Moosehead Lake Region Blog
Hike to Eagle Rock
Hello, dear reader. Today, I write to you tired yet triumphant, as I was able to hike to Eagle Rock, a hike that I had never done in our amazing Moosehead Lake Region and had been eager to experience. It really highlighted a couple of things for me. One, I really need to get out and hike more often. I have never had to stop and take a breather as many times as I did today. And second, that no matter how long you live in a place, there is always something more to discover. And discover I did, one of the absolute best views in our area.
The hike itself is only about three miles round trip through some of the most gorgeous woods you will ever see. We started off driving down the Burnham Pond Road for a few miles. Off to the left, barely visible through this year’s seasonal growth, was a small white sign that said Eagle Rock Trail. Starting off was a little rough, as it had rained for the two days prior, so there was lots of mud and water.
The trail itself is marked with blue blazes, however, we’ve had some rough weather recently so there was a lot of windfall in the vicinity, as well as mud patches. Keeping an eye was key as we sometimes lost the trail and had to backtrack to the closest trail marker. There was also a ton of evidence of Moose all over the trail, the whole way to the top!
As you get towards the summit, you can begin to see Moosehead Lake and the surrounding mountains through the trees, just enough to tantalize you. When you look ahead, all you see is a steep hike, which promised tired and sore legs in the morning. But, the payoff was better than I ever could have hoped for.
We finally reached the summit, and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t what I was expecting. You come through the trees, and there is suddenly this massive rock in front of you, like the whole top of the mountain was scraped right off down to the bedrock. (Which is probably what happened when the glaciers moved through this area.) The rock climbs at a 45 degree angle all the way to the peak. You get to the top and you turn around and your breath is literally stolen. The view from this rock is so utterly astounding that you honestly can’t talk for a few seconds, except maybe to dumbly repeat “wow” as you turn 360 degrees. In my twenty years of living in this area, I can honestly say I’ve never seen a view more amazing than this.
After the shock wore off, we sat down and started trying to name off all of the mountains, ponds, and rivers that we could see; Kineo and Elephant Mountains are fairly obviously right off the bat, as is Big Spencer. It was a fun trivia game to play as we sat letting our legs take a break. We ate a quick lunch, constantly stopping our conversation to say “I just can’t get over this view!” The wind picked up and the clouds started to sweep in, so it was our cue to start the hike down, but I had to stop and take one more look around. It’s phenomenal how beautiful our Region is, and it’s something that I take for granted every day.
The hike down was quick and relatively painless, except for a few muddy spots. All in all, it took us about two hours to climb up and 45 minutes to get down. Eagle Rock is a wonderful, short day hike with some beautiful views. Bring some water and a small lunch and enjoy the vistas our Region has to offer.
Moose Mainea 2015
Hello again dear reader! I’m writing today to give you some information about our upcoming Moose Mainea event! It’s an annual festival, but we’ve changed it up a bit this year so keep reading for the new updates!
On May 16th, we’re hosting our Moose Mainea Festival at Greenville High School. Here will we have a craft fair full of local artisans and businesses, food vendors, as well as a Guide Showcase event where local guides give demonstrations on activities like fly-casting, sled dog racing, white water rafting, and wildlife calls. We are also going to have many of our local governmental agencies represented as well, with the Greenville Fire Department and Police Department and their rescue vehicles, as well as the Maine Forestry Service with their helicopter! The Wardens are bringing their Wall of Shame, which is a display that shows major, intentional acts of poaching; this is to help spread the word that Mainers will not tolerate these acts.
We will also have a kid zone, craft and food vendors, and a skillet throwing competition! We would like to thank all of our sponsors who have helped make this event a reality; Indian Hill Trading Post, Burnt Jacket Realty, Wilsons on Moosehead, Bangor Savings Bank and the Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union! So, dear reader, come out and check out the fun activities and maybe try your hand at a wildlife call or throwing our skillet! I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Snow, Snow, Snow
Here in the Moosehead Lake Region, it’s just four short days until Spring! Naturally, you’re picturing snow melting and grass becoming visible again. You couldn’t be more wrong. Our region got a whopping twenty inches of snow on Sunday! As you can see on Monday morning, we’re still digging ourselves out and there could be even more on the way tomorrow. Spring could not seem further away.
While spring starting would be properly welcomed by all, these twenty inches have really helped the recreational trails in the region. The different trails in the area are absolutely adoring the snow! These twenty inches of powder have made the snowmobile and cross-country trails undeniably excellent! If you’re an outdoorsy person, you will love these beautiful conditions.
