a great place to cool off in the summertime (Note: While dogs are plentiful on Burnt Meadow Mountain trails, they are not allowed at the beach after June 1st).
Sweetie’s Ice Cream in Standish is another great way to cool off on the way back to the Portland area. We didn’t make it this time, as they weren’t open on our way home (they opened at noon, and we did a morning hike), but it’s a must-stop. We did, however, stop at the Whistle Stop General Store in Baldwin to grab a hamburger, fries, and a coffee, all of which we enjoyed.