Posted on July 26, 2016 and last updated on August 10, 2017

Caribou Mountain, White Mountain National Forest

QUICK TRAIL FACTS

  • Preserve Size: 800,000 acres in White Mountain Forest (ME and NH)
  • Trail Mileage: 9 miles in network
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: moderate (lengthy)
  • Sights: views from open summit (2840 ft.)

This is a lovely hike, with an open summit and great views. You can tackle it either by starting from Route 113 (closed in winters) or from the Bog Road. Most people depart from the trailhead on Route 113, climbing up either the northern Caribou Trail or the southern Mud Brook Trail. You have more views along the Mud Brook Trail, which also is a bit steeper. Personally, I’d hike up Caribou, and enjoy the views going down, but it’s a personal preference. I did notice it was harder to follow the trail at the open, rocky mountaintop if you were coming in from Caribou Trail. Plus, there are fragile alpine plants on the top, so you feel terrible if you wander off the trail and endanger them, which unfortunately it is easy to do. Or was in July 2016. More rock blazes or cairns please!

The other possibility is you start at Bog Road, and hike up 2.3 miles to intersect with the loop. Note that at the start of Bog Road, the logging road you head out on splits into two. The way was not marked when I was here. Take the road to the left to reach the footpath, which’ll be on your right 100 feet or so further up and posted with an arrow.

If you do the whole trail network— that is, the loop plus the spur to Bog Road—it’s about 11.4 miles. If you just do the Caribou Trail-Mud Brook Trail loop, it’s about 6.7 miles or so. I’d say this hike is moderate, rather than difficult. More info on Maine Trail Finder.

Directions: From US Route 2 in Gilead, travel south on Route 113 for 4.8 miles to the parking area at the Caribou/Mud Brook Trailhead on the left side of the road. From US Route 302 in Fryeburg, travel north on Route 113 for 24.8 miles to the parking area, which’ll be on your right. For the Bog Road trailhead, travel on US Route 2 and just west of West Bethel town you’ll take a left onto Bog Road. Drive 2.8 miles to a small parking area. The road is gated.

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Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!