|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mars Hill, ME|
||International Appalachian Trail, multiuse trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, November 20, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||The guidebook’s got the directions right. Plenty of room in the lot. Finding the actual trail was more difficult (see notes below). |
||Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Snow - Unpacked Powder |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||The trail is blazed in blue as the guidebook says but only when it becomes a footpath in the woods after the last switchback and before the multiuse trail…which is a pretty short section. Beyond that, it’s marked with tiny SIA/IAT markers which can be pretty hard to see. See the comments below for details for finding and staying on the trail. Some minor stepover blowdowns I think that are covered by snow. Nothing that needs to get taken care of. |
||Not during ski season obviously but beyond that I don’t see why not unless the ski area doesn’t want you to. |
|Lost and Found:
||First hike of the day and my first hike in the Aroostook tab. Not a bad mountain or hike and getting to the top of the mountain wouldn’t be difficult at all if you werent trying to redline, but, since I was, this was a bit of a pain. So, let’s give specifics on how to find and follow this little shit of a trail from the parking area…|
While there are signs for the IAT along the drive in, don’t expect to see one as you start your hike. Unless I missed something, there are NONE. The ski trail that the guidebook mentions (Outer Orbit) was not signed best I could see. But yes, follow the ski trail just to the night of the ski lift. At least as of right now, it’s the one with the snow machines on it. After about 1/4mi and just above the 800ft contour you’ll come to a jct with several ski trails (there may be a minor jct or two before this but this is the first major one). On the LEFT side of this jct you’ll find a tall green stake in the ground (won’t get covered with snow anytime soon but maybe eventually??) with an IAT/SIA marker. GO RIGHT next to the pond. I continued straight which was incorrect. Nothing marking this other than the way the SIA/IAT marker is facing. The guidebook doesn’t mention this turn so I found this part rather confusing/frustrating. From here, it’s a straight shot to the top of the chairlift as the guidebook says. Take the ONLY ski trail that continues uphill from the chairlift (it wasn’t called “Hooch” like the guidebook says anywhere I could see). Follow this to the clearing like the guidebook says and look for the trail entering the woods. Not hard to see if you’re looking. The rest is weird but easier to follow: it’s as the guidebook describes though I thought it rather awkward, this short stretches in the woods that were a little switchback to avoid a piece of the ski trail. Probably faster to just keep to the ski trail.
The second to last or last switchback is longer as is the section of ski trail in between. Don’t think you’ve missed something. Also, look for orange tape which seems to mark where the trail enters/exits and at ambiguous places down lower. Nice footpath in the woods. Trail signs at the multiuse jct and short ways from there to the summit. Nice views and lean-to nearby the summit. I was lucky the clouds lifted and I had a view even if somewhat obscured by low clouds at a distance (no view of Katahdin). I returned the same way as the other routes briefly mentioned are not given with a distance and thus are not needed for redlining.
My stats are skewed due to my wandering around off the trail I wanted to be on down low but here they are: just under 3mi, 1200ft, and just under 2hrs. I asked the folk at the ski area (not open) for directions and they were very kind and helpful and at least got me started up the right ski trail, lol.
||Liam Cooney |
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.