Difficulty: The hike to the summit of Borestone Mountain is “a moderately strenuous, kid-friendly climb,” according to Maine Audubon. The 0.8-mile Base Trail is steep at first and levels off. The trail takes you to the Audubon Nature Center at Sunrise Pond, where there is a registration paper for the Summit Trail and a box to pay a small fee. One option is to turn back here for a less difficult hike. The 1-mile Summit Trail is more difficult. It’s steeper and has trickier footing, with more rocks and exposed roots. Up and down, the hike should take about three hours with snack and water breaks.
How to get there: Start in Monson. After passing through the village of Monson, turn right onto Elliotsville Road. After 8 miles, turn left onto Bodfish Road (after a bridge). The parking area is approximately 0.2 miles on the left, after the railroad tracks. The gate and trail head are on the right. The trail head is easy to get to because there are signs directing you to Borestone Mountain from the village of Monson.
Information: Borestone Mountain (elevation of 1,947 feet) is a part of the Borestone Mountain Audubon Sanctuary. Maine Audubon members as well as children under 6 years old hike for free. Nonmember adults pay $4 and nonmember students, seniors and each participant from school groups and other groups pay $2. For information about the sanctuary wildlife and rules, visit maineaudubon.org.
Personal Notes: The beginning of the Base Trail is steep and therefore may be discouraging, but it levels off for while. Signage is great at Borestone Mountain except when you reach the gravel road after hiking the Base Trail. There, turn left to reach the Audubon Nature Center and the Summit Trail. Beavers at Sunrise Pond have been knocking down trees across the Summit Trail as of fall 2011. Your shoes may get wet trying to navigate around the trees. You will first reach the West Peak and will have to continue 0.3 miles to the taller East Peak. The green blazes tend to be faded near the summit of the mountain, but it’s important to follow them, so keep your eyes peeled.