Mount Kineo is an 800 foot mountain of rhyolite that rises dramatically from the deepest portion of Moosehead Lake. This was a location known well to the Native Americans who traveled great distances to Kineo for the hard rock with flint-like qualities that was used for tools and arrowheads.
The famous Mount Kineo Hotel, located at the base of the mountain on the peninsula, offered capacity for 1000 guests when the resort was the summer long destination for "rusticators" coming from New York and Boston on three trains daily around the turn of the last century. Though the hotel closed its doors in the 1970′s and has since been demolished, the memory of that grand era lives on in the hearts and minds of many Moosehead residents whose lives revolved around the famous grand hotel for many years.
The Land for Maine’s Future Program, recognized the importance of this landmark and purchased a portion of the Kineo property in 1990 to preserve it for recreational purposes for the Maine public. The Bureau of Parks and Lands now manages Mt. Kineo, which offers 3.5 miles of lake frontage, a primitive campsite, four hiking trails, as a part of its Moosehead Lake Reserve. A former forest watch tower at the summit of Mt. Kineo has been converted to a viewing tower, providing spectacular views of Moosehead Lake.
Indian Trail is steep and travels at the edge of the cliff face .5 mile to an intersection with the Bridle Trail. .9 mile to summit.
Bridle Trail departs bed a private cabin. Travel .7 mile to intersection with Indian Trail. 1.1 mile to summit. This is a less steep alternative to the Indian Trail.
North Trail extends 1.9 miles over the northeast slope of Kineo connecting to Hardscrabble Point.
Carriage Trail runs 2.2 miles along the west shore of the peninsula from hardscrabble Point to the lake shore bulletin board.
From the dock turn right and follow the gravel road along Kineo Cove. Continue as the road turns sharply left and passes a pro shop on the edge of the golf course. After the shop, leave the gravel road and head downhill across an open area to the lakeshore. Near the shore and a bulletin board, take the foot trail (Carriage Trail) that bears right onto a wooded stretch of shore. Continue on this route to reach trails that access the summit and Hardscrabble Point. The trail surfaces typically have roots, ruts and rocks. They are marked with blue blazes.
Be sure to know the departure time for the water shuttle. The hike covers 4.2 – 5 miles. Be careful to gauge your time according to your departure trip.
Season: There are no groomed trails in winter, though visitors may hike, snowshoe, or snowmobile to the summit. Groomed snowmobile Rt #66 crosses private land on the peninsula in winter.
Important Natural/Cultural/Heritage Links:
Travel to Rockwood on Rt.6/15. Upon entering Rockwood, take a right at the sign to Rockwood Village. This road loops around and comes back into Rte. 6/15. At the base of the loop on the right is access to the public landing. During the summer season, a shuttle boat (fee) runs on a posted schedule to transport passengers to the Kineo peninsula. Public parking at the landing is free.