Flying Moose Mt– Wildlands, part of Great Pond Mountain Trust
Distance: 5.5 miles, with many options including overnight camping with reservation.
Location: Orland , Maine North gate of Wildlands on Bald Mt Rd.
Parking: Parking area for about 6 vehicles just past the gate with the option to park on the roadside if needed, but it is a narrow rd .
Use: Good for hiking, running, snowshoeing, biking, snowmobiling, horses.
Wildlife: Saw many signs of bear, deer, beaver, coyote, turkey, moose but didn’t encounter any.
Wilderness Experience: Named the “Wildlands”, it’s a pretty wild area just off busy rt 1. You can hear traffic from the roads near the north and south gates with a mile of the parking areas, but once inside the Wildlands you definitely feel more removed. Hothole Pond and the summits of the few mountains within the Wildlands feel wild aside from the wide dirt roads that cross through the area since this was once a logging forest. Sitting at the shore of Hothole Pond, you’d almost think you were in the North Woods.
Trail: Lots of hard packed dirt roads. The main road leading from north to south gate is maintained and easy to travel by foot. Several of the side trails were once logging roads as well and provide easy going. A few of the other trails have been cut by hand and are more like the usual single track you would expect to see which meander through mostly hardwood forest. None of the trails were particularly difficult. Valley Road and Flying Moose Trail, which we used were former logging roads. The short trail to the summit from Flying Moose Trail is not well marked, but easy enough to follow. (see photos)
Summit: Flying Moose Mountain, at 886ft is not huge, but offers two nice viewing areas. As you climb the last quarter mile there is a nice view of Great Pond Mountain from the open apple orchard below the summit. At the top the view is even better looking east toward Acadia NP from the beautiful open ledges. Well worth the trip.