Horse Mountain Trail

This trail system is currently PARTIALLY OPEN. See Trail Alerts tab for details.

Trail Overview

Quick hike to excellent views over the northern forests of Baxter State Park and Lake Matagamon.
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Trail Activity
Length
3.0 miles, Round Trip
Difficulty
Moderate
Town
T6 R8 WELS
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor, Rock/Ledge
Pets
Not Permitted
Fees
Yes
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Description

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.  

Other Information

Park Fees: See website for entrance and camping fee schedule. [No entrance fee for Maine residents.]

Park Rules: See a more complete list here.

  • All persons entering the Park by road or trail must register their entrance at a gatehouse or self-registration station
  • The maximum size of hiking groups is 12 persons
  • All groups of five or more persons under 16 years of age must be accompanied by at least one adult, responsible for the supervision of a maximum of five youths
  • For all trash: Carry-in; carry-out
  • Where toilets are not available, human waste must be buried at least 200' from water or carried out
  • Pets or other domestic animals are not allowed in the Park
  • Camping is permitted by reservation only
  • Fires or other cooking or heating devices are permitted only in designated campsites or picnic areas
  • Hunting and trapping are prohibited within the Park (with some exceptions)
  • Maine fishing laws apply within the Park
  • No person may feed, bait, or disturb any animal within the Park
  • Power equipment is prohibited (including generators)
  • All vehicles must display an entrance permit while in the Park

Trail Manager

This trail is within Baxter State Park. For more information and detailed trail maps, please visit Baxter State Park Authority's website.

Baxter State Park Authority

Baxter State Park Authority
64 Balsam Drive
Millinocket, ME 04462
Phone: (207) 723-5140
View website

Nearby Events

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Trail Tips

Dispose of Waste Properly
Keep Maine green and clean! Pick up trash, even if it's not yours. Leave soon-to-be trash like excess packaging, stickers, and twist ties at home.
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Trailhead Information

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.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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Trail Alerts

Safety
Baxter State Park Spring 2020 Opening Delay
April 15, 2020 – July 1, 2020
Baxter State Park is closed to camping, vehicular access and hiking above treeline until further notice. The target opening for these opportunities is July 1, 2020. In the meantime, the Park is open to walk-in day-use below treeline, but Traveler and Katahdin trails are closed at the trailheads. For more information, visit the Baxter State Park website - https://baxterstatepark.org/2020/04/14/bsp-will-delay-season-due-to-covid-19/
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