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Round Mountain

This short trail up a small mountain close to Bethel is good for families. There are great views of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
Trail Activity
Snowshoeing Hiking
1.90 miles, Round Trip
Albany Twp
Dirt/Forest Floor, Rock/Ledge, Grass


The trail leaves from the upper right corner of the parking field and follows a mowed path. It trends gently uphill and crosses the Portland-Montreal gas pipeline. This carefully crafted trail has no blazes, but instead is mowed on the lower part and marked with many cairns on the rest. Much of Round Mountain has been harvested recently, so it is important to look closely and pay attention while following the trail. The trail links together several grown-in skidder roads and threads its way up the mountain, avoiding the recently cut areas.

After the pipeline, you are in a predominantly hardwood forest with many red oak trees, some of them gnarled, broken, and hollow but still living. A few are nearly 4-feet dbh (diameter at breast-height). As the trail gains elevation, more conifers join the mix until near the top it is all spruce and fir. There are three viewpoints along the way, each giving a wider view than the last. The White Mountains, roughly from Mount Monadnock to Mount Adams are front and center on a clear day. In the foreground is Hunt's Corner, once the hub of activity in Albany. The church, parsonage and 1875 Round Mountain Grange Hall can be seen.

The trail ends at the last ledge, 660 feet above the trailhead. The summit of Round Mountain is another 100 feet higher, but completely tree-covered with no view.

Rock Castle Loop: Approximately 0.1 miles before the highest ledges on Round Mountain, the hiker reaches the Rock Castle Loop. This short loop can be made from either direction although hiking it counterclockwise avoids a steep climb above the rock castle. The directions here are for hiking the loop counterclockwise. Once the hiker has reached the final ledge of the Round Mountain Trail (approximately 0.1 miles beyond the returning Rock Castle Loop junction), the trail descends steeply north by northwest passing through open spruce forest. After this short descent, the hiker comes to a viewpoint above the top of the rock castle. This feature is a sheared-off remnant of glacial activity 10,000 years ago. The trail continues above the castle and then descends rapidly to its base. The rock castle may be explored with great care as there are many fissures, crevices, and an unmarked route to the top of the castle for the surefooted. From the top of the castle there are seasonal views west and north. After exploring the rock castle, the loop continues south for 0.1 miles, connecting back to the Round Mountain Trail.

Other Information

Round Mountain, is owned by private landowners. They maintain this trail at their own expense for public use. Please respect the property to help ensure it can remain open to the public. Camping and fires are not allowed, and please carry out what you carry in.

Trail Manager

For more information contact:

Bruce Barrett
Phone: (207) 527-2854

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Respect other trail users and be courteous when passing.
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Trailhead Information

The trailhead is currently unmarked, but easy to find. It is a small mowed field on Hunt's Corner Road in the unorganized township of Albany.

From North: From Main Street in Bethel village, go out Vernon Street 6.9 miles to the stop sign; bear left and go 1.2 miles on Hunt's Corner Road to the obvious turnout and field on the left. It is 200 feet after you pass the open swath of the gas pipeline.

From South: From the east end of Main Street in Norway, go east 12.5 miles on ME-118 to North Waterford. Bear right on ME-35. After 1 mile, turn right to stay on ME-35. As you turn right, on your right is one of Maine's iconic directional signs. Continue for 6.2 miles to a right turn onto Vernon Street. Take an immediate right onto Hunt's Corner Road and go 1.2 miles to the obvious turnout and field on the left. It is 200 feet after you pass the open swath of the gas pipeline.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
September 05, 2023
I designed, built and maintain the Round Mountain Trail. Overall the trail is in excellent condition and is maintained annually. People with nothing better to do than nitpick my design and complain about a couple minor maintenance issues are certainly welcome to hike elsewhere or; contact me personally rather than degrading my hard and professional work.
August 31, 2023
Sadly this trail has been neglected since it was originally built. The first 100 yards from the parking area is a mess: flooded, overgrown, and the half-log "bridges" over the wet areas have all rotted, collapsed and have huge rusty nails sticking up.

Where the trail passes the pipeline right-of-way it is overgrown. Last fall somebody cut back the foliage, but it is growing back in again.

Higher up there are occasional downed trees. And the trail routes over slippery moss-covered slick ledges, rather than around these hazards (especially this year with the high rain).

Too bad maintenance is not a priority...
May 23, 2020
Excellent view at top
Well marked
Pretty steep until you get to the Rock Castle loop
Highly recommend
May 03, 2020
Very steep. Not for small kids or small dogs. Also helps to be in shape.
May 27, 2019
This is a lovely little gem of a trail, with very nice views in several spots along the way. The transition from oak to spruce forest is abrupt and fascinating. And the boulder caves are really cool. The trail is easy to follow and very nicely laid out. It is a bit steep, but only a bit. I ran the upper look in about 12 minutes, as my wife waited at the junction swatting black flies.
September 03, 2018
Making a point to comment on all the trails this website has. Great short but steep hike to a really nice view. Mt Washington can be seen off to the right. No crowds, just a nice hike.
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