Biking and Hiking in Midcoast Maine

I’m ramping training for an August thru-hike of Vermont’s 270 mile Long Trail.
Thursday night I joined 11 of The Bubbas in mountain biking the new single track trails laid down in Camden’s Ragged Mountain/ Snow Bowl. I was most impressed with the work that has been done there in the past year and a half.  The biggest challenge for me was recovering from riding and pushing my bike up the slopes near the top of  the almost 1300’ summit.  From there on, I was mostly able to keep up with the pack. The highlight of the night was finishing the last steep downhill section, which I cleared from above World Cup to the parking lot. It was two hours of intense work, for sure.
Yesterday morning, General Lee and I spent 4 hours hiking the Bald-Ragged section of the Georges Highland Path.  We parked the car at the Barnestown access lot, then went up and back to the summit of Bald Mountain, where we could see the Bigelow Range in the distance.

Uncle Tom and The General

We also stopped to chat with  the president of The Friends of Baxter Park, Barbara Bentley.

General Lee and Barbara Bentley

Any Maine hiker needs to join this club.  Barbara has deep ties to the park.  She told me that her family has been spending a week at the Park for the past 50 years.
Then we drank some water at the car, packed up coffee and a percolator and headed up across the street past Buzzard’s Ledge to the top of Ragged Mountain. Up on the ridge, we encountered another AT thru-hiker, Marvin Higgins.

Marvin Higgins

Marvin also has the distinction of being the 4th person to complete the International Appalachian Trail, back in the mid- 1990’s. The IAT extends northeast from the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Katahdin, Maine to Mars Hill, Maine, before following the U.S.-Canada border north to Fort Fairfield, Maine, where it crosses the border into Perth-Andover, New Brunswick. It continues up the Tobique River valley to Mount Carleton before crossing the Miramichi Highlands to the Restigouche River valley in Quebec and along the Chic-Choc Mountains of the Gaspé Peninsula, ending at the peninsula’s easternmost point, Cap Gaspé in Forillon National Park.
We stopped to have coffee and some snacks on the ledges at the summit, and enjoyed the views out to Penobscot Bay and inland to the western Maine mountains.    The we bushwhacked a bit, found the trail and descended the ski slopes to the parking lot at the Snow Bowl.  To finish, we went up Barnestown road, where we reached the car after 16 minutes of nonstop uphill walking over the hot pavement.  I’m thinking we did around 9 miles this morning.  Anyone out there have exact mileages for this circuit?

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