Southern Maine is a reasonably short drive from most places in eastern Massachusetts. In the past our family has bypassed this area in our hurry to get to Acadia National Park, and locations farther north. Recently we simply needed a break from the cares of our regular routine, so we decided to head about two hours north for a day trip. York, Maine is known for its beaches, but it also has a lovely place to explore, Mount Agamenticus. We had read about it in Tom Wessell’s book Roadside Ecology and wanted to check it out.
One of the challenges of visiting a place for the first time is figuring out where we can access an entrance, and where we can safely park. Both tasks were complicated by the fact that Mount A (as it is foundly called) is undergoing some major construction at its entrance. A paved road brings you right to the top where you can enjoy 360 views of the surrounding countryside. When we arrived we found cars parked all along the road. (It was a weekend, so presumably it would be less crowded on a weekday). Mount Agamenticus is town-owned, and once construction is finished it will be charging a modest fee to park your car.
A dirt road beyond cars and the construction zone led us to a series of small pull offs along the boundary of the park. We were able to stop and have some lunch. The terrain where we were was somewhat steep and rocky—not an Easy Walk. I opted to stay put while my husband explored the trail.
He found a way to the top, and was able to report back to me about what awaited us if we could figure out how to get past the construction. Multiple trails have been built throughout the 10,000 acre property. You can learn more about the wooded trails here but they are not Easy Walks. After his hike we returned to the blocked main entrance and found a flagged barrier keeping visitors away from construction. We were able to go by foot around the construction on the paved road to the top. It was about a half-mile trek, with some hairpin turns that make for a less steep climb. We found more construction at the top. It appears that both lower and upper construction sites when finished will provide more parking for visitors.
The relatively flat top of the hill (not really a mountain at about 800 feet, but still, great views) lends itself to taking your time to wander and enjoy the views. Picnic tables are set out near what appears to be a education building. Strategically placed platforms invite visitors to take in views of the White Mountains to the north and west, and the ocean to the south and east.
Crushed stone dust trails—all person trails—encircle the top of the mountain, an invitation to visitors to explore the area. Parents with kids in strollers, older people, and those of us who look for Easy Walks will all find these paths a pleasure to walk on. The relatively level paths are about six feet wide, but various inclines make these otherwise accessible trails inadvisable for use by someone in a wheelchair. Benches placed in various areas at the top invite visitors to rest awhile. Plan to bring a lunch. Use the picnic tables provided, or simply spread a blanket on the open lawn area. Regardless of where you stand at the top there are views to enjoy.
Until construction is complete this destination will offer challenges for visitors. If you hope to drive to where you can enjoy the view you would do well to check the website to confirm if the road to the top is open. If you are looking for trails in the area, the thousands of acres and miles of trail offer plenty of choices that can keep you busy for a full day of exploring. Happy trails!
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.
2 responses to “Views from Mount Agamenticus, York, Maine”
Thank you very informative. We are going to be in that area this weekend looking forward to checking it out!
You are so welcome–enjoy!