I went camping and hiking this weekend and hiking last weekend at the north end of Great Pond Mountain Wildlands in Orland.
The 4,500 acre area is owned and managed by the Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, a small local non-profit (www.greatpondtrust.org
). The Wildlands includes several mountain peaks, miles of trails, 1,100 acres of conservation land and two remote campsites (permit required).
Here is a map
of my hikes on both weekends.
Flying Moose Mountain
My sons and I hiked Flying Moose Mountain yesterday on an incredibly beautiful day, and were rewarded with amazing views to the west and south.
We began our hike after setting up camp at the Baker Brook Campsite (see description below). The initial part of the hike involved walking on dirt logging roads which led up a relatively steep ascent. The trail then turned to a single track narrow trail leading to rocky clearing providing excellent views first to the west and then to the south and south-east. Although only 886 feet in elevation, Flying Moose Mountain provided a great hike for the effort. Round-trip from our campsite the hike was a total of approximately 5 miles. From the north gate the distance round-trip would be approximately 6 miles.
|Rocky clearings provide views to the west of nearby mountains.|
|Near the summit at the end of the trail, there are great views to the south and southeast.|
|The trail near the summit is open and provides great views.|
Baker Brook Campsite
|View from Flying Moose Tote Road.|
Great Pond Mountain has two remote campsites - Baker Brook and Mitchville. Both require advanced reservations (for more information see https://www.greatpondtrust.org/wildland-maps-guidelines/using-the-wildlands
). Last night we stayed at Baker Brook and had an amazing time.
Baker Brook involves a 3/4 mile hike from the north gate mostly along Valley Road, a relatively flat dirt road. The campsite itself offers a truly remote feeling, as it is nestled next to Baker Brook and is a single stand-alone site. There is a lean-to, fire ring and several areas where tents could be set up. There are also two conveniently spaced trees between which a hammock can be set up. The rustic toilet (see photos below) is located 1/10 of a mile from the campsite.
Temperatures were in the 60's during the day but dipped down to 37 at night. The resident mosquito population quieted down once the temperatures dropped.
There are bears and coyotes in the area so proper food storage is important. We hung a bear bag from a tree a few hundred feet from our campsite.
The night sky was clear and stars were clearly visible from the campsite. It was quiet but for the sounds of whippoorwills and spring peepers with occasional coyotes and owls mixed in.
The campsite cost $10 ($15 for non-members). Note that we had poor cell phone coverage with Verizon, but adequate coverage on AT&T's network at the campsite.
|Baker Brook Campsite|
|Baker Brook Campsite|
|The campsite provides excellent open views of the night sky|
|There is a 3/4 mile hike in to the site along a relatively flat road.|
|The toilet is open but away from the campsite and off from the trail along a little path. Bring toilet paper. And a sense of humor. It is 1/10 of a mile from the campsite to the toilet. |
Hothole Pond Tote Road
|Baker Brook is next to the campsite and it's babbling water can be heard throughout the night. My son called it a natural noisemaker. My kids enjoyed exploring the brook. |
Last weekend I visited the Wildlands to inspect the campsite in advance of our trip. I also hiked the Hothole Pond Tote Road and adjacent Coy Wolf Path while there.
I visited early on an overcast Saturday morning. The Hothole Pond Tote Road is for the most part a relatively flat logging road which passes several ponds on its way to Hothole Pond. The last 2/10 mile before the pond is a narrow trail through a wooded forest which leads to the pond and a small cascading waterfall where Hothole Brook empties into the pond.
Along the way, I observed a beaver swimming in a pond, an osprey flying over Hothole Pond, numerous song birds and evidence of coyote, bear, deer and moose activity.
|Beaver swimming in one of several beaver ponds along the way.|
|Another beaver pond|
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