Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bear Mountain in Hartford, Maine

Last Friday my son and I welcomed summer by taking a day hike. We had the mountain to ourselves. 
There are many Bear Mountains, but this one is a bit over an hour from our home. 
The closest "town" is North Turner, Maine. It's an easy two miles up to the 1,200 foot summit. 
The fall foliage is spectacular in autumn, but wear bright orange if it's hunting season.

 Hiking boots are necessary as the trail is 
like climbing a rocky, muddy river bed uphill. 
The trees provide plenty of shade and ticks.

The bare rock summit is a fine place for a picnic.
By midsummer there will be wild blueberries.

After an uphill climb, nothing beats a wallow in the mud. Wait a minute. What are you doing, Scout? Bloody dog!

Muddy or not, you are still carrying your drinking water, buddy.

Time to enjoy the view of the White Mountains. Camden Hills were visible on this clear day too.

Driving directions to Bear Mountain 
from midcoast Maine:

Take the River Road north to Auburn. 
(less scenic option is Rt. 196.)
In Auburn follow signs to Rt. 4 North
(Miss turn and get lost.)
In North Turner, take a left on 219 West.
First right on Bean Street
Immediately left onto Berry Road.
 2.2 miles later, right on Bear Mountain Road.

Or plug these coordinates into Google Maps:

Park in the mowed field with a sign for hiker parking. No facilities.
Hiking Directions:
On foot, follow the dirt road
past houses and a 19th century cemetery.
Road becomes a rocky snowmobile trail in the woods.
Go straight up past a left turn off and past a right turn off.
At a big intersection, take a right for the mountain trail. 
(Don't follow sign to Bear Mt. Road straight ahead.)
Summit to base round trip is about 4 miles.
It was under 2 hours of hiking and another hour relaxing on the summit.
This non-technical trail is ideal for kids and dogs.
Sorry, not the best directions!


Les said...

I hope you made Scout take a swim in that lake at the bottom of the mountain to wash some of that mud off before he got in the car.

Cat said...

Your dog is adorable! The portable water satchel is a grand idea too. You know how I long to visit your neck of the woods and we hope to soon but it won't be this summer. Both kids have schedules that are making travel difficult as a family. We are hoping to squeeze in a family vacation in August before everyone is back to the school grind. And hopefully, like you've done here, a few short trips squeezed in here and there. Happy Summer Sarah!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Maine is the best place for hiking. Ever!
Gorgeous blue skies.
I cannot believe Scout! Edward would't get near that pool of mud. He's incredibly fastidious about his appearance, you know. xo

Sarah Laurence said...

Les, sadly the pond was private. We all could have done with a jump in the water.

Cat, I’m sorry not to see you in Maine this summer. Maybe next year?

Pamela, if only Edward could teach Scout to be more lady like.

A Cuban In London said...

That was a walk I wish I'd have taken myself! :-) And in spite of the mud, or maybe because of it, your dog looked like it was having a good time.

Many thanks for such a fantastic post.

Many thanks, too, for your advice. I really appreciate it.

Greetings from London.

walk2write said...

I'm ready for a real mountaintop experience. Love walking along our beach, but it's not enough to get the old ticker ticking a little faster. I think Scout has the right idea. You have to immerse yourself in the mountain to really appreciate it.

☆sapphire said...

I love going on a hike too! The landscape looks really great! Just like Scout dogs love playing in the mud and I know that there is something wild in me that wants to wallow in the mud! I wonder if there are many bears in the Bear Mountains....

Elizabeth said...

I think Scout had the most fun of all!
Glad you tok us along!

Anil P said...

There's much bliss in mud, and Scout knows it. If nothing it should keep the ticks out.

This is very scenic, and pretty.

Even so, to rely on orange during the hunting season must yet be fraught with risks.

Amanda Summer said...

i wonder if there is anything more enjoyable to a dog than to wallow in the mud? (I'm sure some humans would enjoy that too ;-)

Rose said...

Seeing Scout made me laugh; dogs are like kids--if there's mud around, they will find it:)

Looks like such a beautiful place to spend the day!

cynthia newberry martin said...

Perfect Maine outing. Nicely complementing the girls' weekend and the killer horses : )