Posted on August 4, 2022 and last updated on August 04, 2022

White Cap Mountain, Bowdoin College Grant East Township

QUICK TRAIL FACTS

  • Preserve Size: Not sure
  • Trail Mileage: 7.3 miles round trip
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: challenging
  • Sights: Appalachian Trail, Mount Katahdin, Moosehead Lake & Surrounds, Roach and West Branch Ponds

Post by Tom Ancona

White Cap Mountain (3,654 feet) is the tallest peak between the Bigelows and Mount Katahdin. Its mostly tree-free summit provides expansive views stretching from Moosehead Lake to the west past Mount Katahdin to the northeast. It also provides a great taste of the Appalachian Trail and the 100 Mile Wilderness since all trails up and down White Cap are part of the AT. Should you hike this in the summer, you are almost certain to run into north- and/or south-bound AT through-hikers.

The entire hike from the Frenchtown Road parking area to the summit and back is 7.3 miles round trip. From the lot, walk around the gate and follow the road for approximately 0.45 miles to the start of the Logan Brook Trail (on your right). From the trailhead, the path gains elevation quickly for the first half mile or so. Things level out a bit after that as the trail mostly follows (at a distance) Logan Brook until it reaches the Logan Brook AT Lean-To shelter. From the shelter, the trail again gains elevation more steadily, but contains many well-built stone stairs that make it not too challenging to ascend and descend. Shortly after the Logan Brook shelter, you’ll also see a well-marked sign that leads you to your first (of many) great views of Mount Katahdin. As you near the summit the trail leaves the forest for a more above-treeline type environment with clear views and more exposure to the elements.

The summit is wide open, facing the south and is clearly marked with a rock pile and AT sign. There is plenty of room to spread out, take in the views, and relax for a bit. Be sure not to miss the 100-yard offshoot trail behind the summit sign. This little trail takes you to the other side of the summit where you are treated to breathtaking north-facing views of Big and Little Spencer Mountains to the west, Mount Katahdin and Baxter State Park to the east, and the nearby Roach and West Branch Ponds just below the mountain.

Directions: From Rt. 15 in Greenville go straight through the blinking light onto Lily Bay Rd. Drive north for 17.2 miles and turn right on the Frenchtown Road. Take Frenchtown Road 13.6 miles until you reach the logging road gate. Whether or not the gate is open, please park before the entrance to the gate, as cars are not permitted past that point. The Frenchtown Road is a dirt road, but is in great shape for any vehicle driving carefully. Please yield to any logging vehicles, as they have the right of way.

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