QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 209,644 acres
- Trail Mileage: 4 miles to summit
- Pets: no
- Difficulty: challenging
- Sights: views, open ridge
The roughly 4-mile trail up the 3,434-foot Mt. O-J-I is part of a longer traverse connecting the peaks of Mt. Coe and The Brothers. We were content to just climb to the top of O-J-I on an autumn day with heavy clouds that at times shrouded the tops of nearby mountains, including our own. (The mountain is named for three once-prominent rock slides that seemed to form the letters O, J, and I. But this rock alphabet was altered in a 1930s hurricane.)
The trail up the mountain begins gently, crossing a few wet patches and bog bridges, and gradually climbs to an intersection at 2.7 miles with a short .2-mile climb to West Peak. Don’t miss the overlook! The views are great from the open-air rocks that form a comfortable place to sit.
From this point, the ridge and Old Jay Rock is another 0.8 miles and the steepest section of the hike. From the rock, the viewless summit is another 0.5. (That’s what the park sign says at least: my GPS had a different measurement—that the summit was about 1.5 miles away from the junction with the overlook spur.)
The half mile between Old Jay Eye Rock (OJI?!) and the viewless summit takes you along an open ridge with astonishing views and short spruce trees. The summit itself is a let down, but if you continue another 0.1 miles on the trail, you’ll reach a ledge with views of Katahdin (not that we could see it through the mist!).
In the last half-mile stretch of the hike, after you climb above the tree line, there are a couple of tricky climbs up boulders, and one dramatic squeeze through a crack in the ledge.
Directions: From the Togue Pond Gatehouse in Baxter State Park, the trail head is 11 miles along the Park Tote Road. Park right before the Foster Field campground. The trailhead is on the right.