|Sunset on Moosehead Lake from the summit of Big Moose Mountain|
There's a few options for climbing Big Moose Mountain and, unfortunately for me, they kind of depend on what kind of car you have. The south side of the mountain has a legitimate trail while the north side can be ascended using the old ski trails. Either way is a short but grueling hike to the summit.
View Big Moose Mountain, Trailheads and Trails in a larger map
The Big Moose Mountain trail is marked on the Maine Gazetteer, page 41, D1.
Inevitably I had to start from the end of the paved road. I don't like to take any chances with my car on dirt roads, especially in rural Maine! However starting at the old ski area is just as good and you get the benefit of a view all the way up. So it wasn't so bad, even if it didn't feel very wilderness-y.
Using the ski trails made the trip pretty simple and steep. Afterall, I was hiking black diamonds in some sections! Eventually I made it to the top of the ski area and there was a tiny trail which ascended to the true summit from the final lift. Its not marked but it is a real trail and its possible to come up one direction and go down on the other side if you do a car shuttle.
|Sunset on the summit of Big Moose Mountain|
The summit of Big Moose Mountain was glorious, I think I could see 2/3rds of the state of Maine on a clear day. To the North I could see the volcanic domes of Big and Little Spencer Mountain. Just East of the summit was Baker Mountain and the 100-mile wilderness of the Appalachian Trail. I'm quite sure I could just make out the summits of Katahdin and Baxter State Park in the Northeast. To the Southwest I could see to the wild Bigalow Range and a bunch of other nameless summits. It was a hell of a view! Definitely worth the comparatively short hike.
So there you have it! A 5 or 6 mile round trip hike brings you to one of the best summits in the state. That's a bargain!
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