A Very Goofy Trip
After completing the Nahmakanta Lake Loop the Turtle Ridge Loop was the last major hiking trail in the Nahmakanta / Debsconeag area. The trip as planned was about 12 miles long with ~6 miles to be completed each day. The loop better resembles a figure 8 shape with a couple of campsites located near the eastern trail head.
3 or 4 days prior to heading out I asked Bunny Foo if he wanted to join me on this adventure. This was his first backpacking trip but he excitedly accepted and began putting together some gear. With only a few days notice he managed to put together a full kit which came in with a base weight of around 18lbs – not too shabby!
Overall there isn’t much to add to the video above. The trip went off mostly as planned.
Day 1 we hiked over Turtle Ridge to make it to the campsite. The trail wasn’t in great condition and wasn’t marked very well. This actually made it a bit more fun as there were a few times we really had to pause and find/make the trail. It wasn’t a problem and I wouldn’t discourage anyone from attempting the trail but it was definitely notable. The climb up to the top of Turtle Ridge was fairly mild with a very easy grade going up and coming down. The views from the clearing on top of Turtle Ridge was far better than we deserved considering the effort it took to reach.
The hike down the backside of the ridge was a nice light grade bringing us to the trail intersection. We hiked from the intersection down to the Jo-Mary Road where we picked up the Tumbledown Dick Falls trail which we followed for about a half mile to the campsite. We arrived early so we decided to hike out to the Tumbledown Dick Pond campsite to check it out. It was roughly two miles from the Leavitt Pond campsite. We arrived to find that someone was already camping at the site so we had to turn around and head for Leavitt Pond again. We hiked the two miles back (which nearly killed Bunny_Foo) and setup camp. We had a very nice dinner, made a very nice fire, and crashed for the night.
Day 2 Foo was having some gear issues so we bailed out of the full loop and took the short route back to the truck which took us over many of the same trails as the day prior. After a quick 3 miles or so we made it back to the truck and back to the long ride out of the preserve.
All in all it was an incredible trip. The area up there is as back country as you can get and the elevation gains and losses on this trip were very mild. It is an incredible place to take a first time backpacker that really wants to get out and get away from it all. (Two weeks later I brought my wife and daughter out to the area and they loved it!)
P.S. (I was a little slow to stop the GPS tracker once we got back to the truck. The red marker is where we actually stopped hiking.)