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11 February 2016

Meandering in Maine: Trek to The Roost, plus Ledges on Mt. Hastings


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!
As those who have visited The Roost know, the usual principle of "views from the top" is turned on its head, since here it is "views from the bottom".  To get the renowned views, you need to make a steep descent from the top via a spur path that leads you about 0.1 mile to spacious ledges.
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.


Rita Wechter said...

Dogsledding—how exciting! I wonder what it would be like to try that sport?
The roost looks and sounds like a worthwhile destination.
I also admire your adventuresome bushwhacking spirit—zooming in for a photo and then deciding to hike to that area—great!
I'll finish with a comment similar to the one I made on your last post: It sure looks like Maine, and all of New England, could use a few good snowstorms!

1HappyHiker said...

Rita . . . thanks for being such an avid supporter of my blog by reading the postings and providing feedback via your comments.

Further regarding the bushwhack that was described in this posting, this was sort of a “one-off” occurrence in terms of its spontaneity. The majority of my off-trail adventures involve more deliberation and planning.

And regarding the hike to The Roost, you assessment about it being a worthwhile destination is in sync with the opinion posted a couple of years ago on the MaineToday website (link below).


Kevin said...

Thanks for the report! I've been meaning to go up there since I spent a couple of days surveying for the new bridge.

1HappyHiker said...

Glad you enjoyed the report, Kevin.
My compliments to you and the team who constructed that new bridge. It’s a beauty!