I forgot it’s Labor Day weekend, and a Saturday to boot. Cars started coming into the lot early. I wasn’t sleeping great anyway but still got up and ready slowly. I needed to hike south on the Appalachian Trail, but I decided to take a detour on the Eyebrow Trail since it connects to the AT in about the same distance. The trailhead kiosk promised me steepness and rebar.
There were some really well-built rock steps heading up the Eyebrow Trail and it didn’t take long to get to the rebar parts. Most of it wasn’t necessary in dry conditions, but I could see how it would be helpful when the trail is wet. Plus, this is very close to the road in a very popular park so they probably felt the need to make it a little safer.
I stopped at a viewpoint for second breakfast and shortly after, made it back to the AT. I continued south, over a much more gently rolling stretch of trail, until just before the summit spur junction where it got steep again.
The summit spur itself was a gentle climb up to the summit of Old Speck Mountain at 4170′. I had the observation tower to myself for a few minutes and enjoyed the views. The clouds were just high enough that I could see the surrounding mountains.
When other people made it up to the summit, I climbed back down the tower to let them have a turn while I had my snack. Heading back out the spur trail, a woman and her dog coming towards me startled a grouse into flying from the edge of the trail into a tree just above it. Then it just hung out there. I’ve never seen a grouse move so slowly or let people so close to it.
I had passed a few hikers on my way up the mountain but I started seeing tons of them on the way down. At the Eyebrow/AT junction, I had to assure one that the trail did get less steep from there and there was good visibility from the top. Going down the AT this time, I could see why he was worried about more steepness.
I made good time back to the parking lot after 7.3 miles to find it completely full and people parked up and down the road all around. I took my time cleaning up and making lunch before starting my drive. My Maine hiking is officially done for this trip, but I have off through Monday. I thought about hiking a few more peaks in New Hampshire on my way home but instead have decided to head down to the coast where a friend has rented a beach house in Kinney Shores for the week. Some relaxation is definitely in order.