Saturday, June 24, 2023
Sunday, June 18, 2023
Baxter State Park in the Rain - South Branch Pond Campground, Dwelley Pond Trail, Five Ponds Trail, SFMA Interpretive Trail
I planned on doing a solo hiking and camping trip this weekend in Baxter State Park and decided to stick with the plans even though the forecast called for rain all weekend. I figured "it's not going to rain all weekend...."
I arrived Saturday afternoon and was pleased that it was only slightly drizzling when I started hiking the Five Ponds Trail. Unfortunately the drizzle soon turned to a heavy downpour so after 0.7 miles I decided to turn around and head back. I enjoyed the forested trail despite only seeing a small portion of it.
The rain let up as I drove towards the campground so I diverted to the Dwelley Pond Trail in hopes of seeing a moose. I hiked the first 1.25 miles of the trail and although I didn't see a moose there were several piles of moose scat on the trail. At 1.25 miles a small stream crossed the trail, and due to the recent rain the stream would have flooded my boots, so it made sense to turn around at this point. The trail is an old logging road and was overgrown in parts but the possibility of seeing a moose made it a nice hike. The rain varied from a light drizzle to a moderate downpour during the hike.
I camped in a lean-to at South Branch Pond campground. The lean-to remained dry throughout the night despite steady rain thanks to the tarp I hung at the entrance.
Sunday morning I hiked one of the shortest trails in Baxter State Park, the 0.8 mile Scientific Forest Management Area Interpretive Trail. The park provides a printed interpretive guide that corresponds to sign posts along the trail. There are also informative signs on some of the trees and a display on animal tracks. The first part of the trail was heavily flooded due to heavy rains and there were a few downed trees as well. There were a few piles of moose droppings along the trail although I didn't see any moose.
Although it was in the 50's and raining the entire time this was still an enjoyable trip. I was fortunate to see two moose on the road, one in Baxter and one near the entrance to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. (Sorry for the picture quality, it's hard to take pictures through a windshield when it's raining, my wipers were on, and both moose wouldn't wait for me to get a better shot.)
Sunday, June 11, 2023
I hiked 4.5 miles at Mt Waldo this morning. I've blogged about this hike before, as it's one of my favorite hikes both for the workout it provides and it's proximity to my home.
Looking back at my prior posts, I realize I usually focus on the great views from the summit. The views are great, but make up only a small portion of the hike. The hike travels through scenic forests most of the time.
Saturday, June 10, 2023
I hiked the Johnson Brook Trail at the Sunkhaze National Wildlife Refuge this morning. I last blogged about this trail in February 2020 when there was snow on the ground. This is a nice hike, although buggy, overgrown and flooded in parts. Wearing a headnet, using bug spray and wearing waterproof boots made the hike enjoyable. I hiked a total of 3.4 miles. A side trail would have added another mile but was closed.
Sunday, June 4, 2023
I hiked the Trout Pond and Little Notch Pond Trails in the Little Moose Public Land today. I chose to hike in Greenville since the forecast there only called for scattered showers whereas everywhere else it called for rain all day.
The Trout Pond Trail is a short trail (0.3 miles one way) that leads to a waterfront campsite complete with fire ring, outhouse and canoes. Despite being short the trail crosses several wooden bog bridges. There was moose scat and a very recent moose print along the trail. When I arrived at Trout Pond I noticed a commotion across the pond which turned out to be a loon chasing another loon. After hiking out and back I decided to hike along the road past the trail to see where it lead (it deadends after a short distance.)
The Little Notch Pond Trail leads to another waterfront campsite. This trail was slightly longer (0.7 miles one way) and gained about 300 feet of elevation. Like the Trout Pond Trail, there was also moose scat and tracks along this trail.
The below map shows the two trails in proximity to each other.