Old Man on Old Speck

The parking area was plowed when I arrived at the trailhead for Old Speck Mountain in Grafton Notch State Park. Located in a remote alpine region about a dozen miles north of Newry, the cleared lot was much appreciated as shoveling out car space beside the road is sometimes an unwelcome necessity. Typical of long […]

Ancient Hiker Ponders Old Speck

Climbing mountains in Maine in the winter is significantly different than the rest of the year. Cold weather, deep snow and icy conditions add a multitude of additional risks and demands. Higher more remote mountains increase the potential hazards. Three important factors should be considered: fitness, proper equipment and preparation. Like most of my life […]

A Geriatric New Year

More than 30 years ago, my wife Nancy and I began celebrating the New Year sharing outdoor adventures with friends. The first escapade was a backpacking trip to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Carter Notch Hut deep in the White Mountains. On that occasion we were accompanied by two friends and five live lobsters. Fellow […]

A Mountain or a Molehill

Is it a mountain or a hill? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is no official difference between a mountain and a hill. The Camden Hills contain Mount Megunticook and Ragged Mountain. The highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, Black Eagle Peak, is located in the Black Hills. Timms […]

Cranberry for the Holidays

Temperatures were in the teens when we arrived at a trailhead on icy Currie Road in Stratton. Although several days before the official start of winter, we encountered deep snow and spruce trees decorated with a layer of the frozen precipitation. The forecast was sunny, but we had clouds and snowflakes. The scene left one […]

A Pleasant Traverse

Snow came early to Maine this year leaving a frosty layer of white stuff on most of the nearby prominent peaks. Pleasant Mountain near Denmark was no exception with an accumulation of several inches at higher elevations. The closest substantial mountain to my home in Topsham, Pleasant is a long one hour drive. The two […]

Stalking the Duck

How do you know you’re paddling Ducktrap River? The weather is lousy. Inclement weather seems to be an inherent part of the Ducktrap experience and it’s not a coincidence. Water levels rise and fall rapidly on the tiny Lincolnville body of water that is mystifyingly called a “river.” Hence, the opportunity for a quality whitewater […]

Falling for Tumbledown

In my opinion, Tumbledown Mountain in western Maine is the most spectacular moderate mountain hike in New England. That was the primary reason for its inclusion in my mountain guidebook, Mountains for Mortals – New England. The goal of Mountains for Mortals was to provide detailed guidance on the easiest trails to the thirty most […]

A Cadillac of a Mountain

Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the source of many superlatives. At an elevation of 1,532 feet, it is the tallest mountain along the eastern seaboard of the United States. According to Wikipedia, the commanding prominence is the highest point within 25 miles of the shoreline of the North American continent between Cape Breton […]

Around the Mountain and More

The Carriage Roads of Acadia National Park are the best bike trail rides in Maine. At least that’s my opinion and a sentiment shared by many of my outdoor friends. Built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in the early part of the 20th century, the Carriage Roads consist of 46 miles of trails on a […]