Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Snow Mountain (Chain of Ponds), ME
Trails: ATV trails, herd paths
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, June 12, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Any car can get to either parking area 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Some puddles to avoid, but no significant crossings which aren't bridged 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: ATV traila are well maintained; summit herd path is better maintained than many official trails, other herd paths have some blowdowns and overgrowth, but are easy enough to follow  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Not too bad 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Fire Tower Trip Day Two: Snow Mountain (Chain of Ponds)

After a cold night (around 40 degrees) at Appleton Corner, I headed south to climb Snow Mountain. It's 40 short of being a 4,000 footer and has a tower on it that is almost identical to the tower on Tumbledown Mountain. It's also 24' tall and was also built in 1914. Unlike Tumbledown, Snow has an established route up. Actually, the mountain has multiple herd paths and ATV trail which can be combined to get you to the top, so I will try to make sense of them here.

The first part of this hike is on an ATV trail off of the Snow Mountain Road. A new branch road has been constructed beyond the traditional parking area which can shorten the hike by about half a mile each way. After passing the old parking area and the start of the ATV trail, take the next left. The ATV trail will cross this road twice, and you can park about 100' past the second crossing, where the road ends. Follow the ATV trail uphill and it will eventually cross two bridges. Not too far after the second bridge, the first herd path leaves on the right at a left hand turn, marked by a cairn and pieces of a yellow arrow. This herd path is about a quarter mile long and ends at a four-way intersection. Here you can go right or straight. If you go right, you will follow a grassy and muddy ATV trail until it reaches the summit herd path on the right just after a climb up a stepper pitch (this currently seems like the most popular route). If you go straight, you will follow a well-used ATV trail towards Snow Mountain Pond. This short side trip is worth the little extra walking to see the pond. Before the pond, a herd path (marked by a cairn and pieces of a yellow arrow) leaves the ATV trail to the right and will quickly bring you to the grassy ATV trail. Alternatively, you can continue straight along the shore of the pond. The ATV trail becomes muddy, and, as the trail bends left after a straightaway, a herd path leads right, marked by a yellow arrow and old flagging tape. This trail heads uphill until it meets the grassy ATV trail directly across from the summit herd path (this is my preferred route).

The summit herd path is well used, easy to follow, and is better maintained than many official trails I've been on. It ascends to the summit through pretty forest and does have some steep sections. Just before the summit, there is a viewpoint to the south for those who would rather not climb the tower. I saw a spruce grouse here who was perched in a tree about 10 feet away from me. At the summit, the tower offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains from its top.

Over these two days, I didn't see anyone else while out hiking and this remote region is quickly becoming one of my favorites to explore!  
Name: Sam Shirley 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-06-12 
Link: http:// 
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