While there are many places in Maine that we love, the Moosehead Lake region is near and dear to us. We discovered its quiet beauty in 2015, when our family was fortunate to score a last minute, waterfront campsite at Lily Bay State Park. Since then, we’ve returned every summer, either with friends or on our own, to explore more of the area.
One of our favorite local finds in the region is Little Kineo Mountain. Just two miles round trip, this is the perfect hike for all ages. While you have to be willing to drive at least an hour and traverse some dusty dirt roads to get to the trailhead, the experience is well worth the effort. There is no shortage of mountain and water views during the trip, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a moose or two on your way. Just be sure to bring a map or written directions along with you, as cell phone coverage is spotty.
Once you arrive at the trailhead, you’ll find a few spaces for cars. Our young crew ranged in age from 4-9, and after an hour in the car, everyone was excited to get out and get moving. The trail was narrow to start, taking us through forest lush with ferns and woodland flowers. Then, the trail slowly began to widen and rise, guiding us upwards through rockier terrain.
As we climbed, the kids sampled from patches of wild blueberries, while the adults stopped from time to time to take in the views of Moosehead Lake and the vast forests beyond.
Some of the littles in our crew got tired along the way, but the promise of a big, beautiful view and snacks at the finish kept them going. One of the adults in our group also brought along a kite to fly at the peak and the kids couldn’t wait to give it a try.
When we arrived at the peak, we could see Katahdin, Big and Little Spencer Mountains, parts of the better known Mount Kineo and more gorgeous views of the lake. We guzzled water, took photos and marveled at the sights. Then our friend let her bright red kite take flight over the mountain and we all cheered as it rose higher and higher. Without realizing it, a new tradition was born. The next time we climb a mountain with friends, we’ll definitely bring along a kite to celebrate our efforts! To get directions and learn more about climbing Little Kineo, visit Maine Trail Finder.
PS: Our first trip to Moosehead Lake, if you’d like to see.