I enjoyed a beautiful spring day for a bushwhack to clifftop ledges overlooking Haystack Notch in the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness, a quiet corner of the WMNF in western Maine.
The approach was along the pleasant Mud Brook Trail from Rt. 113, which provides many views of its namesake stream.
Nice hardwood walkin'.
Along the way I made a separate short, steep bushwhack to a ledge on the flank of Caribou Mountain.
Western vista from the ledge.
Mt. Hight, South, Middle and North Carter, and Mt. Moriah, with Boott Spur, Mt. Washington and Mt. Adams peering over cols.
Zoom on Adams and Moriah. The tip of Mt. Madison can be seen to the right of Adams.
Looking through Evans Notch.
Back on the trail, a fine spring day in the hardwoods.
The only patch of snow I encountered.
Into the least-known Wilderness in the Whites.
Cascade, slightly off-trail.
Good woods whacking up to Haystack Mountain.
A couple of old giants.
Gateway to the ridgecrest.
Some nice woods here.
The first of two view ledges near the summit of Haystack.
A wonderful interior view, looking south across a broad basin to Durgin and Speckled Mountains. The strips of light green aspen foliage mark the courses of old logging roads.
Southwest view down the valley towards Evans Notch.
Southeast to flat-topped Butters Mountain beyond a ridge on the south side of Haystack Notch.
Looking down to the open hardwoods on the west side of Haystack Notch, a great area for spring flowers, including Dutchman's Breeches. The Haystack Notch Trail is down there somewhere.
Continuing along the ridge to another ledge. The woods on this long, bumpy crest are strewn with countless downed trees and limbs.
The 2205-ft. summit bump is along here somewhere.
Found the second ledge.
Another angle on Durgin and Speckled.
It's a clifftop!
Back along the ridge through more blowdown.
There are some good hardwoods farther along the ridge.
The ent tree, which Keith D'Alessandro and I found when whacking along this ridge a few years ago.
Looking back at some nice woods on the descent back to Mud Brook Trail. There was plenty of hobblebush along the lower slope.