Can you stand in one place and see Mount Washington and Cape Ann at the same time? Yes! From the top of Mount Agamenticus in York, Maine, panoramic views up and down the coast of Maine, New Hampshire, into Massachusetts, and all the way to Mount Washington are waiting. The overwhelming sense of space is difficult to capture in a photo. Seeing it in person is breathtaking.
It is surprising that you can get great far-off mountain views so close to the coast. I was in York enjoying my family vacation the last week of July. Monday began as a mostly cloudy day so we decided it would be a good day for a hiking adventure. Hiking were me, Craig and seven tag-a-longs ranging in age from 29 to 14. The younger members of our crew sprinted to the top of "Big A," for a short time a ski area and only 692 feet above sea level, like mountain goats without breaking a sweat.
This is a hike up a mountain. Check the trail descriptions on the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region website. We took the aptly named Ring Trail, also called Turtle Loop. This trail gradually winds it's way around and up Mount Agamenticus. There were roots and rocks to contend with along the way but the incline is fairly gradual with a few steeper stretches. The Ring Trail circles the mountain but does not quite lead to the top. We took the Sweet Fern Trail, one of many off the Ring Trail, to the top. The Mount Agamenticus website offers good maps of the trails on and surrounding the mountain. Trails are well marked and a kiosk at the parking lot has a map and hiking suggestions. The top of the mountain is mostly treeless giving the opportunity for great views in all directions. An old ski lodge sits at the peak and has been converted into a learning center but is open only seasonally, on the weekends. There are two viewing stands with signage that names sites you can see such as Mount Washington, Mount Chocorua, the Ossippee Range and on the ocean side, Cape Ann and the Isles of Shoals. We met up with several other walkers/hikers, many with pets. Hawk viewing is said to be the best in New England.
You can drive to the peak of Mount Agamenticus although I am not sure if that is allowed year round. Many trails are available in the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region including a second peak for exploration and distance walking/hiking.
- Date walked: Monday, July 29, 2013
- Distance: 2.5 miles
- Weather: Cloudy, 80 degrees
- Fee: None
- Pets: Yes
- What I liked about this walk: Fairly easy climb for fantastic 360 views, close by, lots of other things to do in the area, only about five miles off Route 1.
- What I didn't like about this walk: A few slippery rocks from earlier rain, few bugs, public restrooms are port-a-potties.