Review: Mount Agamenticus, York, ME

Charlie and I recently discovered Mount Agamenticus and all I can say is WOW!  On a whim last Saturday morning, I decided to take Charlie there for a morning hike.  I had heard about the place from others but only in passing and never got many details on the place.  So, off we went following the pretty straightforward directions from the interstate (I think it’s only 2 turns off exit 7 in Maine).

When we arrived I noticed a parking area at the bottom with a few cars and what looked like a trailhead nearby as well as a paved road going upward.  I opted for hiking up then down again, and I’m so glad I did!  The trailhead is well stocked with maps (a feature I love) and descriptions of all the hikes including difficulty level, mileage, and approximate walking time.  As far as I can tell, dogs are allowed off leash as long as they are cleaned up after and well-behaved.  The trails are all nicely marked and some include signposts explaining some historical or ecological significance of the area.

Charlie at Mount Agamenticus

We ended up on a bit of a mixed bag sort of route.  During our hike, I learned that the mountain used to house a ski area and some of the remnants still remain.  Plus, some of the trails are the old ski trails so, of course, we had to hike one of those.  From the Ring Trail we headed straight up the smooth granite Sweet Fern path which took us all the way to the summit.  (Note: the map says that some of the trails are slippery when wet and I can believe it!  Choose a different route if it’s raining.)

We arrived at the summit and were greeted with an incredible sight.  There is a large field perfect for any dogs that like to fetch or play ball or just run around.  The old ski lodge is also at the summit although I believe it now houses an educational center.  The biggest surprise was yet to come: a view of the White Mountains!  I had no idea you could see the Whites from the top!  It was amazing!  There is a small lookout tower that has a diagram of the different peaks you can see as well as some additional features within view.  Right now all the leaves are green but in a few more weeks the sight of all the foliage colors will be incomparable!

At the Summit

After taking in the view for a little while, we wandered around and talked to some of the many families we saw at the top.  There are picnic tables scattered around the edges of the big field which makes it the perfect place for a picnic lunch.  Unfortunately, I only had waters in my pack so we decided to head back down the mountain to find some grub.  There was just one problem: which trail to choose?!

The maps are very well labeled so it was just a matter of deciding how much more we wanted to walk.  Ultimately, we chose the Blueberry Bluff Trail mostly because I liked the sound of it.  This lead back to the Ring Trail and on to the parking lot.

Charlie had a great time running around and exploring this new place.  It’s a perfect place for dogs and people of all ages.  You can easily tailor your hike to suit your mood or your dog’s energy level.  The trails are very well maintained although by the looks of some of the on-trail structures, I’m guessing that the entire place gets very muddy during the spring.  No matter when you go be sure to bring lots of water and a travel bowl for your dog.  I like the nylon ones that Goodwill sells for $2.  They fold up easily and if you lose it you won’t be devastated.  Consider packing a lunch or snack in your pack as well since you’ll definitely want to spend some time at the summit once you reach it.  Hiking boots are obviously a good choice but you could also get away with some relatively sturdy sneakers.  The best thing about this mountain is that it’s not very big.  You can take your dog on a hike without climbing to 4,000 feet but you’re still rewarded with an incredible view, a sense of accomplishment, and one tired pup.  I don’t think it gets any better than that!  Happy Trails!

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