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Round Top Trail, Belgrade Lakes

This pipe smoking curmudgeon of a boulder was, just maybe, the highlight of this hike for me. When we discovered him at the start of the trail, his left eyebrow had fallen into his eyeball. I carefully placed it back in its proper position, slanting it down a bit to maintain his surly look. I wondered how many hikers had handled his stick eyebrow. A time lapse video would be fun here.

My friend Jaime suggested this hike when I told her I needed something short and sweet. At 1 hour 15 minutes from Portland, and under 5 miles, this was the perfect choice. Located in the Kennebec Highlands Public Reserved Land, this moderate hike offers varied terrain and views of surrounding ponds and mountains. Dogs are allowed here on leash and it would be a great hike for all ages.

All Trails lists this as a 4.4 mile loop and Maine Trail Finder says it's 3.3 miles. Our GPS logged in 4.9 miles. Who knows the truth, but our hike took us two and a half hours. That part is fact.

Here is the All Trails link for directions to the trailhead and that handy navigational tool:

This trail gains a gradual 928 ft in elevation and is flat at various points along the way. Still, there are some great views and the trail is peaceful and interesting.

To reach the summit of Round Top Mountain, you will have to take a short spur off of the main loop. Look for signs and you won't miss it. The spur is only .3 miles, quick and worth the views. Here is a picture of the route we took. You can see the spur we took at the top.

We hiked the loop clockwise and on our return trip, walked past some fun rock slabs, caves and mossy sections (my personal favorites).

We did get off track at one point (maybe this explains the extra mileage), so pay attention to your GPS and the many signs. When you get to the wide open, flat trail towards the end of the loop, be sure to take a right when you reach this sign. I'm not sure where you'll end up if you continue straight, but taking this right will ensure you return to your car.

Let's be honest, my trail details are not the best for this one. I was doing a whole lot of talking and not a lot of paying attention. Still, there are blue blazes everywhere and as long as you follow GPS, I don't think you'll run into any problems with navigation. Maine Trail Finder is another great resource with clear instructions for how to follow the loop:

This would be a great Mother's Day hike if you haven't made a plan yet. Jaime said it's beautiful in the fall too, so that would also be a good time to hike it. Whenever you decide to come, send my regards to the grumpy rock and help the old man out with his eyebrow situation.

And Happy Mother's Day to all of the mom's, dog mom's, aunts, grandmothers and caretakers out there. Enjoy your day tomorrow.


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