A "Maine meander" is perhaps the best way of describing a trek that was done near Gilead, ME in early February 2016.
I parked at the north end of Maine's Rt. 113 (where road is gated during winter months), then walked 1.3 miles southward on the unplowed roadway to The Roost Trail's north trailhead, and then hiked the trail to its south trailhead. From there, an impromptu bushwhack was done to the lower ledges at the north end of Mt. Hastings. I find it so refreshing to intersperse some occasional "coloring outside the lines" by traveling off-trail to destinations of my own choosing, rather than following an established trail to pre-selected locations.
Shown below is a map which provides a general idea about the scope of this mini-adventure. (And just as a point of interest, you'll note the word "Hastings" near the top/center of this map. Hastings was a thriving lumbering community from the early 1890s until the town was abandoned in about 1918. Click HERE for more detailed information.)
|The road walk from the gated area on Rt. 113 to The Roost Trail's north trailhead took about half an hour. Along the way, I was entertained by the beauty of Evans Notch, and by dog sled teams! Never did get a good photo of them. They are fast!|
|Upon making the steep descent on a spur path from the top of The Roost, you're rewarded with this view. (Mt. Hastings is nearby at far left, and at center of photo is the Wild River Valley with the Carter-Moriah Range in the distance.)|
|This view from The Roost is similar to one shown above. However, the foreground in this photo includes a portion of The Roost's ledges.|
|While standing on the ledges of The Roost, I zoomed in on ledges at the northern end of Mt. Hastings. Since they appeared to be easily reached via a short bushwhack, I decided to add this to my afternoon agenda.|
|The bushwhack to the ledges at the north end of Mt. Hastings was under 2 miles (round-trip), and was easy-going through open woods.|
|From the ledges on Mt. Hastings, there is a nice eastward view that includes Gammon and Caribou Mountain (at left), followed by Butters, Durgin and Specked Mountain (at right).|
|From the ledges on Mt. Hastings, I zoomed in on the bare ledges atop Caribou Mountain (another terrific hike in the Evans Notch region)|
|On the return trek back to my car, I stopped by the steel bridge over the Wild River at the north end of Highwater Trail. It replaced the suspension bridge lost in 2011 during Tropical Storm Irene.|
~ THE END ~