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The Roost and Albany Mountain (ME) 7-30-16
http://forum.hike-nh.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=9343
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Author:  New Hampshire [ Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  The Roost and Albany Mountain (ME) 7-30-16

After the current discussion about Albany Mountain in Maine for our views list I decided to get some first hand experience with it. Since I was going to have drive that far for it I would use the opportunity to hit up another hike that the guidebook claims to have decent views on a peak called The Roost, right off the northern end of Rt. 113 in Maine. So I passed through Gorham, headed into Maine and came down the lovely 113. I always loved this scenic road. It has more of a double lined driveway, and it is obvious others feel the same as there were numerous bicyclists out to augment the campers and other hikers out for the day.

The Roost has two trailheads, about .8 miles apart on the road, so I decided to make a loop by doing the short roadwalk. So I parked at the Northernmost lot, which already had two vehicle at it.
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The grade is not really oppressively steep, and since it was still rather pleasantly cool with a stiff breeze it was quite a comfortable climb.
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About half way up the trail passes this gnarly pine.
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The summit itself has a sign, but the views require a drop of about 100 feet and maybe .1 or .2 miles.
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The spur trail down is over some nice ledges. I got some good news/bad news at this point. Good news: there are a TON of blueberry bushes, and judging by the stems it was a very good year for them up there. Bad news: they had been thoroughly picked over at that point. Nothing but a few still-green ones, an odd missed one, and just empty stem after empty stem.
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At the view ledge you are given a decent panorama to the West of the peaks around the Northeastern fringe of the Wild River. Not amazing, but worth the short trip up to check out I think (especially if combined with a blueberry picking excursion).
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So as mentioned, I decided to make a loop out of this, so returning to the summit I pushed on along the route, which again is straightforward, but of a slightly less grade. The trail crosses a pleasant stream that right now is pretty dry.
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I eventually popped out back on 113 by the Southern end of a bridge. There is parking on the northern side of the bridge for several vehicles.
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The roadwalk went quickly being only .8 miles, with only the occasional car or bicyclist passing by. There was also the odd roadside view to look at.
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Back to the car it was time to head over and do Albany. There are two trailheads, one well south, and one from the north not too far from Round Pond campground. There is a small lot off the narrow dirt road that serves as main access for the campground and trailhead.
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The Albany Notch trail is pretty mellow and serves as a warm-up for the moderate climb to come.
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At one point I came upon a pond and thought someone was playing a joke on me as it looked like the trail suddenly stops right at the waters edge. But as I approached the trail then veered around it.
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Now, my older map shows the Albany Notch trail skirting all the way around the side of Albany Mountain and eventually meeting a side trail that comes down on the West side before continuing to the northern terminus. Now it appears that this section of the Albany Notch Trail has been abandoned effectually making the trail a straight up shot up to the mentioned side trail. and summit. The grades up are moderate, never steep, and before long become more and more ledgy.
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Just past the junction for the side trail down to the West there is a cairn marked spur path leading to the first view.
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Now you start getting into the full blown ledgy area as you are now on a large plateau for the summit.
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The map shows the trail ending at the summit, which is viewless. However, there is a well marked spur trail, lined with tons of cairns, directing you further along to more and exciting views.
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It all culminates in the show-piece ledge which I found rather nice! It takes on parts of Southern Maine, Chocorua, Baldfaces, Kearsarge North and various nearby ponds and lakes.
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As with The Roost there were a lot of blueberry bushes, and again like The Roost pretty picked over. So after kicking back at the main ledge for several minutes I retraced my steps and made my way back the way I came. When I got back to the car I contemplated heading over and doing a quick 2 mile, flat round trip out to Round Pond, but because I had a longer drive home than normal I decided to save it for later since I think I would happily come back here during all foliage or mid-summer blueberry season. Thus it was I headed home, and it was a good thing too as I later drove through an astonishingly trafficked Meredith! Oh boy was it packed!

The bottom line: 2 decent views hikes. The Roost I would not rave about, but would say the "bang-for-buck" factor is OK. Albany I liked enough I will now say yes it deserves to be on our views list. A fairly long drive to get to, yes. But a unique perspective from a summit with character!

Brian

Author:  Granite Guy [ Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Roost and Albany Mountain (ME) 7-30-16

Albany mountain sure looks like a Gem. I love the Evans Notch area, but have never even given any thought to hiking this one, nor did I know anything about it other than having seen it on the maps. Now that I know what I'm missing it's on my personal list, and as you mentioned seems worthy of being on the group list also. Thanks for enlightening us on this one, or at least me. Maybe everyone else already knew about it and was keeping it a secret! :D

Author:  JustJoe [ Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Roost and Albany Mountain (ME) 7-30-16

Good looking couple of hikes. For about a month now, my first look for my weekend hike is in Evans Notch. Can't seem to make it happen. :roll:

Author:  New Hampshire [ Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Roost and Albany Mountain (ME) 7-30-16

Granite Guy wrote:
Maybe everyone else already knew about it and was keeping it a secret! :D


Like you I knew nothing at all about it until Grindboy had produced his picture. Since I was looking for something a bit on the easier side to do this weekend it just seemed like the perfect chance to get some personal recon before getting to vote on it. :D I will say that as gorgeous as that northern part of the Whites is the drive has always been what ahs kept me from really working it over better. Hoping to change that more.

JustJoe wrote:
For about a month now, my first look for my weekend hike is in Evans Notch. Can't seem to make it happen.


Believe me my friend, I know this phenomenon all too well. Katahdin/Baxter have been the same deal for me. Always try and make it happen, always manage to fail. :oops:

Brian

Author:  Beckie and Prema [ Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Roost and Albany Mountain (ME) 7-30-16

We lucked out and got a site Labor Day weekend at Hastings Campground, which is between the two ends of that trail. So we went up the Roost at sunset. Nice!

There is only one thing wrong with Evans Notch - it's like 3 hours or more away from the Great City of Lawrence.

Author:  Grindboy [ Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Roost and Albany Mountain (ME) 7-30-16

Glad I could help with the tip for Albany! I sure didn't know anything more than anybody else, the reason I went is because I'm trying to work through all the "recommended hikes" in the WMG, and it IS a long drive for a short hike, but it worked for a day when I dropped my kid off at school and then met him at a soccer game up in Maine later in the day. Truly, it's a great little peak! But equally truly, it's a long drive unless there's a reason or something else going on.

Author:  New Hampshire [ Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Roost and Albany Mountain (ME) 7-30-16

Yeah, that whole Caribou-Speckled area is perhaps my biggest gap in redlining, and all because of the drive. I probably could have snuck in another shorter hike if not for the fact that I did not want to get home too late, but was already looking at a 3+ hour drive. Yikes! :oops:

Brian

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