3500 Travels

Caribou Trail

There are many places to go hiking in our area, and it would take a long time to exhaust all the trails. Still, we made a start. On Saturday, October 24, Cathie, the three dogs, and I set off for the Caribou Loop Trail. It seems to also go by the name Caribou Mountain Trail, but we had a loop in mind so I like the first name better.

Trails in this area of Maine can be pretty challenging. The ground is rocky and the trails are full of exposed roots. In addition, the terrain can be steep and the footing tricky due to being wet. Besides being in our sixties, I think the conditions help explain why our overall pace was less than blistering. Still, as I’ve mentioned before, the area is beautiful so a slower pace has a plus side.

We did not finish on the 24th due to it getting late and not being sure which trail was the return portion of the loop. When you look at the map below the A, B, C, and D pins are for the hike on the 24th. We turned around where the D pin is.

While deer rifle season did not start until November 2nd (no hunting on Sundays apparently), the 24th was junior deer hunting day for youths between 10 and 16. They had to be accompanied by an unarmed adult 18 or older. Hum? A 16 year old with a rifle with an 18 year old chaperon? Just like the natives we and the dogs put on plenty of bright orange. It is a popular fall color.

I decided I wanted to go back and complete the loop. Cathie was not interested in something so strenuous, so opted for a shorter nearby trail. Our two hikes were on the next Saturday, October 31st. I took Cap with me and went around the loop clockwise. The pins labeled 1 through 12 are for my outing. I started at the same trail head as marked by pin A.

Once I finally finished the map below (using My Maps courtesy of Google) the total distance was 6.2 miles (10 km). It took me 5 hr 15 min. That seems pretty slow, but I didn’t take too many breaks. If you look at the terrain you’ll see that there is quite a bit of up and down. Other than my hands getting really cold before I dug out my gloves, and a few aches and pains, it was a great hike with some outstanding views.

I included the driving route from our apartment to the trail head, so you will need to recenter the map and zoom in to expand the markers. A few have multiple photos. One side note is about how I mapped the trail. Basically, I stole it. There is a site for his trail and others that also makes use of Google Maps. When I viewed the page source I saw two very long lists of lat/long coordinates. I copied these into a text file, changed some formatting, and ran these coordinates through an amazing online site that produces a KMZ file. This file can be read by My Maps to produce a path (trail in this case). I admit it took most of Sunday to figure it out and get it all done. You know how the Internet can be: no question or need has to go unexamined. I now know more arcane things than I did.

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