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01 June 2015

Hiking in Maine: Little Moose Mountain and Borestone Mountain

For any reader who might be unfamiliar with the Moosehead Lake Region of Maine, it's really "out there" in terms of being in a rather remote location (see map below).

Henry David Thoreau explored this region with Indian guides in the mid-1800's. His famous novel, "The Maine Woods", is a collection of his hand-written accounts of the time that he spent in this area.

By surface area, Moosehead Lake is the largest lake in the State of Maine, and is the largest mountain lake east of the Mississippi contained within one State.  It is over 40 miles long, and is 20 miles wide in some places.

The natural beauty of the region can be experienced by a variety of ways.  Hiking is my favorite way, but some of the other choices to enjoy this area include fishing, boating, mountain biking, camping, skiing.   Further regarding hiking, there are at least twenty fabulous treks that can be done using Greenville, ME as your home base (click HERE for a list).

In late May 2015, I made my third trip to the Moosehead Lake Region.  (Click HERE and HERE to read the blog reports from my prior visits.)

Since this region is a 4+ hour drive from my home, my visits have always involved an overnight stay in Greenville, ME.  And, since camping isn't my "thing", the ChaletMoosehead Lakefront Motel is used as my base of operations.  I enjoy its unpretentious ambiance.  It has reasonable rates, and is located directly on Moosehead Lake.

Below is a photo collage.  The top panel shows the Chalet Moosehead Lakefront Motel (at far left where blue chairs are at water's edge).  Bottom left panel shows just one of several scenic spots within a short walk of the motel.  Bottom right shows seaplanes (a.k.a. floatplanes) that are moored near the motel.  These types of aircraft are a common sight throughout the Greenville area.

And so with no further ado, shown below are a few snapshots taken on my hikes to Little Moose Mountain, and Borestone Mountain.


This was my second visit to this mountain.  I liked it so much the first time that it deserved a repeat visit!  (Click HERE for a trail description for this hike.)

Shown below is a view from one of several lookout ledges along the ridgeline of Little Moose Mountain.  Just left of center is Big Moose Pond;  Big Moose Mountain is seen at right of photo.   I'm still learning the mountain in this region.  Trout Pond Mountain is probably one of the mountains to the left of Big Moose Mountain, but am unsure which one it is!

And shown below is yet another view from one of several outlook ledges along the ridgeline of Little Moose Mountain.  In the foreground is Little Moose Pond.   In the distance is a portion of Moosehead Lake. The prominent mountains on the horizon to the right of center are the Spencers (Little Spencer and Big Spencer).


At the Borestone Mountain's website (click HERE) is a trail map, as well as the following quote.

"Encompassing more than 1,600 acres in Maine’s Hundred Mile Wilderness region, Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary offers a spectacular array of natural features, including rare older forest, three crystalline ponds, exposed granite crags and sweeping, panoramic views."

The photo shown below was taken from Borestone Mountain's west peak.   At center is Sunset Pond.  On the distant horizon (just right of center) are Little Moose and Big Moose mountains, about 15 miles NW as the crow flies .

The next photo was taken from Borestone Mountain's east peak.  At the far left is Borestone's west peak, and toward the right of the image is Lake Onawa.  Above the lake are the Barren Ledges on Barren Mountain which is situated along the route of the 'Hundred-Mile Wilderness' segment of the Appalachian Trail.


While already in the Greenville area, I decided to do a short "add-on" by walking up a service road at the Big Squaw Mountain Ski Area.  I wanted to get an idea of the view that alpine skiers might experience (see composite photo below).
My interest in Big Squaw was piqued when reading about its history at the New England Ski History website (click HERE).  In a nutshell, this facility was functional from 1963 up until 2010 when it ceased operations.   But then in 2012, a group known as the Friends of Squaw Mountain (click HERE) was formed and it launched a grass-roots campaign that was successful in reviving some of  the ski operations at this facility.

To sum it up, if you've never traveled to the Moosehead Lake Region of Maine, then I would recommend you do so if the opportunity ever presents itself.  But if you have already visited this area, and if you're an outdoor enthusiast, then chances are good that you've already made more than one visit to this fabulous corner of New England.


Steve Smith said...

Awesome photos, John - thanks for sharing this report about an area I am completely unfamiliar with. Sunset Pond looks like a unique spot beneath those cliffs and talus slopes. There are some real gems up there!


1HappyHiker said...

Thanks for your comments, Steve!

You summed it up beautifully with your statement “There are some real gems up there!” Indeed there are! I hope you will have an opportunity to visit the Moosehead Lake Region at some point.


Karl said...

Wonderful photos, John - I love the one of Sunset Pond on the peak. Is that a zoomed in image or is it a smaller pond. Looks like there is some ledgey, slidey cliffs to the left of it. Very cool location.


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Karl,

Your taking time to read and post a reply to my blog is very appreciated! Thank you!

Regarding your question about the photo that shows Sunset Pond, it is not a zoomed image, and yes it is a small pond. Actually, Sunset Pond is at the end of a chain of three small ponds on the property of Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary. The other two ponds leading up to Sunset Pond are named Midday Pond and Sunrise Pond. Just to give you an idea of how small the three ponds are, it is less than a mile from the tip of Sunset Pond to the tip of Sunrise Pond.

As you say, Borestone is a “very cool location”! And apparently a lot of people agree with that assessment. I arrived at the trailhead early in the morning and was only the second car there. However, when I arrived back at the trailhead, the rather large parking lot was completely filled, and “overflow” hikers were parked on the shoulder of the road.