QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 800,000 acres in White Mountain Forest (ME and NH)
- Trail Mileage: ~4.7 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: moderate
- Sights: river, views from open summits (Big Deer, 1,367 ft.; Little Deer, 1,090 ft.)
You can hike over the two Deer Hills for different views of the White Mountain National Forest and for some moderate hiking that offers nice rewards. The trailhead to Little Deer hill can be found at the parking lot for the Baldface loop, on Route 113 (which is closed in the winter). Weirdly, there was no sign for the trailhead when I was there in July 2016. You have to scour the edge of the parking lot to find the trail and a yellow blaze on a tree. Also, the trail map at the parking lot was not accurate for the Deer Hill trail network in July 2016. Maine Trail Finder’s map is accurate though.
Follow the path to a funky river crossing over Cold River and to some beautiful pools to cool off your feet (if they need cooling). A few feet from the river, you’ll see a post that marks the border between New Hampshire and Maine. Continue on the trail and follow the signs to Little Deer Hill. You can take the Deer Hill Bypass on the right, or continue to the first summit (which I recommend. Then return via the bypass). From Little Hill, you can continue on to Big Deer Hill for different views. Then head down the bypass trail. I highly recommend checking out the bubbling spring, a detour of about 0.3 miles one way.
To make a shorter loop, and to skip Big Deer Hill, you can head down Little Deer on one of two short paths and link up with the bypass trail. The whole loop is roughly four miles, counting the detour to the spring. Or you can start at the trailhead from Evergreen Valley Road (also Shell Pond Road).
It’s about 0.9 miles to the summit of Little Deer, if you start from the Baldface parking lot.
Directions: Follow Route 113 either 17.5 miles north from Fryeburg or 12.5 miles south from Gilead, and look for the Baldface Circle Trailhead on the eastern side of the road. From here, the Deer Hill Connector trail links the parking lot with the Deer Hills Trail. It was not marked with a sign in July 2016! Look for a yellow blaze and a trail at the eastern edge of the lot, sorta close to the port-o-lets. Alternatively, you can start at the trailhead on Shell Pond Road/Evergreen Valley Road. To get here, take Deer Hill Road (off of Route 113, south of the Baldface Circle parking lot), and continue to the left when the road splits. Look for the trailhead sign about 1.3 miles on the left.