Penobscot County Highpoint Trip Report

East Turner

Date: September 18, 2006
Author: Roy Schweiker

Well it is possible to drive a passenger car to the log landing on East Turner as I just got my Ford Escort there but high clearance would be better, particularly at the washed-out culverts.

It was so humid that I was sweating even before I started hiking. I started up the best skid road but it swung left and finally I just bushwhacked uphill. Lower down, there were hardwoods growing among talus boulders but it turned into softwoods higher up. I knew I had plenty of time but wanted to avoid heatstroke so rested every 10 minutes until I cooled down. Every time I thought about the things I could do if I was home already I decided to rest another couple minutes. It finally took about 3 hours to get to the summit of which maybe half was resting. Then I went down to the west until I could see South Turner and be sure I was on the right bump; no, I had no desire to go over there. Spent maybe half an hour in summit area. Like others, I think the highest point may be a rock near the large open area.

Going up, I had just followed the easiest route without paying attention to direction and had come out on the southeast ridge and followed it right. Going down was harder as I wanted to hit the log landing so I followed a compass bearing which seemed to stay in spruce longer. The skid road I came out on was very overgrown and full of piles of old branches and worse walking than the woods. Then I took a lateral right back to my car for a total of about 2 hours down. This hike was not thick by Northeast standards as I got plenty of spruce needles in my hair but none in my belly button.

I had thought about driving further up the Rocky Pond Road to see if it had been extended higher up the mountain but decided it was better to start from a known point with known terrain. From where I struck the lateral another log landing was visible to the left so I went over there. There were several truckloads of tree-length logs piled around. The road in was too rough for me to have driven but there was a pickup parked there and a line of orange survey flagging leading into the woods. There were also 2 survey tripods (GPS base stations?) alongside the road on the drive out so maybe the previous owner will retain cutting rights for a few years.

On the drive up, the completion of the Quimby purchase was announced. East Turner and the surrounding area will be added to Baxter State Park when the money is raised. Other logging roads in the park have been closed to traffic and allowed to grow in (had walked on some the previous couple days) so the same may well happen here. Get there while you can!

I was able to find the parking spot on the first try, thanks to previous descriptions, although my mileages were slightly above those on mile markers as compared to Cliff Young's, which were short. My tires are too small and his too big? Because I took the trouble to record them, I am passing them along. While they are more complete than previous mileages they are not more accurate, just different.

0.0   Gulf station at town line.
3.7   Bridge Millinocket Stream.
3.8   Crossroads, go straight (I think the right is a shortcut to East Millinocket but was too washboardy to drive).
7.6   Go right at fork as per the Schwa brothers.

11.2   Stay straight where a left goes down to lake, road worse beyond here with a couple washed-out culverts.

13.1   Crossroads, go left, no signs here If you go straight, there is another crossroads in 0.1 mile where the left branch soon joins the previous left. It looks like most traffic from the left goes straight across rather than turning so the right there may be a better route back to civilization. Going straight leads to Stacyville but there is a flattened culvert beyond Trout Pond which a truck could get over but would require too much shoveling for my car.

13.4   Open gate as mentioned by Mike Schwartz.
14.4   Side road right just before minor bridge - ignore.
14.5   Side road right with ATV signs for "Kelloge Loop Trail" - ignore.
14.6   Go right on Rocky Pond Road, sign fading.
15.1   Bridge.
23.6   Bridge over Katahdin Brook.
25.3   Town line T3R8/T3R9.
25.6   Turn left on side road.
26.3   Road ends at a log yard.