Explore the most popular trail running trails near Bethel with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

It’s a lovely hike, but definitely challenging if you’re a casual hiker. The trail is narrow, steep in places with lots of rocks and roots. We got to the rock surface not far from the summit, having covered 5/6ths of the Mud Brook Trail, but chose to eat lunch and head back down. It took us almost 3 hours to get to that point, and we had read that markings toward the top/end of the trail (headed toward connection with Caribou Trail) were not great. Rather than wander in search, we headed back down, reaching the parking area in 2 hours 15 minutes. Saw only one other hiker (clearly experienced based on gear) who set a good pace. No trail markings, but we were mostly able to follow (strayed off twice - once up, once down - but recovered without wandering too far from trail). Bugs bad at summit, but no problem moving along the trail. Need good footing/balance crossing brook in several places, but lovely surroundings make the terrain and summit views worth the challenge.

Beautiful views from the top, a nice spot to lay in the sun on a blue-sky day. No snow, barely any mud, and a gorgeous stretch of forest near the tree line. My only complaint about this trail is that it is poorly marked at the base of the Caribou trail and at the summit. Otherwise, this is a very manageable hike for anyone in decent shape, and I would not rate it as hard.

5 days ago

The trail is fine except there are quite a few spots where I wasn’t sure where to go, it’s not marked very clearly. Even on the top, remember where you came up because it’s hard to tell where to go. VERY buggy and still muddy in some areas. Awesome view at the top.

12 days ago

The weather was absolutely perfect and lucked out that the bugs weren't bad! As stated in the review below mine the trail is not marked clearly...there were several times I was unsure if I was on the trail, but luckily I have good direction and my dog helped keep me on trail. This is definitely one of those trails you need to take note of your surroundings and be attentive as to not go off the trail. The information in the review below mine was a big help...you go over many streams and to my delight the top portion smelled like Christmas trees which was a pleasant surprise. Also, noticed some moose skat in several spots in the top portion (last mile close to the summit). It took approximately two hours from bog road/caribou mt trail to the summit and 1.25 hours on the way down. The views at the top were absolutely stunning, made for a lovely and rewarding picnic spot.

Great hike with beautiful views! Lots of beautiful waterfalls along the caribou trail!

hiked this trail in early august and it kicked my butt!! it was a tough hike and we got a bit lost along the way, but the rattlesnake pool was an amazing way to cool off and it was a great workout. also - BRING BUG SPRAY! we practically got eaten alive on this hike!

6 months ago

From the parking lot of the Caribou trail you can either take the Caribou trail or the Mud Brook Trail. We took the Caribou trail up which actually starts as a downhill. The trail goes along the river at times and does not climb up for a long time. I would not rate the trail difficult if you are in shape. Eventually the trail does climb up, it also switches back and forth over the river. At times it is hard to know where the trail goes, but we managed that. The top of the Caribou trail is not above the tree line and there is a sign where that trail ends. I can not imagine anyone would at that point turn around because you have not summited yet. At this point you turn left as the sign shows and get on the Mud Brook trail. The assent is a little steeper here, and you are still a ways from the top. At the top the views are 360 degrees, a couple we passed on the way said they have hiked many of the 4000 footers and this view by far surpassed all of them. Once we got to the top, and took pictures we could not find where the trail went, it took us 20 minutes to finally find this yellow mark on the rock. Beyond that point the yellow markers or cairns were really hard to find, we kept on shouting out to each other, okay got it! Once we were below tree line there are NO markers at all. You follow a brook off and on and I was perpetually concerned we were not on the trail, but just following the brook, very disconcerning. I am not sure why trails are not marked better. Very pretty trail, big river on the Caribou trail, smaller brook on the descent, Mud Brook trail, 2 hours up, 1 1/2 hours down, due to storm the bridge was out and we had to do a lot of stone stepping over the river and chimming over a fallen tree so that could of added time to the ascent. I have never written a review before, but I felt I had to because for me the other reviews were off the mark. Would of given 5 starts if the trail was marked.

Very quite trail this time of, wet after the big storm this week. Spruce hill has the correct name ,it is covered in Red Spruce of all sizes. The trail is 6.2 miles out and back, steep in sections at the start. The top of Specked mtn. has a great view about 280 degrees with an old fire tower base. I believe it was the first tower in the state of Maine. Did hike with Elijah.

7 months ago

Typically spectacular Evans Notch hike. First hiked on August 22, 1992, and took Mud Brook Trail to top of Mount Caribou and looped back to road using Caribou Trail. Took about 1.5 hours up. Returned to backpack it on September 3-4, 1995, overnight. Went up Mud Brook Trail from parking lot, taking about 2.3 hours. Tented about 0.2 miles beyond peak. Great views from top. Loped back to lot the next day using Caribou Trail. Took only 1.5 hours down Caribou Trail. Generally easy hike, with some steep.

Typically spectacular Evans Notch hike. First hiked on August 22, 1992, and took Mud Brook Trail to top of Mount Caribou and looped back to road using Caribou Trail. Took about 1.5 hours up. Returned to backpack it on September 3-4, 1995, overnight. Went up Mud Brook Trail from parking lot, taking about 2.3 hours. Tented about 0.2 miles beyond peak. Great views from top. Loped back to lot the next day using Caribou Trail. Took only 1.5 hours down Caribou Trail. Generally easy hike, with some steep.

Great loop hike. Not too many people and wonderful views.

Quite the challenge but beautiful view from the top!!!

