QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 800,000 acres in White Mountain National Forest (ME and NH)
- Trail Mileage: ~5 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: strenuous
- Sights: views, open summit (3,114 ft.) river
Map legend: Blue trails, Blueberry Mountain and Rattlesnake Pool loop. Pinks trails, Speckled Mountain (western side). Yellow trails, Shell Pond loop. Purple trails, East Royce.
A pretty, but quite steep little mountain! The best way to tackle this, in my opinion, is to charge up the mountain on East Royce Trail, leaving from the most northerly trailhead (off of Route 113). It’ll take you to a rocky summit where you can gaze at near and distant peaks. The summit is accessible via a little .5-mile spur trail that goes right about a mile up. The trail continues over to West Royce in New Hampshire.
Other possible ways to go up this mountain is up the 1.1-mile Laughing Lion Trail (very steep, yikes!), or the more gradual 2.7-mile Royce Trail, which is steep at the end. These trails link to miles of trails over the border on the New Hampshire side of the White Mountain National Forest. If you have the time and the gear, keep going!
Directions: The trailhead for East Royce is on the west side of Route 113. If you’re coming in from the north, from Route 2, travel 7.7 miles. If you’re coming up from the south, travel 21.9 miles from Route 302 in Fryeburg. The trailhead for Royce leaves from Brickett Place (10.6 miles from Route 2 in Gilead; 19 miles from Route 302). Laughing Lion Trailhead is in between these two trailheads.