By Mark Cheever
On Saturday July 27th we gathered at Tranten’s in Kingfield to carpool to head up Mount Abraham. The weather forecast has been threatening with potential thunderstorms but it was a clear, blue sky with temperatures in the high 70’s. Great hiking weather. While a small hiking group (just four of us, plus one very good dog), we were efficient and ready to go. We wasted no time at the trailhead and made great time up to the campsite, just over an hour. After a quick snack break we were on the ascent again, tackling the steep elevation gain over the last mile and a half to the summit. The trail up Abraham was in great condition, thanks to the incredible work of the local MATC trail maintainer. Some parts of the trail had been relocated to avoid water buildup and erosion and these new sections were smooth and worked with the landscape. The trail meanders as it goes up the mountain, and we were treated to classic Maine Woods views with birch at lower elevations giving way to pine further up.
Abraham is one of Maine’s best hikes, thanks in large part to great views from a large alpine zone. The elevation gain is significant, but once you clear the tree line it is nothing short of spectacular. We took a short break to enjoy the views, and then began the last bit up to the summit through a giant boulder/scree field and between various outcroppings of Krumholz. The group reached the summit just three and a half hours after departing from the trailhead – great time for a casual group hike. Views were enjoyed, as were snacks, and a group shot taken thanks to another hiker present. The descent was fast-paced and steady, with a stop at the campsite for a bathroom break and a water refill. After three hours we were back at the trailhead with another 4,000′ crossed off and an appreciation for the beauty of Maine’s High Peaks.