If you want to get out and enjoy these trails, stop by the Visitor’s Center in Greenville for trail maps or just head over to the Plan Your Visit Tab right here on our website! See you on the trails!
Everyone knows about all the activities you can do outside during the summer, those are easy. However, in the winter, sometimes you have to get creative. Snowshoeing is one of those activities that can be fun on a gorgeous, sunny day. It helps you extend your hiking or running into the cold seasons, and let's face it, we all get lazy in the winter. And, comparatively, snowshoeing is cheaper than many of the other winter activities you could choose. My goal here is to give you some quick tips on snowshoeing in general, a bit on how-to, and some safety tips to keep you on the trail and having fun.
Shoe prices can run anywhere from around $50 to just under $300 depending on your budget and your preference. The size of your snowshoe is going to depend on how much you weigh. If you're not sure about which length to choose, ask someone in the store, they should be able to help you decide which the best shoe is for you.
There are different kinds of snowshoes. There are recreational hiking snowshoes that are generally recommended for first time uses or novices. These are good on the tame terrain, nothing too steep or dangerous. There are also aerobic/fitness snowshoes that are good for rolling terrain, really any terrain except the steepest hills, and more suited for active snowshoers. The hiking/backpacking shoes are for those people that consider themselves experts, who are looking for the challenging areas to hike and want to blaze their own trails. Decide which category you fall under, and find your snowshoe!
For footwear, the most popular seems to be a waterproof hiking boot with wool socks, or any material sock that will wick away water but still keep your feet warm. Although, if you're going to be running with the snowshoes, track shoes are the recommended shoe. Another recommendation stated that snowboarding boots are ideal for snowshoeing. Again, be smart and be aware of where you're going and what weather you're going to be in.
Another piece of equipment you can take along is poles. Many people use poles to help when trekking through the snow. They can help with balance and when you're crossing hills. They also help you get back up when you take a tumble. Also, keep a small backpack with you for extra layers, new socks, water bottles, energy bars, and whatever other supplies you feel necessary to bring on the trail with you.
What to wear is really paramount, as with any winter outdoor activity. And when I say paramount, I definitely don't mean fashionable. Layer up. Your first layer should be something synthetic or wool. These types of material can get wet, but still keep you warm, and many of them will wick water away from your skin so that you don't catch a chill. Your next layer should be something that is insulating, fleece is always a good choice here. Your last layer should be your outer layer, and that should be something waterproof, breathable, and should keep out the wind. While your other layers will still keep you warm if they get wet, you should really try to avoid that. Layers are the easiest way to ensure that you maintain your body temperature when you're outside adventuring. And, if you get too hot, you can always start shedding layers; just make sure that they stay dry. And I'm going to mention it, but I do believe, dear reader, that this is obvious; hats and mittens! You lose a good portion of your body heat through the top of your head, so keep it covered. And, no one wants frostbite, so gloves or mittens are a must.
As to where to go snowshoeing, if it has snow, you can probably snowshoe there. Be smart about it, however. If you want to snowshoe on a lake or a pond, but it's early in the season, make sure you check that the ice is safe for you to be on. For beginners, cross-country ski trails are usually a good place to start. Make sure that you are aware of other people on the trail, and if at all possible. Make your own track beside the trail. The Moosehead Lake Region offers a few places with groomed trails. Lily Bay State Park keeps its parking lot plowed so that you can access the trails more easily. NREC, or the Nature Resource Education Center has trails behind the Visitor's Center in Greenville that are easily accessible as well. Be smart about where you're snowshoeing and heed the following safety tips when headed out.
Some safety tips for you to take with you on the trail.
1. Don't snowshoe alone.
2. Stick to established trails or populated areas when you're a beginner.
3. Be aware of the weather and any changes that might occur throughout the day. The more aware of the weather, the better able you are to be prepared for it.
4. Dress for the conditions. Always layer, waterproof on the outside, and something that wicks away water close to your skin.
5. If you're going to go off the trails, make sure to bring a map, compass, GPS, or even a cell phone to help you if you get lost.
6. Pack smart. Pack extra layers, including a base layer.
7. Stay hydrated.
Snowshoeing is considered a low-impact, aerobic exercise and is definitely something your whole family can enjoy. Come see us in the Moosehead Lake Region and try out our trails!