Caribou-Speckled Mt Wilderness– a loop hike up Speckled mountain and down to Blueberry Mt.
Distance: 8.5 miles total with many options for extending the hike or starting from several different locations
Location: Stow, Maine. Just off route 113 in the White Mountain National Forest.
Parking: This loop hike starts at the Brickett Place Historical site. Plenty of parking here but it includes space for those just visiting the Brickett Place. Best to get there early.
Use: Hiking is pretty much it. Road is closed in the winter so snow shoeing is out.
Wildlife: This is a wilderness area so there are ample opportunities for wildlife. We saw several instances of coyote scat, moose tracks, bear scat, deer paths, many birds including gray jays that ate from our hands at the summit of Speckled.
Wilderness Experience: This is listed as a wilderness area, and as such is located in a remote, protected area. There are other trailheads, but we started at Bricket Place. Rt 113 is actually pretty busy and can be noisy, but it quickly fades away as you climb the trail to Speckled Mt. There are no major towns within miles of the wilderness so any views you get are unobstructed in every direction. There is abundant wildlife and the woods and hills envelop you from every direction. This is a great hike to get away from it all and offers several campsites so you can enjoy the wilderness over a few days.
Trail: Bickford Brook trail is an old road bed that makes for easy hiking all the way to the ridge just before Speckled Mt. The trail is wide with easy footing for more than 3 miles. The ridge is also easy going with minor rocks and almost no roots. The summit is ledges as is the Blueberry Ridge trail which has more roots and is steeper especially coming down from Blueberry Mt. The trail down Blueberry Mt is very steep and rocky and rooty. It can be easy to miss the turns at times as there are NO blazes, only cairns which vary in size and location. Be sure to bring your map and compass.
Summit: Excellent views from the summit of Speckled Mt. 180 degrees from west to east far into the distance over lakes, hills and mountains. The views from Blueberry Ridge Trail are almost continuous and will provide ample photo ops. When you reach the Blueberry Mt split take the overlook loop, it is well worth the expansive views.