no matter where you go, there you are

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mt. Kineo

I think my favorite thing to do is hike. I've gone to the summit of Little Spencer Mountain three times, and as exhausting and difficult as it is, its one of the best hikes in the area. Big Spencer Mountain and Tom Young Cliffs are other local "big" hikes and the camp itself has multiple little trails to explore. Since I've hiked all of those trails in years past, this past summer I was adamant about finding something new, and difficulty friendly for my whole family. We settled on Mt. Kineo because it was closer than the other options, has different difficulty trails, and is a highlight of this region in Maine.

Mt. Kineo is not a very tall mountain but the combination of its beautiful 700-ft cliff face and the fact that it is a peninsula  in Moosehead Lake make it very unique. There is a golf course, one of the oldest in New England, and some homes on the land as well. Our little Prius was unable to make it the "backroads" way where you park on the side of the road and walk about a mile until you come to the mountain so we were forced to go the long way around; back to Greenville and up the western side of the lake until we reached the Ferry terminal. It's about a 10-15 min ride across the lake. It was very windy but I think that was only on the water because on land it was a perfect summer day: partly cloudy skies, a nice breeze and mid 70s.

Upon departing the ferry you have to walk about 3/4 of a mile to the Indian Trail trailhead. We hopped on and immediately started ascending the cliff-side of the mountain. It was definitely on the difficult side; steep and rocky. Lots of the trail involved climbing over large faces of rocks using hands and legs. It was really fun for me, but much harder on my mom. The entire way up the Indian Trail your vantage point is of Moosehead Lake and the farther you ascend the viewpoint gets bigger and better. When you get to the point where the Bridle Trail meets up with the Indian Trail, there is a spectacular overlook.

Since there had been so much climbing done to get to this point, Mom and Anne were pretty beat so they decided to rest for a bit then start the descent down the Bridle trail whilst Dad and I continued to the summit. We would then meet them back at the dock. From the overlook to the summit, the trail is fairly flat with little ups and downs as it takes you through a wooded forest. It was very nice and soon we were at the summit, denoted nicely but the old, but still climbable, fire tower. Its a little creaky and you can feel it move in the wind a bit, but it still felt very safe. The entire railing it carved with people's initials that have then rusted over. It's very neat.

Even thought the views on this hike had been terrific, nothing beats what you can see when your high above the treeline; a complete 360 degree vantage point. The entire lake spans before you in all directions and mountains upon mountains are seen in the distance. We could see Little Spencer and Big Spencer as well as a sliver of the pond on the other side of a small hill. The trees are dense and fill the land; it's hard to believe there are any roads down there at all. Clouds moved over and around us and we could see where the wind was at its peak down on the lake. It's places like these where there is nowhere else to be but at peace.