Mt. Waldo, Frankfort
This is a lovely mountain, with gorgeous views from rocky ledges and a quarry for cooling off in. There are three ways to summit — all quite good and different. I recommend, if you have two cars, to start at the Murray Lane trailhead, hike over the summit and down to the quarry and end up at the trailhead on Mt. Waldo Road for a total of about 3.5 miles.
When I visited in June 2017, Murray Lane was drivable, but the trailhead on the right was hard to find because the signs were so old and faded. If you reach the power lines on Murray Lane, you’ve gone too far. The trail starts across an open field and is tagged with pink ribbons. You climb roughly .5 miles, up a fairly steep path, to reach open ledge. At this point, there are cairns across the ledge, taking you over to the other side of the mountain and the power lines.
Once you reach the power lines, follow them up to the radio towers and the summit. The connecting trail over to the quarry was a little difficult to find from the summit. Stay right of the towers, and you’ll see a faint path. It start along the short length of fence before veering slightly to the left. A few hundred yards from the summit, the 1.24-mile trail becomes easier to follow to the quarry and is marked with orange flags. One other spot that tripped me up was a trail junction close to the quarry — if you go left, you head off onto some old beat-up tracks. Go right to reach the quarry. Then hike over the cliffs and down to its southern end where the best swimming is. Be careful, there may be lots of glass on these boulders. And do not jump from the rocks — it’s very dangerous.
The path down to Mt. Waldo Road is wide and easy to follow. And if you’re coming up from Mt. Waldo Road, once you reach the quarry, scramble up the cliffs and walk around the pool. You’ll see the trail wrap around the northern end of the quarry.
Perhaps the fastest way up the mountain — and it is not too steep, although walking straight up the rock is wearisome — is from the trailhead off Tyler Lane. After you pass the gate, you’ll walk along a pretty lane. Once you are past the blueberry barrens, the lane veers right. Hikers should stay left and start up the power lines. You’ll soon hit the open ledge, with the towers and summit in sight. This trail is about .8 miles.
Here’s a guide from the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Directions: The Murray Lane trailhead is a little over a mile from the intersection of Murray Lane and Spout Hill Road. If you reach the power lines, you’ve gone too far. The Mt. Waldo Road trailhead is at the end of the dead-end Mt. Waldo Road. There is room for parking on one side of the street. There is a gate, but no sign for Mt. Waldo. To reach the Tyler Lane trailhead, you’ll drive a little under two miles down Tyler Lane before coming to a narrow dirt lane on your left. You’ll see a gate a short ways up this lane. If you park on the lane, be sure not to block the drive.