Cumberland County High Point Trip Report

Date: November 2000
Author: Denis Hanson

I climbed Pleasant Mountain via the Bald Peak, Sue's Way, and North Ridge trails. The route starts on Mountain Rd, 0.1 mile S of the Shawnee Peak East ski area. This area is 1.2 miles S of the main ski area.

The Bald Peak trail heads west - steeply - up an old woods road. In November at least the trail is occasionally hard to follow because every dead leaf in Maine appeared to be on it. After 3/4 mile, the Sue's Way trail branches right. Follow it through extensive ice storm damage, then up a gully, eventually climbing parallel to the Shawnee Peak East ski runs. After 1/2 mile on this trail, you reach the intersection with the North Ridge trail. The top of the main ski area is just to the north. Gain in elevation to this point is 1300+ ft in 1.2 miles. There are good views to the W, N and E from the ski area.

Follow the North Ridge trail first NW, then S, then SE as it avoids the steepest ledges on the North Peak. After 1/2 mile of easy hiking through open red pine, you arrive at the northernmost peak of Pleasant Mountain. The county highpoint is 0.1 mile N of the peak. I also believe that the trail passes to the west of the high point ridge, so head N through open woods, following the ridge, until you're convinced you've crossed the county line. Eventually you'll reach steep ledges which will decide this for you.

From the peak, head S on the North Ridge trail for 0.4 mile. At 100 yards before you reach Big Bald Peak, the Bald Peak trail drops away to the east (left). It drops steeply through hemlock (no leaves!!) for 0.4 mile. to the Sue's Way trail junction, then descends another 0.7 mile back to the parking area.

This would be a fun winter hike with snowshoes. Once you gain the ridge, the long N-S ridge line has easy hiking and good views of the White Mountains.