Chick and Little Chick Hill– A short meandering hike not far from Bangor with excellent views mostly to the east and south.
Distance: Varied distances depending on which trails are followed. Approximately 2.5-3 miles.
Location: Clifton, Maine. Just off route 9 on Chick Hill Rd.
Parking: The parking area is a school bus turn around, so if hiking during the school day stay to the very edge of the lot. On weekends or after school hours there is plenty of room for a dozen cars or more. It is a well used trail which can fill up the parking area.
Use: Good for hiking, running, snowshoeing. Not for biking or x-country skiing. The road that most people follow to the summit of Chick Hill is an access road to the communications tower. This makes for easy footing year round.
Wildlife: Expect to see deer. Other animals may be in the area, but we encountered none.
Wilderness Experience: These prominent open ridges can be easily seen from busy route 9 so the trail get a lot of use. It also sits close to the road in general so traffic can be seen and heard from most places on the trail and certainly from the summit. The communications tower at the summit of Chick Hill makes for an obviously less “wilderness” experience as does the steady flow of people walking up the access road. You’ll never feel really “away from it all”, but the views are great.
Trail: If you follow the access road you’ll be on a maintained gravel road which is easy footing, but not very interesting. The trail which leads from the parking area up Little Chick Hill is right at the bottom of the access road and is much more typical of a mountain trail. You’ll encounter roots and rocks and a fair share of mud as there is a stream flowing through a couple sections. You’ll also wander through mixed forest and up granite ledges which makes for a much more interesting hike. The trail is poorly marked however with various colors of ribbon. There are a few small cairns randomly scattered along the trail as well. One important note: if you go up Little Chick and continue on to Chick Hill the trail splits coming down from Little Chick. The right trail will take you to an old jeep trail where you will see an obvious cairn across the trail leading up to Chick Hill. If you take the left trail you will also reach the jeep trail but it will be above the cairn a little ways. Follow the jeep trail to the right, down hill until you see the cairn and turn left onto the trail which leads up Chick Hill. No organization maintains these trails so there is no signage at all. Keep your eyes open for ribbons and cairns as you hike.
Summit: Excellent views from the peak of both hills. You can clearly see Acadia and other mountains to the east with some views to the north and west.