The Round Pond Mountain Trail rises over 700' as it climbs approximately 2.5 miles from the shore of Round Pond to the summit of Round Pond Mountain. The trail passes through mixed woods as it meanders towards the summit. There are a few relatively short sections where the incline is substantial, but this is not an exceptionally steep climb.
The forest surrounding the trail is attractive and this hike is a good place to find solitude. Be prepared for muddy conditions at certain times of year in several sections. The trail, like most primitive hiking/walking trails in Maine's forests, is frequently rocky, root-strewn, and uneven.
Upon reaching the summit area, the forest thins to a degree through a hardwood stand. Here, hikers encounter a decommissioned Maine Forest Service fire tower. Until further notice, the tower should not be climbed. As the tower's status changes, updates will be made to this page.
A trip to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, especially for new visitors, requires advanced planning. The AWW is within the North Maine Woods recreational system: visitors must pass through a checkpoint and pay the required day use or camping fees. Fees associated with camping at the Allagash Wilderness Waterway are transferred to the Bureau of Parks and Lands.
The trail passes from the AWW to the Round Pond Public Reserved Lands. These two designations are both part of the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, but have somewhat different purposes. While the Allagash Wilderness Waterway is managed to sustain wilderness character, Public Reserved Lands are managed for multiple uses including sustainable timber harvesting.
Take care traveling along area logging roads, pulling over and stopping for trucks regardless of which direction they’re headed. Do not block side roads and never stop where visibility is poor. Roads can be dusty in dry weather and washed out in wet weather. Gravel roads are hard on tires (and suspension systems): travel slowly and carry a spare tire.
Don't count on your cell phone in an emergency as coverage is spotty to non-existent.
The trailhead, located on the eastern shore of Round Pond, is accessible by canoe or kayak only and is mostly hiked by those completing the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. The closest site to launch a canoe or kayak is at Henderson Brook Bridge, approximately 2.5 miles west of the trailhead on Round Pond. The put-in site at Henderson Brook Bridge is slightly north of the bridge at a sheltered section of river shore; there is designated parking at a site away from the water at Henderson Brook Bridge. Vehicle access to Henderson Brook Bridge is from the Blanchet/Maibec Road and either the Rocky Brook Road or the Realty Road (from the east). Access to the Blanchette/Maibec Road and Henderson Brook Bridge from the west includes travel south from the Town of Allagash on the Michaud Farm Road. This is a remote area of primarily private lands and roads. See the note below about road travel.
It is possible to put-in further upstream (south) on the Waterway at Umsaskis Lake (Umsaskis Thoroughfare). This site is reached via the Realty Road, which connects Ashland far to the east with Clayton Lake to the west. Bear in mind that it is over 20 miles to reach the trailhead on Round Pond if you put in at Umsaskis Lake.
Once on Round Pond, paddle or motor to the eastern shore of the pond, approximately half-way up the shore. The trail starts behind the Tower Trail campsite, which is labeled like all AWW campsites, with a triangular, routed sign that includes the campsite name.
NOTE: Bear in mind that this is a remote region of Maine accessed by a mostly private network of gravel roads. A recent version of the DeLorme Gazeteer is useful as is a North Maine Woods Inc. map. Accessing the Round Pond Mountain Trail requires travel on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway's watercourse, special rules apply and put-in sites are specific and limited.
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