Horse Mountain, elevation 1,589 feet, is a small but notable peak located near the eastern boundary of Baxter State Park. Its sheer cliffs along the Park Tote Road are the first feature to welcome visitors entering the Park through the Matagamon Gate from Patten.
The trail begins climbing gradually along an old tote road. A small brook is crossed at 0.1 miles. After 1.2 miles of gradual climbing the trail reaches a junction at a level area southeast of the summit. To the left is a 0.3 mile side trail leading east to a fine viewpoint overlooking the East Branch valley to the east and south. To the right, the summit trail continues for 0.2 miles past the junction and emerges into a mix of trees and open ledges with limited views of Matagamon Lake to the north, Mount Chase to the east and The Traveler to the southwest. The Horse Mountain Trail ascends 796 feet over 1.4 miles on its way to the summit.
In 2004 the Baxter State Park trail crew opened a continuation of the Horse Mountain Trail [not shown on map]. From the junction of the summit, viewpoint, and main trails, the continuation of Horse Mountain Trail descends westward 1.4 miles to connect with the Five Ponds Trail near Billfish Pond. This allows for possible loop trips to Trout Brook Farm.
Park Fees: See website for entrance and camping fee schedule. [No entrance fee for Maine residents.]
Park Rules: See a more complete list here.
This trail is within Baxter State Park. For more information and detailed trail maps, please visit Baxter State Park Authority's website.
From Patten: leave ME-11 and turn left on ME-159/Shin Pond Road. Continue 26 miles on this road to the Matagamon Gatehouse. The trailhead is located on the left, 0.6 miles beyond the Matagamon Gatehouse on the Park Tote Road. Park cars off the road in a small clearing.
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