|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Little Deer Hill, Deer Hill, ME|
||Leach Link Trail, Deer Hills Trail, Frost Trail, Deer Hills Bypass, Ledges Trail, Deer Hills Spring Spur, Deer Hills Connector|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, July 17, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Room for a few cars at the trailhead of Leach Link Trail on Stone House Road. Room for maybe 4 cars on the side of the road at the trailhead of Deer Hills Trail on Deer Hills Road. Both are dirt roads but passable for any vehicle if you're cautious. |
||Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||A couple very minor crossings on Deer Hills Bypass were easy. The crossing of Cold River on Chester Dam was dry and easy in the morning, but wetter in the afternoon and would have required some caution. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||No major issues, except that there's a sign at the top of Ledges Trail (at its junction with Frost Trail just below the summit of Little Deer Hill) that misspells the word descent as "decent". There's also no sign at the upper junction of the main Ledges Trail and the bypass around the crux ledge. |
||Dogs might not like Ledges Trail due to the steep ledges and exposure. All other trails should be fine. |
||They were out, and quite persistent. We had to reapply bug spray several times to keep them off. |
|Lost and Found:
||This was a redlining hike in the Deer Hills. We started at Leach Link Trail and headed south to Deer Hills Trail - this trail was easy, either flat or gently descending, and its turns were signed. Then we turned left onto Deer Hills Trail and took it up to the summit of Little Deer Hill. The trail is rocky in places and climbs moderately, but it felt tough because it was a very humid morning. We then descended Frost Trail to Deer Hills Bypass and followed that back to the junction with Deer Hills Trail to redline that part. This section follows an old road along Cold Brook, and when ascending be careful to take the left turn off the road to begin the ascent of the mountain - while blazed, this turn is easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. Above this point is a steep ledge that could be difficult in wet conditions, although the ledges generally seemed to be pretty grippy. The climb up Ledges Trail to the summit was interesting - I didn't find the crux ledge to be particularly difficult (though taller hikers might have more trouble), but the climb up to that ledge is steep, exposed in places, and could be very difficult if the ledges are wet.|
We then followed Deer Hills Trail over to Big Deer Hill. The climb up Big Deer Hill was again moderate, but it still felt more difficult because of the humidity. There's no view from the true summit of Big Deer Hill, but follow the trail just past the summit (it turns right down a ledge - don't take the beaten path straight ahead) and there's a viewpoint. We had lunch there - it was cloudy and hazy, but we could still see some views. We then continued down Deer Hills Trail to Deer Hills Bypass, redlined the remaining section of the Bypass as an out-and-back (nothing very difficult there), and then continued down Deer Hills Trail, making sure to do the Spring Spur (which is definitely recommended).
On the drive back to the car that we left at Leach Link Trail, we redlined Deer Hills Connector from the Baldface trailhead. There is now a sign marking the start of that trail (the WMG says there isn't one), but the trail would be easy to find even without it since there's a prominent yellow blaze on a tree right there. This was a nice, mostly flat trail.
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.