My son had a cross country meet in Presque Isle so we decided to turn it into a short overnight adventure by camping in Aroostook State Park and hiking early the next morning.
In the off-season, camping is first-come first-served at the park, although on Friday night the campground wasn't crowded (there were approximately six other occupied campsites). Our campsite was basic (flat ground, fire pit, picnic table) but served its purpose well. With temperatures in the 40's, bugs were not an issue and the area was very quiet.
The campground has warm showers and flush toilets, as well as a covered kitchen building with a sink, electrical outlets, picnic tables and electric lights.
In the morning, we woke and hiked up the South Peak trail of Quoddy Jo Mountain. The trail was short (around 1/2 mile to the summit from the campground) but very steep. At one point, the hike requires a rock scramble. There is a view from the trail near the summit, but the summit itself is forested with no view. We descended using the Ridge and Notch trails, which were not as challenging as the South Peak trail.
Although short, the hike was challenging, especially for my son since he had run a cross-country race just 14 hours before. As we admired the view from the South Peak trail, a large hawk came swooping down and landed in a tree. It was close enough that we could hear it's wings flapping.
Overall, we greatly enjoyed the brief time we spent at the park.
Here is a map
of our hike.
|View from the South Peak trail above the rock scramble.|
|This is the rock scramble. The picture doesn't do it justice.|
|South Peak trail.|
|Our campsite, basic but functional. |
|View from the tent in the morning.|
|The kitchen building, with picnic tables, sink and electrical outlets.|
|View of the sky from our campsite.|
|Echo Lake viewed from the park's beach.|