Saturday, March 8, 2014
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An observation tower offers enhanced views from Coburn Mountain, the site of the ill-fated Enchanted Mountain Ski Area. Numerous trails lead to the 3,718-foot summit.
John Christie photo
Bald Mountain Ski Area in Oquossoc opened in 1958, only to be overshadowed by Sadlleback Mountain in nearby Rangeley, which opened in 1960. Today, the ski trails on the 2,443-foot mountain are overgrown, but the 1-mile hike to the bedrock summit and observation platform is one of Maine's best and most rewarding short climbs.
And then there's the other Bald, in Dedham, east of Bangor. Although its lifts are long gone (in fact, the double chair was flown across Penobscot Bay for a new life at the Camden Snow Bowl serving coastal Maine skiers). With 12 trails, 20 acres of slopes and night skiing, Bald Mountain billed itself as "Maine's Biggest Little Ski Area" in the late 1960s, only to be closed down a few short years later.
This Bald stands 1,234 feet, and from its open summit you can see to the northwest from Bigelow to Katahdin, north over Phillips Lake (Lucerne-in-Maine), and east to Mount Desert. The climb from the site of the old base lodge is only about half a mile up a still-discernible ski trail, or you can follow a well-marked trail off FR 62.
To get there, take U.S. 1A nine miles from Bangor or 18 miles from Ellsworth, turn south on Upper Dedham Road (NOT Route 146) for about 3 miles to the fire station, where you'll turn left. At about 6.5 miles from 1A, where the road bears right, continue straight on FR 62.
John Christie is an author and year-round Maine explorer. He and his son, Josh, write in Outdoors about places to enjoy the beauty only Maine has to offer. He can be contacted at: