1-minute hike fail: White Cap Mountain near Brownville, Maine

Difficulty: The hike is moderate, according to the Appalachian Mountain Club. Finding the mountain is difficult, according to me.

How to get there: White Cap Mountain can be reached by the Appalachian Trail. I am not sure where the trailhead is near White Cap Mountain (I have failed to find it on logging roads). You can reach White Cap the long way by starting at West Branch Pleasant River Parking Area, also used to access Gulf Hagas. Turn left off ME 11 about 5.5 miles north of Brownville Junction, then drive 6.8 miles on a gravel road to the gate of Katahdin Iron Works. Register at the gate and pay a small fee to the caretaker. Past the gate, signs direct you to Gulf Hagas, the West Branch Pleasant River Parking Area. Take the trail from the parking area for 0.2 miles to the south bank of the West Branch of Pleasant River and ford the river, about 150 feet across (best done in the middle of the summer). Proceed another 0.2 miles to a trail junction. Follow the AT white blazes left. At 1 mile, you reach the Gulf trail junction. Follow the AT white blazes right, leaving the Gulf Hagas Trail. Walk 9.5 to White Cap Mountain.

Information: White Cap Mountain, 3,644 feet in elevation, is a part of the 100-mile Wilderness, a stretch of the Appalachian Trail for which the trail doesn’t approach any towns of places for hikers to resupply. White Cap Mountain is the AT’s highest point between Bigelow Mountain and Mount Katahdin, and is the highest peak in the Moosehead Lake region.

Personal Note: As I have failed to find the trailhead to White Cap Mountain twice, I’m not qualified to comment on the difficulty of the hike or add any additional information about the mountain. I plan to find someone who can help me find the trailhead, or I will hike it the long way when its more comfortable to ford the West Branch of Pleasant River in the summer. I have hiked Gulf Hagas and I have seen signs to White Cap Mountain from that trail.

Note on the video: The video is part one of our hiking day. Stay tuned to see if we can make it out of the logging roads of Katahdin Iron Works. Maybe we will find somewhere else to hike.

Photo by Aislinn Sarnacki. Silver Lake in Katahdin Iron Works reflects the surrounding mountains and hills on Dec. 2, 2011.

Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.