Hiking Little Spencer ~ Moosehead Lake Region
Mt Kineo, Moosehead Lake
Hiking Little Spencer Mountain
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Don't be fooled by the name - the 1.5 mile long trail that winds up Little Spencer's 3,040 foot summit is by far the most challenging and difficult in all of the Moosehead Lake Region. It is often compared to other such strenuous climbs including Bigelow, Old Spec and Mount Abraham, all of which are 4,000 footers. Yet once you've climbed it you will find that there is nothing little about Little Spencer.

The trail is one of few in the region which does not and has never led to a fire tower, the others are it's close neighbors Little Kineo and Lobster Mountain. Like these trails, Little Spencer's is one of the least visited. So when Bigelow and Big Squaw become too crowded for your tastes, it is highly recommended that you take a trip north off the beaten path and discover the challenge and excitement Little Spencer has to offer.

Getting there: Driving north on route 15 to Greenville, it is Little Spencer which greets you from afar, sticking out behind Burnt Jacket Mountain. From Greenville, drive north to Kokadjo. Turn left where the pavement ends and continue for another 1.5 miles. Turn left again, then at 8.4 miles turn right (there will be a sign here for Spencer Pond Camps). As you turn right, Little Spencer will dominate the skyline; drive 2.1 miles toward it. Look carefully for the trailhead on the right, as the sign which marks it isn't a very good one. Park off the side of the road.

The Trail: Marked by orange flagging tape, the trail starts off muddy as it gently rises beneath a forest of maple and beech for a few hundred yards. Soon it becomes very steep, winding through boulders a stand of tall white pines through which you can see nearby Spencer Pond. The trail then levels off as it enters a stationary slide of boulders which are marked with red paint. Becoming steep again it arrives at a second slide of loose scree, so use caution as the footing through this area isn't the best. Stay to the left, near a few large cedar trees. Looking behind you, you'll find the views have improved and you can see Kineo, Little Kineo and much of Moosehead Lake.

After the slide the trail arrives at the chimney; a narrow, vertical crevice in the ledge. Be aware that this section of the trail (and of the mountain) is in a constant state of erosion; it is dangerous and not a wise place to bring young children or dogs. There are ropes here to help the hiker. The trail enters a third slide of stationary boulders - stay on the trail, as it lies on the rim of a ledge. From here are astounding views to the south, including Big Squaw, Baker, Lily Bay and much of Moosehead Lake. In the west lies Coburn Mountain, Indian Pond and Brassua Lake. There's some pretty good blueberry picking to be found here, too.

From here the trail is less arduous, with no more slides, ledges or chimneys. It rises at an easier grade, twisting through a forest of fir as it continues to the summit and the 360 degree panorama which awaits you there is breathtaking: Mount Katahdin in the northeast; close-up is Big Spencer to the east and Lobster Mountain and Lobster Lake in the west; the entire length of Moosehead Lake, south of which is Moxie Bald Mountain.

On your way down, use extra caution in the slides and the chimney as they are even more dangerous during a descent. At either end of the chimney it is a good idea to let other hikers know you're coming up or down as rocks that become dislodged can cause serious injury.

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