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Trail Conditions

Trip Log


Mars Hill
Mars Hill, ME

Trailheads, measurements, times, distances, and maps are all approximate and relative to the hike(s) as shown below.
The trail on the ridge
The trail on the ridge

Route: Ski trails, International Appalachian Trail

After skiing the afternoon at Big Rock, I inquired with ski patrol about snowshoeing up. They were very friendly and suggested I take the old Poma lift line (labelled on the trail map as a snowmobile access trail). I ascended that, then the top of a ski trail above it, then took the IAT/SIA along the ridge and to the summit. Still full snowpack everywhere, perhaps one to three feet, with an ice crust on top.

Unfortunately the views were a bit obscured by the weather. The wind turbines certainly detract from what would otherwise be an amazing mountain, as it's situated on the Canadian border and is surrounded by flat terrain. A description I read suggested there are views in all directions, but that did not appear to be the case. Nevertheless, views can be obtained in most directions if one drops down to the plowed wind turbine road (which runs somewhat parallel to the IAT on the ridge) or meanders around the peak.

Very cold afternoon with windchills in the negative 20s.

Hike Ratings
Getting To Trailhead: Easy
Destination: Mars Hill
Length: Moderate
Steepness: Difficult
Navigation: Moderate
Views: Excellent
Crowds: Minimal

Hike Stats
Date Hiked: Saturday, March 11, 2017
Parking Elevation: 650'
Destination: Mars Hill
Time Elapsed: 00:24
Trailhead Elevation: 670'
Summit Elevation: 1,748'
Vertical Gain: 1,098'
Hike Time Elapsed: 00:53
Hike Vertical Gain: 1,128'

The start of the Poma lift line
The start of the Poma lift line

Looking into Canada from Mars Hill - Click to enlarge
Looking into Canada from Mars Hill

Directions to trailhead: From US 1A in Mars Hill, take Boynton Road, then take a right onto East Blaine Road, then take a left onto Graves Road. Big Rock ski area is located at the top of the road.

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