If you have been dabbling in a few hikes on your own and want to try something to make you feel like you are reaching the "next level" I highly reccommend the MPP! This is a great circuit of hikes where you climb six summits to earn your badge of completion. This was the first hiking challenge I accomplished and I credit it to helping me become a better hiker. It taught me to plan ahead, know your conditions, be alert and know your map ahead of time. I gained SO much confidence and knowledge by completing this challenge!
The challenge is made up of 6 summits, (only 5 are dog friendly, but Brock was still awarded his certificate and badge). The six summits are: Mount Kineo, Number 4 Mountain, Eagle Rock, Whitecap, Big Moose and Borestone. If you want to step up your game even more, they offer a couple different badges for completion such as: "Ultra"; where you hike all 6 summits within a continuous 48 hour period, or you can calso get your "Winter" badge; where you complete all six hikes between January 1st and April 15th of the same year. You can also get a "Winter Ultra" badge which combines those two together. Those would be the true warriors in my opinion!
Here is a glimpse of my journey through the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit!
Hike 1- Mount Kineo July 4th, 2019
This is such a fun little hike! You leave from Rockwood at the Kineo Shuttle lot where you take a small boat across to the Mount Kineo State Park hiking trails. There is also a Golf Course. The shuttle ride was $13 when I went. FYI; they only take cash so plan accordingly. The shuttle ride is about 10 minutes long and dogs ride for free! Depending on how you time your hike, you may have to wait a bit for the shuttle to come back as it runs on a specific schedule.
I brought my brother with me for this trip. We went up Indian trail and back down through Bridle trail. Indian trail is very steep in places. There is a great view at the top of the tower! Next time, I would plan to be there longer to do the full loop after paying for the shuttle fees. We just decided to book it to the shuttle so we could make sure we were back for Independence day festivities!
Hike 2- Borestone October 5th, 2019
Beautiful day for a hike with family! This was the only hike in this circuit that Brock couldn’t tag along for! Simply amazing view! If you get the chance to do this one.. go for it!! 🥾 🍁
The trail is just about 4 miles. Please know where you are going ahead of time because there is lack of cell reception once you get close to the Sanctuary. There is a bathroom close to the gate area which is nice! Once you get to the Sunrise center, you will check in and there is a $5 fee to continue on. This facility also offers a gift center and more restrooms before you start climbing!
You will go up exposed roots, rocks and once you get close to the summit, you will reach metal rungs to help you climb up to the top. This is where you will get 360° views. (If heights bother you, I have heard that some have had issues at the summit so please plan accordingly if you have never done a hike quite like this before.)
On our way down we took the roadway back which was easy on the knees. The hike was shy of 4 miles and on average takes about 2-4 hours depending on how much time you spend enjoying the view or if you bring the young kids with you. This is a great hike for young ones to do and feel accomplished! This hike is one that does get crowded during peak seasons such as fall foliage so plan accordingly.
Hike 3- Eagle Rock October 10th, 2019
#3 of the MPP proved to be a challenge for us as we learned a couple of rookie mistakes! Always bring a printed map with you to get to your location as well as the trail because of the lack of service AND never forget to pack a flashlight! 🔦
Eagle Rock has an "old trailhead" and a "new trailhead" I started at the new trailhead which is located on the same road as Big Moose. This is about 7 miles down a dirt road but easily passable with a car. To me this hike was fairly boring as it seemed as though there were a lot of ups and downs with turns that left you feeling like you weren't really going anywhere. When you get to Raven's ledge, take the time to check it out. It is SO pretty!
We finally made it to Eagle rock, we went out and found the only person we would see during our entire trip! He snapped a couple of photos of Brock and I, and I returned the favor by snagging a photo of him with his flip phone and we parted ways. This is where I should have gone back with him as this was the first solo hike I had done.
For some reason, I thought this hike was a loop. So I continued down the mountain where I saw items that I recognized in pictures from the All Trails app so I kept going. When I made it out to the other side on a deserted dirt road at 5pm in the beginning of October I got worried. I made my way back up fairly quickly as the sun was setting.
We made it out very late but fine. (Not going to lie, I cried when I got back to the car.) Beyond proud of Brock for how well he got us out of the woods. He is worth more than his weight in gold! And if you’ve ever seen him in person you have probably said “He is so much bigger in person” haha There were only two times he stopped leading the way and looked at me.. I looked up with the flashlight and confirmed to him that we were standing at marker. This was the day that I learned to triple check your maps, always carry a flashlight with you (DO NOT RELY ON YOUR PHONE FLASHLIGHT) and to be prepared. If you get a late start somewhere, chances are that is a sign to choose something different!
Overall, the view is gorgeous. If you do an out and back, the total mileage is just about 10 miles. Doing the out and back isn't bad at all if you are prepared for it! Through my mistakes, my knowledge of becoming a better hiker grew on this day. I am now much more confident with my adventures.
Hike 4- Number 4 Mountain August 2nd, 2020
Number 4 Mountain is well marked to get to from Greenville. You then travel down a dirt road that I had no issues taking a small car down. You will park just beyond the bridge and you end up passing by the sign when you park. You will walk back across the small bridge and look to the left, the sign is easy to spot and nicely made. This hike is a decent trail for anyone. Could be a little challenging for those who do mostly walking trails but a nice trail to start conditioning on. You get some roots and some smaller rocky sections but nothing too strenuous.
The only views were at the summit but it was still a great time! Just shy of 1500ft elevation gain, and a little over four miles round trip. The best view in my opinion was at the top of the sketchy looking fire tower that I climbed. However, trying to hold your phone to video and take in the view at the same time was a slight challenge. The only other view is at a bench, which if there are other people up there, it can almost feel awkward to have to rotate people through so others can actually enjoy the view.
Hike 5- Big Moose Mountain September 27th, 2020
What a gorgeous day in Greenville! 🍁 😍 I had a lot of fun knocking this trail out with Brock. It is an awesome trail that is marked really well. There are rocks and roots and a steep climb after the old Warden’s camp but the views are worth it! Got to the trail head early so I could enjoy the summit solo. The summit contains a helicopter pad and some towers. A lot of traffic on the way down because of the foliage so plan your trip accordingly if you go during peak season!
Hike 6- White Cap October 4th, 2020
Unfortunately we got completely socked in at the top of White Cap. So the best pictures of the day came from riding the 14 miles of dirt roads which is totally okay. The ride in is beautiful on the Frenchtown road and I really want to camp in the campground you see along the way at some point! Any day up north is a good one!
This day started with light drizzle most of the way. Brock ended up ripping his pack because he got it stuck on a tree and I stepped on a hornet's nest at the beginning of the turn off next to the campsite for the thru hikers but the hike was still great! I am thankful for a great company like Bark Brite who has excellent customer service and a great product! You can find the pack I use for Brock here: Bark Brite Multi-Purpose Dog Pack
This trail is aboslutely beautiful, filled with roots, rocks and a waterfall. The only downfall is that it seems like the rock stair cases are never ending. The sun began to shine about an hour after we started to make our way down. I would certainly do this hike again just to get the views that everyone talks about from this summit!
So if this circuit interests you, you can get more information and download the application here! I highly recommend it for everyone! Happy hiking!
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