This blog post was respectfully submitted by guest blogger Skye Hinkley, Moosehead Lake Visitor Center Manager. Thanks, Skye!
Today, I write to you tired yet triumphant, as I was able to hike to Eagle Rock, a hike that I had never done in our amazing Moosehead Lake Region and had been eager to experience. It really highlighted a couple of things for me. One, I really need to get out and hike more often. I have never had to stop and take a breather as many times as I did today. And second, that no matter how long you live in a place, there is always something more to discover. And discover I did, one of the absolute best views in our area.
The hike itself is only about three miles round trip through some of the most gorgeous woods you will ever see. We started off driving down the Burnham Pond Road for a few miles. Off to the left, barely visible through this year’s seasonal growth, was a small white sign that said Eagle Rock Trail. Starting off was a little rough, as it had rained for the two days prior, so there was lots of mud and water.
The trail itself is marked with blue blazes, however, we’ve had some rough weather recently so there was a lot of windfall in the vicinity, as well as mud patches. Keeping an eye was key as we sometimes lost the trail and had to backtrack to the closest trail marker. There was also a ton of evidence of Moose all over the trail, the whole way to the top!
As you get towards the summit, you can begin to see Moosehead Lake and the surrounding mountains through the trees, just enough to tantalize you. When you look ahead, all you see is a steep hike, which promised tired and sore legs in the morning. But, the payoff was better than I ever could have hoped for.
We finally reached the summit, and I’ll be honest, it wasn’t what I was expecting. You come through the trees, and there is suddenly this massive rock in front of you, like the whole top of the mountain was scraped right off down to the bedrock. (Which is probably what happened when the glaciers moved through this area.) The rock climbs at a 45 degree angle all the way to the peak. You get to the top and you turn around and your breath is literally stolen. The view from this rock is so utterly astounding that you honestly can’t talk for a few seconds, except maybe to dumbly repeat “wow” as you turn 360 degrees. In my twenty years of living in this area, I can honestly say I’ve never seen a view more amazing than this.
After the shock wore off, we sat down and started trying to name off all of the mountains, ponds, and rivers that we could see; Kineo and Elephant Mountains are fairly obviously right off the bat, as is Big Spencer. It was a fun trivia game to play as we sat letting our legs take a break. We ate a quick lunch, constantly stopping our conversation to say “I just can’t get over this view!” The wind picked up and the clouds started to sweep in, so it was our cue to start the hike down, but I had to stop and take one more look around. It’s phenomenal how beautiful our Region is, and it’s something that I take for granted every day.
The hike down was quick and relatively painless, except for a few muddy spots. All in all, it took us about two hours to climb up and 45 minutes to get down. Eagle Rock is a wonderful, short half day hike with some beautiful views. Bring some water and a small lunch and enjoy the vistas our Region has to offer.
For directions and a complete Moosehead Lake Region Hiking guide stop in to the Moosehead Lake Visitor Center on your way, 480 Moosehead Lake Road, Greenville ME 04441. They can be contacted by calling 207.695.2702 or visit their website full of wonderful visitor information www.mooseheadlake.org