Hiking Horse Mountain in Baxter State Park, by Aislinn SarnackiPosted on October 18, 2019
By Aislinn Sarnacki, BDN Staff • October 17, 2019
Difficulty: Moderate. Out and back, the hike is about 3 miles. The trail climbs gradually but steadily. Watch your step for exposed tree roots and rocks. Footing is especially tricky near the East Spur Overlook. Take your time traveling over the exposed bedrock.
How to get there: Take Interstate 95 Exit 264, then head north on Route 11 toward the town of Patten. Drive 9.3 miles, then take a left onto Route 159. Drive 9.9 miles, and you’ll arrive at Shin Pond Village. Drive another 14.3 miles, staying on Route 159, and you’ll reach Matagamon Wilderness Campground, then cross a bridge over the East Branch of the Penobscot River. Continue another 1.8 miles to Matagamon Gate, the north entrance to Baxter State Park. Register at Matagamon Gate, then drive about 0.6 mile on the Tote Road to the trailhead parking area for Horse Mountain, which will be on your left.
Information: Located in the northeast corner of Baxter State Park, Horse Mountain is the first peak to greet you when driving through the park’s Matagamon Gate. Rising above the treetops, it’s an impressive sight, with dramatic cliffs on its steep eastern side.
The mountain tops off at 1,589 feet above sea level, making it one of the smaller mountains in the park. However, from a bald outcropping on its eastern side, hikers are rewarded with a wide open view of the mountains in the north end of the park.
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