Borestone Mountain, near Monson, offers a quick hike with the reward of sweeping views of the hilly landscape south of Moosehead Lake. This weekend may be the last time to see fading oranges and yellows from the rocky outcropping atop the 2,000-foot mountain.
From the parking lot, hike through woods on a steep, narrow dirt road to Sunrise Pond. It’s a great place to catch your breath and for children to explore. A visitors center, open Memorial Day to Columbus Day, offers displays about the history, geology, flora and fauna of the region.
The mile-long Summit Trail follows the shore then climbs steeply through spruce forest before emerging on exposed rock and the summit of West Peak. Continue for another third of a mile to the top of East Peak. Some sections are very steep with metal hand railings, but the views are worth it. You’ll look down on Lake Onawa with its distant railroad trestle and across to the Barren-Chairback Range, part of the fabled 100-mile wilderness.
Borestone, a sanctuary owned and managed by Maine Audubon, does not allow dogs.
The sanctuary was home to a fox ranch in the early 1900s owned by Robert T. Moore, who sent award-winning pelts to New York by way of the railway station at the edge of his property. In 1909, Moore hired well-known Bangor architect Wilfred E. Mansur to design several Adirondack-style lodges on Sunset Pond. They are available to the public for overnight stays.
GETTING THERE: Take Route 15 to Monson. Turn onto the Elliotsville Road (just north of town) and drive until you cross Wilson Stream. Bear left and proceed up hill until you cross railroad tracks. Parking is on the left, the trailhead in on the right. Fee: $4 per adult; children under 6, Audubon members free.