MindFire Press

Discovering Agamenticus

Maine Hiker's Journal

Season 1 (2013) 

Chapter 2: Discovering Agamenticus

 

Mount Agamenticus lies a few miles inland from the shoreline of the town of Oqunquit in southern Maine. It is clearly visible further north from the rocky coastline of Kennebunkport (the summer home of President Bush). Only a short distance from Route 1, Mount A is accessible by well-maintained paved roads, has a number of easy to moderate family-friendly trails, and has a wide-open summit with ample parking that provides panoramic views of the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the west and the Maine coastline to the East. Because I am a summer resident of Wells, Maine, Mount A was a convenient and pleasant place for me to begin my hiking adventure.

Over the years, I have logged many miles either jogging or, more recently after my knees gave out, walking. So I knew I could walk the distances indicated in my newly acquired Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Mountain Guide for the initial hikes I had planned. I also knew that steady climbing would prove taxing in different ways than those I experienced during many long runs and walks in the past. And it did, as I discovered when I first set out to climb to the summit of Mount A from the main trailhead on Mountain Road one beautiful spring day via the Ring and Witch Hazel trails. While I walked less than a mile on a route that gained a measly 340 feet in elevation, this initial hike left me spent. I happily accepted my wife’s offer of a ride down from the summit, abandoning the idea of returning under my own steam. Those old bones needed a rest, and prudence, which I learned as a long-time jogger, dictated that I give them one. However, I experienced such elation at having achieved my goal (of reaching the summit), and such joy from my walk in the woods and the views from the top, that I was hooked.

During this first season as a hiker, I hiked every trail at Agamenticus, some many times, including those emanating from a second trailhead via the Cedar trail that enabled me to take longer and increasingly more challenging hikes, always by myself, to the top of Mount A and other nearby hills. I never had a bad experience in my dozen or so hikes on Mount A. As a result, even after graduating to much more challenging hikes to higher summits later in the summer of 2013, like the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, I still look forward to frequent hikes on the trails of Mount A for exercise, solitude, and spiritual renewal every year when I return to Maine. [The brief slideshow of photos below will give you an idea of what it is like to hike Mount Agamenticus. To move from one slide to the next, just click the directional arrow on the side of the picture.] 

Mount A turned into my training ground, a place that I could access easily and as often as I wished (as it was less than a half hour from my summer home), and build up my strength and endurance in anticipation of adventures yet to come. One such adventure began in the spring of 2013, pretty much at the same time as I started hiking Mount A. It was my budding love affair with Baxter State Park. Why I found myself at the end of the Appalachian Trail at the foot of Mount Katahdin, deep in the wilds of north-central Maine, in the spring of 2013 is the subject of the next chapter of Maine Hiker’s JournalA Walk in the Park.

Click A Walk in the Park to read the next chapter.

Click Maine Hiker's Journal to return to the home page of the journal.


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