Sunday, November 28, 2021

Surry Forest (Surry)

Surry Forest is a 2100 acre land trust managed by the Blue Hill Heritage Trust.  I hiked the property this morning at sunrise, hoping to spot some wildlife.   I failed to see any during the 3.7 mile hike, but I did come across wingprints of an owl or hawk in the snow where it appears the bird had caught a small animal.  

Papermill Park (Hampden)

We took a quick 6/10 mile walk at Papermill Park to enjoy the first significant snowfall of the year yesterday.  

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Carter Meadow Road, Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

I went for a solo hike this morning on the Carter Meadow Road in Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.   The relatively flat 2.6 mile lollipop trail provided a nice opportunity to get out and enjoy a sunny Thanksgiving morning.

The first half mile is a wide dirt road covered in pine needles and running part of the time adjacent to a stream.   

At a half mile, the trail splits forming a loop leading to an observation platform.   I chose the trail to the right on the way to the platform and returned on the other trail.  The trail to the right was significantly flooded in parts, and I would recommend instead just using the left trail and making it an out-and-back hike to the platform.  

The platform overlooks Sunkhaze Meadows, a broad wetland containing a number of raised peat bogs.   A beaver lodge was visible from the platform.  

The return trail was far more enjoyable and less flooded, winding through woodlands before meeting up with the entrance trail.    

The highlight of the hike was hearing the wingbeat of a bald eagle shortly before seeing it fly overhead.  

Overall I enjoyed the hike although the observation platform and a wooden footbridge are in need of repair and pose a danger in their current conditions (I emailed the refuge to alert them to the hazards.) 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Norumbega Mountain, Acadia National Park

My kids and I hiked Norumbega Mountain today to celebrate a cold 30 degree Thanksgiving Eve day.   This is an excellent hike and ranks among my favorite hikes in Acadia.  

Rising 600 feet, the initial 0.6 miles up the Goat Trail is steep and was made significantly more challenging by ice on the trail.   The trail levels out at the summit, traveling over a mile along a wooded ridgeline with occasional dramatic views of the surrounding area.  The trail then dips down through pine forests blanketed with moss before reaching Hadlock Pond.  The return trail passes an unexpected waterfall before eventually reaching the parking.

Our total hike today was 3.3 miles.  Here is a map of our hike. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Bald Mountain (Dedham)

A friend and I hiked Bald Mountain in Dedham today and were accompanied by a local dog that lives in the farm across the street.   Definitely made a challenging hike much more fun.  

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Bald Rock Mountain, Camden Hills State Park

Friends and I hiked the Bald Rock Mountain loop at Camden Hills State Park this morning.  The 3.5 mile loop gains approximately 950 feet of elevation, gaining gradually and then more steeply as it approaches the summit.   The bald summit provides amazing views of Penobscot Bay and Maine's coastline.  After spending time at the top, we descended past two decrepit back country shelters towards the Frohock Mountain Trail.  In several sections, the descending trail crossed shallow water, as it had rained heavily the night before.

Here is a map of our hike.   


Saturday, November 13, 2021

Belfast Rail Trail, City Point to Slocum's View (Belfast)

Ryan and I went for a short walk along a portion of the Belfast Rail Trail this afternoon, starting at the City Point parking and walking to Slocum's View for a total of 1.5 miles round-trip.  This is a scenic flat trail that runs along an abandoned railroad bed.  Here is a map of our walk. 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Great Pond Mountain (Orland)

A friend and I hiked Great Pond Mountain in Orland today.  I often try to find new places to hike, motivated in part by this blog but also by the sense of adventure in discovering new places.  That said, I've hiked and blogged about Great Pond Mountain a number of times in the last few years; it's a beautiful hike and great exercise while being nearby.  

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Appalachian Trail s/o Monson to Doughty Ponds

I went hiking on the Appalachian Trail south of Route 15 in Monson today, hoping to spot wildlife.  I was not disappointed.  

The out-and-back hike was a relatively easy three miles, with a gradual elevation gain of around 200'.  At first I was concerned that I wouldn't see any wildlife, given that the trail was covered with fallen leaves, producing a sound similar to walking on potato chips.  

At around 1.3 miles in, I came to a wooden bridge crossing two narrow streams feeding into a larger stream.  I noticed movement in the larger stream just west of the bridge and spotted a large river otter.  The otter began swimming upstream and failed to notice me until it was around eight feet from me.  At that point, our eyes locked and it turned and rapidly swam away.  It then climbed the bank on the other side of the stream.  As I stood reviewing my pictures, the otter returned and again made its way upstream, this time spotting me earlier and again climbing back out on the far side of the stream.  

I left the otter and continued to Doughty Ponds.  The Maine Appalachian Trail Club has built a small side trail to the eastern pond.  

I was around 1/2 mile from my car on the return trip when I heard a noise in the distance as something large moved through the leaves.  Off in the distance I was able to get a quick glimpse of a moose trotting past a clearing in the trees.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture, but it was great to see a moose.

Here is a map of my hike.