Approaching Kineo close to the Rockwood shore
Believe or not, this rises nearly 800 feet above the water
We brought our kayaks along and headed to the base of the mountain. Moosehead Lake is a very large lake. It runs nearly 40 miles long and a dozen or so miles wide at its widest. Between Rockwood and Kineo the lake is at its narrowest, about a mile wide. Because the lake is large it is subject to some windy and rough conditions. The northern part of the lake is vast and north winds tend to funnel through the narrows at Rockwood making rough conditions. On this morning the winds were blowing a strong and steady wind and making our paddle a challenge.
The paddle across the lake, even though only a mile, gave us a good beating. Although rough, it wasn't the roughest conditions we paddled on Moosehead Lake. However the waves and wind direction put us at a strong disadvantage. Waves high enough to reach the cockpit were normal and our necessary direction of travel put the waves almost directly perpendicular to us. It seemed like a long mile paddling full bore just to keep the kayaks going the right direction. We made it across and stashed our boats and headed off for the summit.
The trail starts by following the top of cliff
There are three trails to the summit of Kineo. The range from roughly a mile and a half to four miles. Puma and I climbed via the Indian Trail. This is the most direct route with the best views. It follows the top of Kineo's cliffs for part of the way with lots of views over Moosehead Lake. Although shorter, it also the most strenuous of the trails rising nearly 800 feet in less than a mile with many sections of steep rock to navigate. From the point we stashed our kayaks, I figured the hike to summit was somewhere just under 1.5 miles.
A very hazy view toward Big Moose enroute to Kineo
Overlooking the golf course and looking south on Moosehead Lake
This hike, although short took its toll on Puma. She hiked many higher mountains and longer distances but this one wore her down. The hike itself probably would not have been so bad had it not been for the exhausting paddle. We made it to summit albeit a little slow.
A tired Puma on the fire tower
Kineo's views are far reaching. On the summit a fire tower rises above the trees offering 360 degree views. The clear morning sky unfortunately became quite hazy by the time we reached the summit in the afternoon. The views unfortunately greatly diminished. We still had 360 degree views, just not as far reaching as I hoped. We still had nice views. Little Kineo and the Spencers dominate the view to the east. Rockwood, the Moose River, and Brassua Lake are close to the west. The Lily Bay Range and Big Moose Range line either side of the lake looking south. The northern reaches of the lake are easily seen to the north. I'm sure on a clearer day Katahdin would be easily visible but with the haze we were out of luck.
Looking toward the Lily Bay Range
Big and Little Spencer
The steamship Katahdin passing by Kineo while giving a scenic lake tour
Winged Moose statue outside of Rockwood, ME