Sunday, June 13, 2021

South Branch Pond Campground and Fowler Brook Trail (Baxter State Park)

Friends and I went camping this weekend in the north section of Baxter State Park.  We arrived Saturday and camped at South Branch Pond Campground.  Despite it being full, the campground was surprisingly quiet. 
The following morning we hiked the Fowler Brook Trail to Lower Fowler Pond, hoping to see a moose.  The only wildlife we encountered were huge amounts of mosquitoes.  The trail itself was relatively easy and the view from Lower Fowler Pond was  beautiful.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Kayaking Souadabscook Stream south of Etna Pond (Carmel)

 Ryan and I kayaked the Souadabscook Stream from Damascus Landing north to Etna Pond this morning.  

Damascus Landing is a relatively new boat launch and was created in 2019.  It has ample parking, picnic tables and a trash can, and a paved boat ramp.  The stream south of this location is clogged with a beaver dam, so you can only go north.  

The stream is wide and slow moving with marsh grass on both sides.  We spotted numerous song birds, including large numbers of red wing blackbirds, a bald eagle, a couple of beaver lodges and what may have been a river otter den.  

The total distance from the boat launch to the entrance to Etna Pond was roughly 3 miles round-trip.  Here is a map of our trip.  


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Borestone Mountain (Elliottsville)

Matty and I hiked Borestone Mountain today.  The 1,600 acres Audubon preserve includes an amazing forest, three beautiful ponds and of course Borestone Mountain itself.  

We started on the Base Trail, hiking 1.1 miles to the visitor center.  From there, we explored the Peregrine Trail, a 0.5 mile trail that leads out to a sheer cliff overlooking the three ponds.  We hiked back down the trail and then headed up the Summit Trail to the West Peak of Borestone.  The trail starts out flat, tracing the shoreline of Sunrise Pond, until it starts to climb steeply.  The last section of trail before the summit is extremely steep and requires some rock scrambling and climbing over metal rungs.  The view from the summit was amazing and well worth the effort.  We descended back down the Summit Trail and then descended the rest of the way along the service road. 

Overall we hiked 4.6 miles with significant elevation gain.  Here is a map of our hike.  While not crowded, there were quite a few people on the summit trail.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Bear at Bangor City Forest

I hiked 4 miles in the rain tonight at dusk hoping to see wildlife in the Bangor City Forest.  Throughout the hike, I had my waterproof Fujifilm camera ready in the event that I stumbled upon something.  I crisscrossed the forest on minor trails, hoping that staying on less traveled paths would increase my chances of seeing wildlife.  Towards the end of the hike I rounded a bend and there, around 30 yards in front of me on the larger Tripp Road trail, stood a bear.  Sadly, it took a second or two for my brain to register the fact that there was a bear in front of me, and in that time, the bear calmly walked back into the thick woods, before I had the chance to take its picture.  


   

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Ragged Mountain (Rockport)

Matty and I hiked Ragged Mountain in Rockport today.  The 5 mile roundtrip hike from Route 17 was relatively flat for the first mile and a half before climbing steeply up the mountain.  

This was an incredible hike with great views from the summit.   We only saw one other group hiking, likely due to a poor weather forecast.


Friday, May 28, 2021

Shelterwood Trail, Hart Farm (Holden)

I hiked the Shelterwood Trail at Hart Farm after work yesterday.  The trail descends from the parking lot on Copeland Hill Road, passing an open field before entering woods.   It then parallels a stream before climbing a hill and descending in a loop.  

The Holden Land Trust has been installing new log bridges that help route the trail across wet and grassy areas.  Some sections of the trail are grassy, so appropriate tick precautions should be followed.  The property contains a large number of downed trees 

Overall this was a good trail for a quick workout close to Bangor.  The trail is 1.5 miles roundtrip with options to extend into the adjacent Fields Pond preserve.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Little and Big Moose Pond Loop Trail, Little Moose Public Reserved Land (Greenville)

Friends and I hiked the Little and Big Moose Pond Loop Trail this morning.  The trail is part of the 15,000 acre Little Moose Public Reserved Land.

The forecast had called for rain but there were only clouds when we started the hike.  The trail descended from the parking area before leveling out and traveling over board bridges until arriving at Big Moose Pond.  The trail ran along the shore of Big Moose and Little Moose Ponds, passing backcountry campsites along the way, then climbed through a forest and up to the center peak of Little Moose Mountain.  

It started to rain when we began our ascent after passing the ponds, and by the time we reached the summit of the center peak the wind had picked up and we were pelted with horizontal rain.  We enjoyed the hike despite the rain.

Here is a map of our hike.  The trails were well marked with excellent signage at trail junctions.  The access road leading to the trail head is a dirt road but was in good condition and would be passable in a two wheel drive vehicle.  For more information about Little Moose Public Reserved Land visit its official site at https://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/doc/parksearch/details.pl?park_id=70.