Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Turtle Ridge , ME
Trails: Turtle Ridge Loop Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, May 20, 2023
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Pay $12/day if you’re a ME resident and $17/day if you’re not at the Jo-Mary gate at the start of the road. Fees should be the same for KI Rd. Open daily 6am-10pm. A season pass was something like $110. Not really worth it since it’s only for access to Jo-Mary and KI roads. The woman at the gate told me the roads were in good shape but there’s actually some major washout. Most is along the sides of the road but you ocassionalky have to dodge it so be on the lookout so you don’t hit it. It could easily wreck your car. Don’t go too fast. The worst spot was just after the Henderson checkpoint (gate open, says to call to get permission but I think that’s only when the gate is closed which it sounds like it isn’t anymore??) where there is major washout in the road with a narrow sliver between it with moderate washout that I car with mid-clearance can carefully squeeze through. This looked really bad and I almost didn’t take my car over it but it’s the sort of situation where it looks worse than it is. I saw a number of other cars on the road that must’ve gone over it as well. I think that some people I met on trail had come in KI Rd and somehow gotten there as well. So it seems like there’s alternate access and they said that road was in fine shape. The trailhead is signed. Park on grass by the sign. Not room for more than a few cars. Cross the bridge to the south to reach the trailhead in a short distance.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Ice - Breakable Crust, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: I think the only one of any consequence is the outlet of Rabbit Pond which I would avoid if water was high.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The trails are blazed in blue and with some regularity as I recall. Not super well travelled but I wouldn’t say they were hard to follow. Trail jcts were signed. There are a number of blowdowns throughout the trail but they seemed to mostly be on the west side of the figure 8 loop. On the 1/3mi section of trail that connects the two loops along an esker between Hedgehog Pond to the west and a smaller pond to the east, there were two larger, pain in the tuchus blowdowns, as well as close to a half dozen smaller stepover, leaner, widow maker blowdowns as well. This was roughly representative of the trails as a whole I’d say. One blowdown in particular on the west side of Sign Sing Pond shortly before the trail climbs to Turtle Ridge actually parallels the trail and you’ve got to walk along top it for a ways. This blowdown, perhaps among some others, make the trail difficult to follow at times.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Good trail for dogs. 
Bugs: They were out but so long as you kept moving, the black flies weren’t too bad.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: A great pre-church hike on my first full day staying in Millinocket. A highly recommend this hike! I completed the hike from the western trailhead as described in the guidebook. My mileage is longer because I did an OAB from the loop to the eastern trailhead which I’d argue is needed for redlining and an OAB on the 0.3mi section not technically described with a distance in the guidebook but seen on the map that connects the two figure 8 loops. It goes along an esker between Hedgehog Pond and a smaller pond to the east. Also, the guidebook doesn’t say this but the trailhead is south of the parking area. You’ll cross a bridge along the way. It’s a short walk.

The 1.1mi to Sing Sing Pond (shown as Harding Pond on Gaia) has some very wet and mucky sections. Mostly flat but some PUDS as well. The climb up Turtle Ridge wasn’t too bad. Fantastic views, ledge, trail, and woods along the ridge. Beautiful garden path. Some nice trail work descending off the ridge too. The next very cool spot was Rabbit Pond. The smooth granite slabs reminded me a bit of 13 Falls in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of NH. The ledge at the next jct was a cool spot as well and the OAB to the eastern trailhead featured some cool walking amongst the bushes. The climb up the 1600ft knob afterward was a bit unwelcome but some views were to be had here as well. Very cool to look down on so many different little ponds throughout the day :)

There was some bouldery footing in spots and the walk out along the south side of the figure 8 felt rather long. The 0.3mi that connects the two loops was neat though. I stopped by the Sing Sing Pond Campsite on my way out along the south side of the pond. I saw one group and one solo hiker throughout the day. Gaia had me at 11.25mi, 1150ft of gain, 5hr10min.  
Name: Liam Cooney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2023-05-23 
Link: https:// 
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