Difficulty: The trails to Blackcap Mountain summit are moderate in the summer and difficult in the winter (due to excessive ice).
How to get there: From Bangor, take Route 1A east to Route 46 in Holden. Turn left at the light and travel 3 miles. Turn right onto Blackcap Road. Travel 1 mile. Turn left on Camp Roosevelt Road. Continue to the Roosevelt Scout Camp parking lot, located by the Fitts Pond boat ramp. The trail to the mountain starts just to the right of the Fitts Pond boat ramp. A small wooden kiosk marks the start of the trail and is visible from the parking lot. The trail hugs the shore of the pond. After a short distance, the trail splits. Signs will direct you to the right to climb to the summit of Blackcap Mountain. You can hike up and down that trail, or you can continue over the summit, and descend a another trail, which loops back to Fitts Pond.
Information: The hiking trails at Camp Roosevelt Katahdin Scout Reservation in East Eddington are open to the public year round, but camp staff ask that hikers check in at the Camp Roosevelt office during the months of July and August, when camp is in session. An updated map of trails is not available at this time, but trails are well-marked. A loop trail around Fitts Pond starts to the right of the parking lot, and the trail to the summit of Blackcap Mountain branches off of that trail. For information about Camp Roosevelt, including prices to stay at their lodges, visit www.katahdinareabsa.org.
Personal note: The trail to the summit of Blackcap Mountain is dangerous in the winter. I suggest only experienced winter hikers with crampons hike the mountain in the depth of winter. On Feb. 12, 2012, the trail to the summit was covered with ice, but the views near the top were well worth the struggle. We took about 2.5 hours to hike from the parking lot to the summit of Blackcap and back, without looping around the pond (but we were slowed down by taking photos and videos). The hike would be much easier and faster in the summer. If you are looking for a safer winter hike, wear ice cleats and stick to the trail that circles Fitts Pond.