Big Spencer Mountain Trail is a 2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Greenville, ME that offers scenic views. The trail is only recommended for very experienced adventurers and primarily used for hiking.
Parking lot provided at trailhead
Wow what a hike! My husband and I arrived at the trailhead after about a 2 hour drive and we were ready to go! The first 1.1 miles is moderate, on an upgrade underneath a leafy canopy, but wide and well maintained. After 1.1 miles you reach the area where the old fire wardens tower stood. While it no longer stands, a beautiful view to the north east still does, showing off Katahdin and the rest of Baxter's great peaks. Here we ran into some volunteer trail maintenance workers, so it was nice to see they are actively trying to make the trail a bit more hiker friendly. And try as they might, there is nothing easy about the .9 mile hike past the old wardens house. Very quickly you reach the first of 4 ladders, helping the hiker over rocky muddy parts. We skipped a few ladders and used the rocks, but this is choice. (The last ladder leaves no options, you climb the ladder or you don't go any further). After the final ladder the trail really opens up. More views of Baxter in the north east, the Lily Bay range to the south east and Big Moose (Squaw) in the south west. At the summit you'll first come to the old helipad and fire tower, no longer in use. A bit further along the communications buildings and solar panels they've dropped you'll find a second helipad with more views. From there you can see the "true" summit of Big Spencer, but to reach the 3000er can you must do a bit of bush-wacking I wasn't willing to do. Also from this helipad you can now see Little Spencer and most of Moosehead Lake. A most rewarding hike, one of New England's 50 finest!
Another note: the overview says this is for the more experienced hiker or outdoors man I agree slightly. Both my husband and I are average hikers, but don't get many opportunities to go out. Using our heads and being cautious made this an enjoyable hike despite the difficulty. It is scary, lots of steep parts to climb (and remember you come back down the same way) and even scarier heading down. Thankfully for me this was all under the canopy, with only slight openings here and there. While not on a cliff wall or face, there is no margin for error, please not only use extreme caution, but also your head while up there! Best hike of my life so far!