NewEnglandTrailConditions.com
NewEnglandTrailConditions.com:
MA
|
ME
|
NH
|
RI/CT
|
VT
|
Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Mt. Zircon, ME
Trails
Trails: Mt. Zircon Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, November 19, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: The guidebook’s directions are correct. The only things I’d add are 1) where the guidebook describes parking is RIGHT next to a house. I was cautious to park here as even though I saw their mailbox and driveway on the other side, it just felt awfully close to be parking. But this is indeed where you should park (verify by the Rumford Water District sign or the Mt Zircon sign). 2) just west of the road/parking area, is it before the fork in the road is a decent sized parking lot. I didn’t see any signs indicating that this was parking for Mt Zircon but I did verify with two folk on the way down that parked there and have done it before that you can park there.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Wet/Sticky 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: I don’t recall any blowdowns. I don’t believe the road walk portion of the hike was blazed but I could be wrong. The footpath is blazed in blue and I think it was blazed well. Trivial to follow since I was following others footsteps but even if I weren’t (and snow or leaves were obscuring the footbed) I think it would be a pretty easy find.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Might need some help with the scrambles up near the summit but other than that I think this would be a good trail for dogs. Watch out for where it coincides a snowmobile trail.  
Bugs
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
 
Comments
Comments: My first Maine redline since the big finish…man, do I love this shit!! :D What’s more, it was a BEE-U-TI-FUL day, I broke in a new tab (Oxford Hills) and I ran into someone I know on the trails which is always a treat :) Grabbed this on way up to Houlton.

Snow cover is consistent beyond a few small patches on the road. May be a bit more showing after more sun and warm temps yesterday afternoon. Microspikes were perfect for this hike. I started with them on at the car and left them on the whole way. Generally speaking, a couple of inches of snow on the ground down low, increasing up higher but I don’t think it ever could’ve been more than a 1/2ft even off trail. So no snowshoes needed just yet. Just make sure you’re headed the right way on the road when it intersects other roads and don’t miss the turn off for the trail as it enters the woods. Road starts off at a moderate grade, then becomes easier the rest of the way to the start of the trail. The trail is just as the guidebook describes. Moderate then steeper with a little scrambling up top. Microspikes helpful and probably necessary.

On my way down, I noted an old foundation roughly opposite the old spring house. Another, less impressive foundation is about 1/3mi south along the road on the west side of it as well. I got a kick out of the no trespassing signs that had the Polar Springs logo beneath. I guess they still own the place. This is a doable redline for winter assuming there’s enough plowing to still park. Gaia had me at 5.7i with 1600ft of gain. 2.5hrs to complete with a break on top and a couple short breaks on the way up.  
Name
Name: Liam Cooney 
E-Mail
E-Mail: liamcooney96@gmail.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-11-20 
Link
Link: https:// 
Bookmark and Share 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.

Copyright 2009-2019, All Rights Reserved