Difficulty: Moderate/strenuous. Allow for about 3 hours of hiking. From the trailhead, the trail rises gradually for 1.4 miles, where it reaches the old fire warden cabin, a perfect place for a snack. The walls of the cabin are covered with names of hikers who have passed through over the years. From there, the trail rises steeply for 0.7 miles to the summit.
How to get there: Follow Route 15 into downtown Greenville and turn left at the downtown intersection (the only light in Greenville). Stay on Route 15 (Pritham Avenue) for approximately 5 miles, then turn left onto North Road and into the Little Moose Public Reserved Lands. Follow North Road for approximately 2 miles. The parking lot for Big Moose Mountain is on the right.
Big Moose Mountain is 3,196 feet in elevation and is a part of the Little Moose Unit Bureau of Parks and Lands, a 15,000-acre tract of public land located west of Greenville in Moosehead Junction and Big Moose townships. It’s open year-round and is available to hunters as well as recreationists.
From the peak of Big Moose Mountain, you can see surrounding mountains such as Mount Kineo, the Spencer mountains, Mount Katahdin and the Bigelow Range. It’s also a beautiful spot to view Moosehead Lake. A fire tower built on the peak in 1905 was carried away by the Maine Forest Service by helicopter in October 2011 to be relocated on the shore of Moosehead Lake. Radio towers, locked shelters and solar panels remain on the summit as of November 2011.
A word of caution: If you decide to brave the elements and hike in rain or snow, make sure to be careful of slippery rocks and roots. Wear hiking shoes with good tread. It’s safer to hike with a partner or group. Make sure to alter your gear for wet weather. Watch for ice at higher elevations. If you want to be comfortable on the ride home, pack dry clothing, socks and shoes to change into after the hike.