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  1. #1

    Default Maine Hiking end of March

    Hi all,

    I am going to Maine from March 22-26 and am looking for recommendations and advice about hiking there in late winter. I will be returning to section hike in the summer. For now, I am just scoping out the landscape and getting away from it all. I also want to get to know Maine and Maine culture. What is a quintessential Maine outdoor experience? I will be staying just northwest of Bangor, not far from the AT.

    If any Mainer feels generous or wants to hike or get outdoors please PM me. I am a woman in my 40s and would be particularly interested in a female hiking partner.

    Thanks!
    Passerine

  2. #2
    2000 miler Doc's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-31-2003
    Location
    Oakland, Maine
    Age
    77
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    324

    Default

    You do realize that it will still be winter conditions don't you? Snowshoes might be better than trail runners. There is a Facebook group for Maine hikers and many women post about their trips and often welcome others to join them. A great time of the year with high sun, no bugs, and that hint of things getting ready for Spring. Enjoy your time here.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-20-2019
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    23

    Default

    You might look at the Grafton loop, though, as mentioned, there will still be a lot of snow. You might also look at BaldfaceCircle

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mverville View Post
    You might look at the Grafton loop, though, as mentioned, there will still be a lot of snow. You might also look at BaldfaceCircle
    Bad bad idea unless a lot of snow melts in the next week, which would actually make it worse with the snow melt swelling streams and rotten snow post holing. I would look into the AMC's Maine woods hut system which is somewhere in that area and snowshoe or ski in the area.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you so much for the encouraging words! Is hiking with snow boots and microspikes doable? I will check out the Facebook page.

  6. #6

    Default

    I am definitely ignorant of conditions in Maine. Here in CT it was sheer ice until this latest melt. I will definitely check out the hut system. Thank you so much!

  7. #7

    Default

    Bring snowshoes or cross country skis. If you are lucky there will be crust but my guess is 2 to 3 feet of snow in the woods.

  8. #8

    Default

    Late March trail conditions in Maine typically start at the "difficult" level and go up to "impassible" from there. One of the most difficult hikes I have ever made was in Maine at this time of year when rotting tread way conditions did not allow my snowshoes to float and ended up in unpredictable post holing about 18" or so every 3-5 steps. The real danger was on the sun side of mountains where the snow was granular and did not allow a good grip with the snowshoes going downhill that made for some terrifying slides and arrests. Post holing with Microspikes is not my idea of a good time when you cannot "read" the terrain through the snow.

    I would not use recent weather changes in CT as an indication conditions will be similar a few hundred miles to the north. I would suggest reaching someone in the the Maine ATC chapter and see if you can get some condition information on the route you are planning. They probably have members who know what conditions are like beyond the trail heads which tend to be poor harbingers of what is to come.

    Good luck!

  9. #9

    Default

    Just returned from a four day hike on the GLT. Conditions ranged from frozen crust over deep powder, to sticky, to squishy over the course of the trip. I stuck with snowshoes throughout and survived. Hard freeze coming this weekend should make for lots of ice. After that it looks like around freezing day, cold nights so about the same. Water crossings went from frozen to opening, likely to keep opening.

    I'd say not a fun time to be out there if you have the skills and the gear. Hard on the knees If you don't it sounds a bit dangerous.
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

    http://lesstraveledby.net
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  10. #10

    Default

    This is very valuable up-to-the-minute info. I'm really grateful. I think I'm sufficiently cowed, but will still wait and see...

  11. #11

    Default

    Thanks! That sounds like an incredibly difficult hike. I see you are from CT too. I actually ended up calling some outfitters up there, and they've been very helpful. From them I've realized I've picked the worst week of the year to do outdoor activities in Maine. (I thought maybe I'd even try snowmobiling! Too late for that, too early for everything else.) They are saying next week looks more like hiking than snowshoeing weather. I might hire a guide.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Late March trail conditions in Maine typically start at the "difficult" level and go up to "impassible" from there. One of the most difficult hikes I have ever made was in Maine at this time of year when rotting tread way conditions did not allow my snowshoes to float and ended up in unpredictable post holing about 18" or so every 3-5 steps. The real danger was on the sun side of mountains where the snow was granular and did not allow a good grip with the snowshoes going downhill that made for some terrifying slides and arrests. Post holing with Microspikes is not my idea of a good time when you cannot "read" the terrain through the snow.

    I would not use recent weather changes in CT as an indication conditions will be similar a few hundred miles to the north. I would suggest reaching someone in the the Maine ATC chapter and see if you can get some condition information on the route you are planning. They probably have members who know what conditions are like beyond the trail heads which tend to be poor harbingers of what is to come.

    Good luck!
    Thanks! That sounds like an incredibly difficult hike. I see you are from CT too. I actually ended up calling some outfitters up there, and they've been very helpful. From them I've realized I've picked the worst week of the year to do outdoor activities in Maine. (I thought maybe I'd even try snowmobiling! Too late for that, too early for everything else.) They are saying next week looks more like hiking than snowshoeing weather. I might hire a guide.

  13. #13

    Default

    I was postholing with snowshoes durign the warm stretch last week in Northern NH that has similar conditions as the area of maine you were considering. After couple of cold nights the crust formed up real nice. As long as the nights stay below freezing the crust hangs around until April but at some point its solid in the morning and then is breaks down in the afternoon. If you are doing an out and back that is major PITA as postholing with snowshoes is about the hardest work out for trying to get between two points. My guess is Acadia National Park is farther along in melting so south facing hikes might be wet but possible.

  14. #14

    Default

    Acadia should be prime this coming week. Still cold now so lots of ice, but weekend and next week looking warm at the coast. OP should definitely consider that as an option to the mountains which will be awful with rotting snow and high water crossings. Probably a good idea to pack spikes though because there is a lot of ice up there now and some may remain.
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

    http://lesstraveledby.net
    YouTube Channel
    Trailspace Reviews

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