Deasey Mountain Sponsored Hike, August 27, 2022
The first sponsored hike of 2022 was a trek up Deasey Mountain on the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument section of the trail. At 1,642 feet, it is the highest peak in the monument, and the views are spectacular. Our small group included Don Hudson, Phine Ewing, Amy Barker, and Milt Stein.
The hike started at the Orin Falls parking area, off the monument’s Loop Road. There is plenty of parking and a rest area to start the hike. We reached the Wassataquoik Stream ford, marked by “FORD” signs on either bank, after just a few minutes. The water was refreshingly cool and only about calf deep. Water shoes or crocs are recommended, as the rocks at the bottom are smooth and slippery.
The trail follows the north bank of the stream for about a mile and crosses over a beaver dam along the way. Don pointed out the location of the historic Deasey Dam close to where the trail turns north and enters the forest. A mile or so further on we came up upon a house-sized boulder called “Earl’s Erratic.” While not a true erratic, as the huge boulder is a piece of the surrounding bedrock, or country rock, the name has stuck!
Due to the recent rains, there was a wonderful variety of mushrooms springing up. The trail winds through a mixed forest dominated by northern hardwood trees such as yellow birch and maple as well as white pine, red spruce, fir and hemlock. The forest was cool and carpeted with a nice, springy layer of leaves and needles. A peaceful 2-mile walk through this fairytale forest started to become a more uphill climb where the Werler Trail intersects the IAT, and led to the remains of the old fire warden’s cabin. The cabin is falling down at this point, and is unsafe to enter, but is a real piece of history on the trail. The former fire warden, Ed Werler, wrote a book about his time there––The Call of Katahdin. You can read a little bit about Ed here.
Earlier this summer participants in the Wabanaki Youth in Science program (WaYS), working with the National Park Service trail crew, did a great deal of work. The trail is in beautiful shape between the river and the cabin! The trail needs brushing between the cabin and the summit––a bit shy of a mile. Anyone who wants to help do some trail work should look for news of a work trip in the near future.
The trail is much steeper after leaving the cabin, crossing a few little streams that are running nicely after the recent rains. After a short final push, we reached the summit of Deasey. It was a beautiful day for a hike, and the views were spectacular! The historic “Ground Cab” fire lookout has been and provides a nice shelter from the wind and sun. Inside you’ll find a reproduction of the original alidade (https://maineiat.org/2016/06/18/earls-alidade/), which is an interesting piece of history itself.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and the hike was a great one. Please feel free to sign up for one of our other sponsored hikes if you’re interested in checking out a section of the trail you’ve never seen. You can sign up at this link: Sponsored Hikes