The Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust had our latest community hike up Caribou Mountain in Evans Notch on a beautiful Saturday. Our community hikes are designed to get people of all abilities out on the A.T. landscape and Caribou is a great one, winter or summer, due to its accessibility – it’s not too steep and not too far from most people. At the same time it’s a great hike!
We started off on a beautiful day – sunny, 0% chance of rain, low humidity. The trail up Caribou from Bog Road starts on old logging roads administered by the US Forest Service since the land is in the White Mountain National Forest. The mature forest canopy is mostly comprised of hemlock, maple, and birch, and the trail is open and inviting. For the first half of the approximately three miles of trail, the ascent is gradual up to a ravine between Caribou and Gammon Mountain, just to the north. After crossing into the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness area, the trail intersects with the Mud Brook Trail and both merge and head south to the summit of Caribou Mountain.
The forest abruptly transitions from hardwoods to spruce and fir, and suddenly we were in the boreal forest of mountaintops in the great north woods. We came out on the summit area – complete with fragile alpine vegetation – and had views in all directions of some of the most spectacular mountain terrain in both New Hampshire and Maine. Directly to the west we could see the Carter-Moriah Range, with the Presidential Range looming directly behind them. The Mount Washington Observatory was clearly visible. To the south we saw the Baldfaces, scarred and rocky in the sunlight, and the triangular pyramid of Kearsarge North. To the south, crossing the border into Maine, we saw Speckled Mountain nearby and the lakes ringing Pleasant Mountain and the ski slopes. To the north lay the Mahoosucs, Old Speck, the Baldpates and then just to the east, trailing away to the horizon, the High Peaks area of the Crockers and Sugarloaf – next week’s community hike – could barely be seen.
All of our community hikes are free and open to the public. Our trip leaders will make sure you have a good time and get out on the A.T. landscape. If you’d like to come along, please sign up here or contact us with any questions!