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24 June 2018

Bushwhack to Stiles Mountain (near Stoneham, Maine)


In mid-June 2018, I drove to the vicinity of Stoneham, Maine in order to visit Stiles Mountain.  Although it’s a small mountain (1,312 ft elevation), its south end has some steep ledges that provide good views.  However, since there is no trail to those ledges, getting to them requires a bushwhack.

Although I didn’t do an extensive search about the history of this mountain, I was able to discover that it was named after Jacob Stiles.  He, along with his eleven children and wife Olive, lived here in the early 1800s and farmed the rocky hillside.  The Stiles property stretched from the top of Stiles Mountain down to the shores of Horseshoe Pond.  The farm was abandoned around 1850.  And once the hillside was no longer hayed, it was soon taken over by pines and hardwoods. However, stone walls associated with the farm can still be found snaking through the forested landscape.

Circled in pink (at top of this map) is the general location for the various ledges that were visited during my bushwhack.  This adventure was launched from the parking area for the Horseshoe Pond Trail.  The round-trip mileage was about 2.5 miles with about 780 ft elevation gain.

From one of the ledges is a view of Horseshoe Pond as seen in the foreground.  In the background on the horizon is Pleasant Mountain in Maine.
 From another ledge is the  above view toward the Baldfaces.
FOREGROUND (L to R): Deer Meadow Bog and Shell Pond. 
BACKGROUND:  Many peaks are seen.  Some of the more notables include (L to R): Doubleheads; Mt. Eastman; the Baldfaces; Mt. Meader; peaks in the Carter Range.

Highly-zoomed view of South Baldface
Although getting to the ledges was a steep climb, the woods for the entire bushwhack were open . . . very little ‘whacking’ of bushes was required. :-)
There must be a story here!  While bushwhacking to the ledges, I came across a tree with a shovel blade stuck in it.  The LEFT panel shows the scene as I approached it.  The RIGHT panel is a close-up shot.


Considering the big views that are available from this small mountain, perhaps this report can best be summed up by quoting the timeworn expression that is often proven to be true, i.e. “big things come in small packages.” :-)


Rita Wechter said...

This is a beautiful spot, John. It makes me want to go back to Maine again! I love all the water views.
The shovel blade in the tree is quite interesting—it would make a good Halloween hayride story!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita . . . Maine is a beautiful and an interesting State. I feel fortunate to live close enough to do day-hikes to some of its many scenic wonders.