Just before Labor Day, my hiking buddy decided we needed to get out of “Dodge”. Since she thinks nothing of going on a spur of the moment adventure, I knew that meant that we would be driving 2 to 3 hours to our destination, hike for a few hours and drive 2 or more hours home. The last time we did that, I was driving and when we lost the daylight about an hour from home I discovered that I no longer see that well at night. It was the last time I drove in the dark, so I knew she would be driving for this outing.
On September 7th, she picked me up at 7:30 and we probably got on the road by 7:45, heading towards the Borestone Mountain Sanctuary. My friend was not a morning person, so I was pretty impressed that she had set such an early time. We probably would have made it to our destination in 2.5 hours, but we had to make a detour to Dover-Foxcroft in order to visit the bakery. Fortified with donuts and other pastries, we arrived at the Borestone preserve by 10:45.
According to our research, from the parking area we would have to walk about 1 mile up to the visitor’s center. We had the choice of meandering up the access road or hiking through the forest using the Base Trail. We thought that the Base Trail looked a bit steep and had a lot of roots, so we opted for the road. After a few minutes, I was not sure that was the correct choice.
The access road was very steep and paved with shale. Quite a few times, the shale would slide under our feet, so we had to step carefully. The day proved to be quite humid, so the steepness of the road had us stopping quite a few times to catch our breath. In addition, due to all the switch backs, I believe that road was actually longer than the Base Trail. Near the end of this avenue, we turned off onto an overlook spur. In a few feet we were standing on a ledge looking at some beautiful views. Back on the main route, we were just a few minutes from the kiosk. It had taken us an hour to reach the visitor’s center.
Before turning towards the building, we walked to the edge of Sunrise Pond to ponder Borestone Mountain in the distance. No one was at the center, but we left our $5 in the box placed there for admission fees, and then studied the map posted on the building. Even if we had already decided we would not take the Summit Trail to the top of Borestone Mountain, the description of the trail cinched it for us. The trail was described as over-exposed ledge, with a 130 steps plus two steel rungs. Nope, that wasn’t happening.
Unfortunately, one of our other choices, the Fox Penn Loop was closed, so that left us hiking the Peregrine Trail. This trail was described as a gradual climb for half a mile to the ledge. You would think that such a short path would not have taken us an hour, but it did. It could have been that it did not feel like a “gradual” climb, or the fact that shortly after beginning this route, we had to make a way through a narrow path with a rock wall on one side and a humped ledge on the other. Once passed this, we had to stop and study the separate boulder that looked like a face. My friend thought it looked like the statues on Easter Island. Moving on, the remainder of the forest was a beautiful moss-filled fairy land.
After 40 minutes, we reached the ledge at the end of the trail. The views were amazing! In one direction, we had additional views of Borestone Mountain. In the other, we could see mountains in the distance and wondered if the large one was Katahdin. In any place, it was a great spot for lunch.
We probably spent 30 minutes enjoying our lunch and the views before heading back down. We reached the car around 2 in the afternoon and were home by 4:30, well before dark.