Formerly known as Little Squaw mountain, Little Moose offers great views while being classified as an entry level or a moderate hike depending on your exerience level. Brock and I have done this hike twice now and I prefer hiking this loop in a clockwise direction to end the hike as one of the last view points being a beachy area on the side of Big Moose Pond.
This loop is part of the Little Moose Public Reserved land located off of the North Road, directly off of Route 15N in Greenville.. The trailheads are well marked for Big and Little Moose Mountains. (If you would like to use a bathroom, there is a portapotty located at the Big Moose Mountain trailhead). This roadway is the access point for the Big Moose, Little Moose and Eagle Rock hikes and allow camping. After you pass Big Moose Mountain, you will veer left onto Mountain Road to access the parking area for Little Moose Mountain. If you plan on camping and using a provided fire ring, please contact the Maine Forest Service for a permit and details.
From the trailhead parking lot, you will start on the trail and walk about half a mile before you come to the true split for what is labeled as the loop trail. If you go counter clockwise, Little Moose Mountain will be about another half mile from this point. However, I recommend hiking clockwise. The views and the route are more enjoyable. I love ending the hike at the beach area at Big Moose Pond and I also like that the lookout you see before you get to the peak of Little Moose leads up to the great view you get at the top!
There is a camping area that can get a little confusing if you go counter clockwise.. when you see the second toilet sign.. if you look way into the woods to your right before the collection of boats, you will see the trailhead sign tucked into the woods. It looks like someone has gone through this year with extra paint markers on the trees to show you where to go once you get to the campsites when hiking clockwise through the loop.
The overall hike is about 4.25 miles and a little less than 700 feet of elevation gain. There are a few different scenic view points and a couple of places where dogs can cool off if needed. It also offers a couple of great options to stop for a snack or bring a lunch and hang out for a little while to enjoy the view. Average time for hiking this loop is around two and a half to three hours if you don't stop long for photos, snacks, etc.
If you don't bring food for the hike, I always recommend heading over to Kelly's Landing in Greenville for some post hike burgers and beer! The deck area is dog friendly and right on Moosehead Lake. Service is spotty in the area so please have a plan in place before you start your adventure.
On your way back to town if you are headed towards Newport, stop in and get a banana split at Lakeshore Restaurant in Dexter, you won't be disappointed!
-Amanda & Brock