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.

Great hike, very moderate, basically easy. With the leaves on the ground, can be hard in spots to stay on trail as there are basically no tree blazes. Well worth the time, beautiful views.

Great hike! Took Caribou up and Middy Brook down. Loved the terrain & variety of the route. The views were incredible. And we may have chosen the most perfect foliage day ever.

I would definitely recommend taking the Caribou Trail up and looping to take the Mud Brook Trail down. The Caribou Trail was a gradual climb with a few stream cross points especially where the bridge is washed out, but with careful footing it’s manageable. Once to the summit you’ll enjoy gorgeous 360 views. The tricky part is finding the Mud Brook Trail. There are very warn and sparse yellow blazes and arrows and at points it doesn’t seem like a trail at all. Without the help of a fellow hiker who had been up there several times I’d still be there! Once you’re on the Mud Brook Trail it’s steep and ledgey so, again, careful footing. Overall very enjoyable hike! I went during peak foliage and it was breathtaking...and chilly! Bring layers.

gorgeous view at the top! We started at 11am, finished about 5pm.

A good day hike and I will rate as difficult. Be careful on the ridge it is very poorly marked.

Awesome hike, definitely worth it for the view!

Gave it 5 stars because it’s got a little of everything: woods, hand-over-hand elevation, stream crossings, waterfalls, wading pools, bears (well, just one reported), and of course that spectacular view at the peak.

The Brook was not the only mud on this hike, thanks to some recent rain. But the up-side is a flowing, babbling brook you can hear for most of the hike and several waterfalls with nice wading pools. Next time we’ll go up Caribou Trail and down Mud Brook and build in some time to lounge at one of the waterfalls with a pool beneath it (damn, my photo of it is gone) on the way up. Caribou Trail has more stream crossings and waterfalls than Mud Brook Trail, ironically.

On the way up Mud Brook, we saw lots of bear scat (well, it tasted like bear, but I guess it could have been deer or moose). Met a lone hiker on the way down Caribou Trail who confirmed the scat was bear: she spooked one on the trail. Keep your dogs leashed.

Elevation gain up Mud Brook is moderate, with a few sections of steep hand-over-hand climbing near the summit. Fun, though. Leave plenty of time to have a leisurely lunch at the peak. 360 degree views of The Androscoggin River and the Whites to take in. Caribou Trail is seemingly easier elevation gain, but then again, we were coming down it.

Stopped at the Standard Gastropub in Bridgton on the way home. Perfect close to the perfect hike.

Great scenery. Fun to hike, crossing many times the Brooks. Trail marks could be restored.

The only thing HARD about this was that the trail is not marked. keep a eye out and the trail is pretty easy to follow. if you're not paying attention it would be easy to follow a path where the rain runoff goes. There are many downed trees across the trail, but not a big deal.
Absolutely fantastic 360° view at the top.
I clocked this at just over 6 miles.

There were definitely some steep sections of this trail, but the views were fantastic! Make sure when you enter the trail and you come to the Y intersection, go left. Thereafter, the trail will go into the woods towards the right. I did video the trail if anyone is interested. Recommended. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fzphka3XUo0&t=2s

I hiked up the Mud brook trail to the summit of Caribou and returned using the Mud brook trail to the Caribou trail. I first hiked this trail 20 years ago, the trail was marked very clearly back then. Not as clearly marked today. The trail is well worn when you reach the summit you’ll see a few small cairns but you need to really look for them. The caribou trail is well worn but when get close to the waterfalls and big pool pay close attention the trail crosses over the brook at the top of the falls. There is a trail on the right before you cross heading down to the pool, if you’re not paying attention you’ll miss the trail crossing like i did and wander a round for a while looking for it. Overall a great hike the bugs were insane on the descent. The hike took me round trip 4 hours the guide book says 5 i was probably moving fast to get away from the bugs

Great trails. Went up Caribou, beside brook most of the way with a couple of nice waterfalls. On Top a total 360* view. Mud Brook going down is a bit steep when you Start . Moose sign all over the ridge. On top you do have to keep your eye on the trail over rock. Look for yellow arrows and cairns. Did This one with my daughter Abi. She loved it...

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.

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.

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!

hiking
Monday, November 06, 2017

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.

hiking
Sunday, November 05, 2017

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.

Typically spectacular Evans Notch area 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.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

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.

hiking
Sunday, August 20, 2017

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.

hiking
Friday, August 04, 2017

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.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

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

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.

hiking
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.

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