Monday, November 11, 2019

Saxl Park (Bangor)

Saxl Park is a large open grassy field located near the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in Bangor.  There are mowed paths through the fields and because they are flat, the paths can get quite muddy.

My son was volunteering nearby so I decided to walk until I had to pick him up, despite the light falling snow.

Here is a map of my walk.  

Saxl Park is a big grassy field.
Just in case one picture of grass wasn't enough, here is another.

Brown Woods (Bangor)

My son and I were in Bangor and wanted to get a quick hike in between errands and before it started to rain and snow. Brown Woods was a great choice as it was nearby but still provided an opportunity to connect with nature.

We hiked on the 3/4 mile loop and back loop trails.  The trails are flat and well defined and despite being in Bangor have a remote feel to them.  

Here is a map of our hike.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Carter Nature Preserve (Surry)

My son was volunteering at an event in Surry so I decided to go for a walk at the nearby Carter Nature Preserve, managed by the Blue Hill Heritage Trust.

This is a mostly flat preserve that winds through a coniferous forest and along a coastal shoreline.  The trail is well maintained and there is parking in two separate lots.  It's possible to make a loop although it requires a short amount of on road walking. 

Here is a map of my hike.

Hatchet Mountain Preserve (Hope)

Hatchet Mountain Preserve in Hope is managed by the Coastal Mountains Land Trust and features a 1.3 mile (roundtrip) trail up a series of switchbacks. 

It was 19 degrees when I started my hike this morning.  The trail up is narrow but well defined and offers great views of the surrounding countryside, including several coastal mountains. 

Here is a map of my hike.


Ice crystals on the trail.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Table Rock Trail, Grafton Notch State Park

I attended a two-day conference at Sunday River this week and since reporting time for the first day was mid-morning, I camped out the night before and got in a quick sunrise hike in the morning.

I hiked Table Rock via the Appalachian Trail and the blue blazed trail which approaches from the rear.   There is a more challenging Table Rock Trail which ascends from the front; however, since I was hiking up in the dark and temperatures were right at the freezing mark, I elected the more moderate route. 

The hike was relatively easy, although near the end there were a series of rungs to climb.  The blue blazed trail was generally easy to follow but I almost missed the rungs (probably due to the darkness).  

Table Rock itself had terrific views.  There is a very steep drop off so care should be used.

Here is a map of my hike. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Peaked Mountain (Clifton)

My son and I hiked Peaked Mountain this morning in the dark in order to capture the sunrise.   It was a beautiful crisp clear 35 degree morning and we were rewarded with an incredible sunrise. 

The trail itself is an access road that is steep at times.  The total round trip distance of the hike was 2.8 miles.  The mountain has a bald east-facing summit with a cell tower at the top. 

Here is a map of our hike. 


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Great Pond Mountain (Orland)

I hiked solo this morning up Great Pond Mountain in Orland.   This is a moderate hike with several incredible open views on the way up.  There is ample parking at the trailhead and the trail is well marked with trail markers and occasional signs along the route.  The trail is well defined although this time of year it was covered with leaves on the lower forested half. 

The total round-trip distance, including the summit trail and an overlook spur, equaled slightly more than 3 miles.  Here is a map of my hike.

This sign was at the trailhead.  The timing was perfect!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Tunk Mountain Loop Trail

The last time I visited Tunk Mountain in March, ice on the trail prevented me from ascending once I reached the base.  Today I returned to Tunk Mountain with a good group of friends and completed the 4.1 mile loop trail up and over the summit.

The initial one mile of trail is relatively flat, after which it begins a steep ascent to the summit.  There are a few locations where rock scrambling is necessary and one area requiring climbing up three rungs.  The views from the summit (as well as several overlooks on the way up) were well worth the effort as we all enjoyed the changing fall colors.

We elected to descend the loop trail rather than retracing our steps down the ridge trail.  We had read about the challenges associated with this route on AllTrails but decided it would offer a less steep descent in addition to variety.  The descent added variety and a great deal of unintended adventure as the trail is poorly marked and poorly maintained. Without the AllTrails app we would have likely gotten lost and even with the app we found ourselves often straying off trail and having bushwhack to get back on.

Overall this was a challenging but enjoyable hike.  Here is a map of our hike.

View of Tunk Mountain from across Mud Pond
The loop trail after the summit

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Moose Point State Park (Searsport)

Moose Point State Park is a small coastal state park located in Searsport.  There are around two miles of trails in the park but the primary attraction is the beautiful waterfront setting.  I visited the park today and hiked 1.4 miles around the perimeter of the park enjoying the views of Penobscot Bay.  The park closes for the season at the beginning of October but they allow visitors year round (although park facilities are closed and the entrance road is gated.)  The park also has a small beach, playground and picnic area, and gazebo and group shelter for events.   

Here is a map of my hike. 


Monday, October 14, 2019

Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse

My son and I visited Spring Point Lighthouse this morning while in South Portland.  It is a short 0.6 mile round trip from the parking lot to the tip of the lighthouse jetty (here is a map).  The park, located on the grounds of Southern Maine Community College, has great views of Casco Bay and its islands and also provides access to the batteries and other fortifications of Fort Preble. 

The jetty out to Spring Point Lighthouse.
View of Fort Gorges in Casco Bay
Fort Preble

The lighthouse, which was closed today, is open for tours during the annual lighthouse day event.

When my kids were little, the jetty used to terrify me with the prospect of them falling between the large rocks.  Fortunately that never happened.  Today's trip was much less terrifying.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hedgehog and Bradbury Mountains (Freeport and Pownal)

My son and I visited Hedgehog and Bradbury Mountains today, and camped overnight at Bradbury Mountain State Park. 

Hedgehog Mountain is managed by the Town of Freeport.   There are around five miles of trails in the park including a short trail to the summit.   This is more of a hill than a mountain (the town brochure puts the word mountain in quotes and almost apologetically states that it's the highest point in Freeport).  

View from the summit of Hedgehog

When we lived in the Portland area, we frequently hiked at Bradbury Mountain State Park, and were happy to return to the park today.  There are several trails throughout the park including several open to mountain bikes.  The mountain itself has an open summit with great views of the surrounding countryside.  

View from Bradbury Mountain

The park is open to camping year round.  The park has showers and a small kitchen area with a microwave oven and sink for washing dishes.   

Kitchen area at Bradbury's campground
Here is a map of both of our hikes.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Mount Waldo (Frankfort) revisited

A week ago when I first visited Mt. Waldo, it's summit was covered in fog.  We returned today and were treated to excellent views of the surrounding countryside. Here is a map of our hike.

Evidently there is another way up the mountain since this truck was at the summit working on the cell tower.