I went up Caribou and down Mud Brook. The leaves had fallen on the trail and with hardly any markers it made it difficult to keep track of the trail. At one of the brook crossings it looks like it continues up along side the brook but luckily someone had spray painted a yellow arrow (very faint) on a log, pointing me in the direction to cross. I wouldn't have found the very narrow, leaf covered trail otherwise. Once at the summit I had to back track 3 times to to find Mud Brook Trail to descend. Again, someone painted 3 (maybe 4) yellow arrows that are very hard to see to point me in the direction I needed to go, other then that no markers at all until your almost back to the parking lot. It was very frustrating on the summit, no idea where to go, many places looked like the right direction but led nowhere! I feel it should be rated moderate instead of hard but I don't plan on hiking this one again.

9 months ago

A nice steady climb through a dense forest. No views until the summit but a beautiful vista at the top that made it worth it. There's an awesome swimming hole right at the start of the trail that makes for a great spot to refresh after you're done.

Very well maintained trail! Not a lot of markers but you don't need them. Headed up Mud Brook and down Caribou, definitely a better choice! Very steady incline, not as difficult as we thought! We took a bunch of short breaks and ate lunch at the summit and it took us about 5 hours or so! Beautiful views and not as crowded as Blueberry Mountain.

9 months ago

Moderate trail up Mud Brook Trail and down on Caribou (which is even easier). Cairns were easy to find at the summit. I was welcomed at the top by the spectacular holy grayness (clouds and fog which limited visibility to no more than 20 ft.), and tasty wild berries. There are also yellow (golden?) marks (blazes) painted on the rocks at the summit which were fairly easy to find. Just follow the yellow painted rock! Doable with regular hiking shoes, but might want to bring water shoes for the swimming holes nearby, as you go down Caribou. Watch out for wet, slippery rocks. Took me 100 minutes to go up and about 1 hr to go down, but stopped by for a chilly spash-n-dash treat in one of the waterfall holes. Had entire loop to myself. Restroom located at trailhead/parking area. Great trail. Thank you to all the rangers and staff who maintain all the beautiful trails.

Great hike, beautiful views at the summit. Would recommend Caribou Trail up and Mud Brook Trail down, as Mud Brook is less steep and a bit easier on the knees. Bring a swim suit as Caribou Trail follows a series of waterfalls and swimming holes. Be aware Mud Brook is poorly marked at the summit, and along the trail itself. I got turned around and lost a few times at the summit, otherwise its great. Also when done, follow Rt 113 to the north a few minutes and visit the Wild River, great place to soak your feet.

10 months ago

This was a very nice trail. Great workout and beautiful 360 views at the top.

Not much scenic..Most of the times you have to hike through woods. When we were hiking there were lot of bugs and mosquitoes( During May), make sure to bring bug spray.

Awesome day hike but wished there were 360° views. Still amazing 180° views at multiple points in the hike. Recommend going up Blueberry and down Bickford Brook Trail if there's been any recent rain!

Awesome trail for the abuse hiker

Very poorly marked especially towards the top. Do not hike in off-season. Route 113 was blocked off, adding 7mi round trip to and from trail. No cell service, no other hikers, deep snow banks towards the top, and substantial potential for moose encounter makes this hike a no go until peak season. Will try again in summer or fall.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

At the trail-head on 113 the sign said that Haystack Notch was 2.1 miles. LOTS of creek crossings. We went about two miles up the trail. At the top was a sign saying we were entering the Cariabo Mountain Wilderness area. Not long after that sign we lost the trail. Someone had flagged it for a few hundred more feet. But then nothing. We were not sure we were still on the trail so backtracked. We could not find any blazes or anyplace where we felt we missed a turn. So we did not continue - not wanting to be the people who need to be rescued off a mountain. Besides we were not planning on a 10 mile hike anyway.

The part of the trail we did was moderate, with the exception of the crossings. Maine is currently in a drought so those were easy, but after heavy rain they could be challenging.

Rugged climb up from the lot on rt 113, came back on Caribou Trail to make a full loop. Great views near the top that you don't get going up Caribou, EXTREMELY poorly marked at the summit, few blazes and very worn down, few cairns.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Ascended The Muddy Brook Trail to the summit then descended the Caribou Trail to finish the Caribou Loop. So glad we came down the Caribou Trail as it is a very rugged trail and not the greatest views but Muddy Brook Trail was beautiful. Another plus to coming down Caribou trail was the fact that there is a beautiful waterfall with a swimming hole about two miles away from the parking lot. Hopped in, cooled off, and by the time we got to the parking lot you wouldn't have even know we hiked! so refreshing. Took two of my dogs and they loved it!

I took this route from Rt 113 because i thought, based on trail maps/etc, that i would be doing 3 different summitts..Spruce Hill, Ames Mt & finally Speckled. While you do hike right across the "summitt" of Spruce youd never know it....I think it was just some exposed ledge on the trail in the middle of the woods, just before a sag. Further on, you pass below the visible wooded summit of Ames Mt...no trail to it. Finally, after passing through a small lovely little meadow you get to the summit of Speckled Mt with 270 degree views. Really good views. the trail (under a different name) apparently continues towards 2 other mountains but it is 3.1 miles to this point (about 2:15) so I merely retraced my route back to the parking lot on Rt 113 (across from trailhead its also the lot for Royce Mt trails). All in all a nice hike with reward of excellent views, just was a bit disapointed thing i was going to hit at least 1 more summit along the trail

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

In support of other reviewer: trail is tricky to follow up on the summit area of Mt. Caribou. Very spotty trail markers- paint long faded and worn off, few cairns, and signs of travel/ trail not always so obvious.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Nice trail. Did the loop up Mud Brook Trail down Caribou.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fairly easy trail go up Muddy Brook and down Caribou

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