Chick Hill (1 box)
Repaired and returned to service on 2007-09-01
The Chick Hill letterbox, located about 20 miles East of Bangor, Maine, sits atop a lovely mountain offering one of the best views in the area. The exact name of the mountain seems like something of a mystery, however. According to every source of information but one, it has the name "Chick Hill". Unfortunately, the one dissenting name comes from a 1994 USGS map, a fairly authoritative source. The USGS map gives it the name "Peaked Mountain", and shows Chick Hill roughly one kilometer further North. Whatever you want to call the mountain, the letterbox has the name "Chick Hill".
From Bangor, drive east on Rt. 9 for a while. 3.4 miles after Rt. 180 heads South, look for a paved road on the left (with a mailbox(?), on its right side, it looks like a driveway at first). Take it, and follow it to the end of the paved part. Park at the bus turnaround, but read the sign carefully (do this between 9am and 2pm on weekdays, or on a weekend, or during school vacations).
We have a 4 meter resolution satellite map to help you. The green line indicates the trails, and the dotted portions indicate possible alternate routes that involve some light bushwhacking. The very small area circled by the trail (not the dotted trail) in the upper right corner of the map contains a radio tower. Your actual destination lies just a bit SouthEast of the tower, but you can use it as a visual guide (both on the map and on the hike) to decide where to go. At the bottom of the map, you can see Rt. 9, right at the Penobscot/Hancock county line. The trail heading roughly south from the peak shows an alternate route, giving a nicer walk but having very poor trail markings and some scrambles up fairly steep, slippery slopes. If you already know that way, it provides a nicer hike, but don't try it otherwise.
From the bus turnaround, take the gravel road heading East and upwards. Follow it for just under a kilometer and bear right (South and uphill) at the split. Wind along for another kilometer, and you will end up at the radio tower. Walk on past the tower (on either side, your choice), and you will come out onto a ledge with a simply amazing view.
To claim your prize (as if the view alone doesn't make this hike totally worth the effort), start at the SouthEast-most cable anchor. Take 36 paces at 140° to come to the first pine on the way down. Standing at the pine, go 130° for 22 paces. You should have a low, long, narrow, roughly rectangular boulder right in front of you (or under you). Under the NorthWest end, move the smaller of the two stones to reveal the letterbox. re-hide it well, as a few dozen people will visit this peak on a given nice day.
To return to your car, you have two choices. You can go back down the road, remembering to turn left (West) at the split. Or, if you don't mind a bit of light bushwhacking, you can head West along the cliff until you hit trees, then start heading WNW until you hit the road. The second way actually follows a badly overgrown logging road, for those who feel bad about disturbing nature by bushwhacking. Just make sure not to go too far west (anything harder West than directly NorthWest counts as too far), or you'll end up doing some hard-core bushwhacking for quite a while.
Please visit the RIBNAG homepage at http://users.tmok.com/~ribnag for more letterboxes planted by us, or just for general information about our group.
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