|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Blueberry Mountain, Speckled Mountain, ME|
||Bickford Brook Trail, Blueberry Ridge Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, July 26, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Brickett Place is signed and accessible. Fewer than 10 cars there at both the start and end of our hike. There is a $5 fee there. Also, on the way back Sunday afternoon, Route 113 was closed between Stow and North Fryeburg, and we had to detour around it. Not sure what was going on. |
||Dry Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Just the crossing of Bickford Brook at the bottom of Blueberry Ridge Trail. It is crossed on flat ledges that had maybe 1/2 inch of water on them. There were a few other small rocks to step on in places where the water was deeper. Not an issue. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||A few blowdowns, but none were an impediment to travel (and this is a Wilderness area, after all). Signs were all in place. A little mud in a few places, but not bad at all. The uppermost section of Bickford Brook Trail has some brushy areas. |
||Saw a few. They probably wouldn't have any issues. Very little water at the higher elevations, though. |
||They were out. Put on bug spray at the beginning of the hike, which mostly worked, but near the end they were somewhat bothersome despite the bug spray (which might have been wearing off). |
|Lost and Found:
||This is a very nice hike in a less popular part of the White Mountains. The trail starts off with a moderate climb, but then reaches an old road and becomes much more gradual. We turned onto Blueberry Ridge Trail, and made a steep climb directly up the side of Blueberry Mountain - this is Maine, and trailmakers in Maine don't believe in switchbacks. There were some steep rock slabs, but the rocks were dry and grippy. When we reached the summit of Blueberry Mountain, the open ledges provided excellent views. The rest of the trail up to its northern junction with Bickford Brook Trail is nice and gradual, and it certainly lives up to its name - there were plenty of very nice-tasting blueberries. Very pleasant trail.|
When we got back on Bickford Brook Trail, it started off flat, then ascended gradually through a somewhat open, very brushy area, and then climbed moderately to the summit of Speckled Mountain. Beautiful views in almost all directions, and there was a nice breeze too, which was very welcome. We stayed there a good while, just enjoying the summit. I also looked around the summit area for the trail sign marking the junction of Bickford Brook Trail with Red Rock and Cold Brook Trails. I found it, but it's not visible from the summit, and it's not entirely obvious where it is in relation to the summit. Just poke around, making sure not to go too far from the very top, and you'll find it.
At this point, we were both very tired (both from the Meader/Eagle Crag hike on Saturday and the climb up Speckled), but Bickford Brook Trail has to be one of the best descent trails I have ever hiked anywhere in the White Mountains. The footing was very good, and the grades were all easy to moderate. It was smooth sailing all the way down. This is a very beautiful and fun hike - definitely a hidden gem of the White Mountains.
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.