View Full Version : bethel, ME activities?

05-25-2004, 05:41 PM
Traveling to Bethel, ME area June 18th and need some ideas for hiking, canoeing, and a nice river spot to swim and relax. Are there any 4000's within a 30 min drive , if not, any scenic hike will do.
Thanks to all who reply.

05-25-2004, 06:03 PM
For hiking, Old Speck (4000 footer) and East Baldpate (NE100) are close by on ME 26. Don't forget the local brewery !

05-25-2004, 06:36 PM
Goose Eye can be climbed from near Bethel, by the Wright Trail. Or if you want a short hike, over in Grafton Notch, the Table Rock loop is a nice one.

And it's not all that far over to Evans Notch or even to Pinkham if you want to drive a bit. Lots of hiking to be had!

Sunday River Brewery and/or Sud's are both good spots to eat in town.

Have fun!
-Danielle :)

05-26-2004, 09:11 AM
You want a river? Canoe the Androscoggin. Bethel-Rumford Point is a nice, 20-mile (long half-day) section. First half easy quickwater, second half slow water. Great swimming in the first half -- places with shallow sandy bottom and thousands of swallows zooming overhead.

05-26-2004, 09:30 AM
I second el-bagr... just watch the waterfall in Rumford :eek:

There are some logging roads/trails between Bethel and Sunday River. Not sure what roads/trails are closed for logging... it's been 10 years since I was in that area.

05-26-2004, 10:15 AM
I'm not a fan of swimming in the Androscoggin below Berlin. There are some nice pools up Evans Notch (on the Wild) and near the Covered Bridge on the Sunday River. Prepare for a shock when swimming in either of those!

05-26-2004, 11:23 AM
Hey SK, you'd never know what was in the river unless you'd seen Berlin... besides, the stink doesn't even reach Gorham much any more, and with the bald eagles and osprey diving into the river east of Bethel, why not?

That said, the stink was pretty bad on Saturday up on the hill in Berlin. Yuck. I couldn't even convince Mrs. Bagr to have breakfast in town -- she'd never really been around paper mills much before, and it didn't leave a favorable impression. (Fortunately then Nansen Ski Jump was a bigger hit.)

05-26-2004, 01:04 PM
Sherpa, your are starting to show how many years you have been out of town. The river below the mill actually has a pretty good water quality rating and the recent environmental project has substantially reduced the odor in the river. The section from below the papermill in Gorham to the maine border is now managed as a trophy fishing water (catch and release) and is getting rave reivews in the fishing press. There are several active guide outfits who run drift boats at the junction between the Wild river and the Andro. On any given day or evening there are fly fisherman along several of the

But I have digressed. I would highly recomend Goose Eye via the Wright Trail. The trailhead is a bit tough to find, you basically drive all the way to the end of the Sunday river road making sure you bear right at the road to the ski area. Several miles in after you have left civilization, the road has turned to dirt and are closely following the river, look for a left turn over a pair of closely spaced bridges (called twin bridges by the locals). Take an immediate right after crossing the bridge (some people confuse it for a driveway), then run up the road a few miles to the trailhead. There are some great swimming areas in the river just before the trailhead. I would recomend taking the left branch on the wright trail and returning via the right branch.

Alternatively Mt Speck in Grafton Notch. Great trip and great views and its a 4000). Just Take Rt 26 north out of Bethel and look for the AT parking lot. Just follow the At up and take the spur tothe summit.

05-26-2004, 01:15 PM
In addition to what others said, you can get to Rt 16 trailheads for Carter/Moriahs and Great Gulf in about 30 - 40 minutes, Rt 2 trailheads for the southern Mahoosucs in a bit less, and access the northern Mahoosucs by following the Sunday River Rd to the Wright Trailhead. There are many places to hang out by the Sunday River and swim if you don't mind cold water. The further up you go, the better your chances of not getting caught if you "forget your swimsuit". :eek:

Also, be aware that Rt 2 is undergoing major work between Bethel and the ME/NH border. Right now only about a 1-km piece around West Bethel is gravel, but you might get held up anywhere along that stretch.

For canoeing, I like the stretch of the Andro from Gilead to Bethel. You can take out at Bethel Outdoor Adventure, but only if you are his customer...he runs shuttles, or just downstream at Davis Park which is on Rt 26 very near its intersection with the Parkway.

Also, that weekend is the Trek Across Maine, so expect very heavy (2000 or so) bicycle traffic from SR ski area along Rt 2 east on that Friday.

That's probably way more than you wanted to know, but if you need more just holler.

05-26-2004, 03:10 PM
If you have time, don't pass up a trip to Step Falls Preserve. (See attached Photo, which shows a part of the falls area) Just south of Grafton Notch, it's a 3/4 mile walk in to a beautiful area of falls, pools, and natural water slides. I usually skip the trail and rock hop the stream from the parking area. Also to consider, Tumbledown Mountain about 40 minutes north of Bethel, an amazing mountain!

05-26-2004, 03:16 PM
Peakbagger, no matter how long I am away from Berlin, I still won't feel comfortable about swimming in the Andro. As for fishing, I spend a lot of time below Berlin fishing. I did manage to catch a nice fat 16 rainbow last time up (last year). But swimming? Not yet for me.

05-28-2004, 06:24 PM
thanks for all the ideas and info.

05-29-2004, 11:07 AM
Elephant Mtn. is also close by for a hike. For other entertainment, I recommend, "Frenchman's Leap(?)". It is a glacial pothole at the bottom of a waterfall. Its location is on the way to the Sunday River resort area. I forget the exact routes. However, ask any local and they will be glad to give you directions. Hope you're not afraid of heights. It's a fantastic leap to the water below (good spots for picnicing, too).

05-29-2004, 05:53 PM
I own a 87 westfalia camper and love it. Its hard to find a westie synchro but with the right tread I have no problems snow and light offroad.
Happy trails!