There were a few places I wanted to be in peak "leaf peeping" season, and Mount Carleton Provincial Park was at the top of the list. My BFF and I headed out at 8:00am on Thursday morning and arrived almost exactly four hours later, just around noon. This ended up being really lucky as they "cut people off" from climbing Carleton at noon, since the days are getting shorter. It was a beautiful, beautiful drive.
So, for our first day in the park, we decided to hike the highest peak in the Maritimes - Mount Carleton. Of the three mountain climbs in the park, this is actually the easiest. It's a nice loop trail. It's about 2.25 hours up and 1.25 hours down.
The way up (if you go "clockwise") is less groomed and is quite beautiful. You go along this stream for a while on your way up:
Once you get to this rocky section, you're almost at the top!
You'll come to this view at the top of the trail:
After continuing on the top over and around some boulders, you'll come to the fire tower that was used in the first half of the 20th century to spot fires. In 1968, the province began using air patrols, so the fire tower is no longer used.
This is a great spot to enjoy a picnic and the view of 10 million trees.
The way down is (obviously) easier and only takes 1.5 hours, but it is a little less scenic.
Definitely worth the hike to make it to the highest point in the Maritimes!
We stayed in a B&B close by overnight and decided to hike another mountain on Friday! We landed on Mount Bailey as it is a bit shorter than Carleton, but a bit more strenuous.
Before starting out, we checked out this waterfall:
And spent some time at the lake:
I can't wait to get back and spend some time swimming and canoeing on this beauty.
So we set out to do Mount Bailey at around noon. The first 3/4 of the hike is through this enchanted forest:
The way up was about an hour and a half and the way down about 45 minutes. We opted out of the loop, which is a bit longer and more difficult. Bailey was a wee bit steep, quite a bit steeper than Carleton, but the payoff was worth it.
There are just two small lookouts on this trail. They say you can almost always see moose in the brooks below from the top. We weren't so lucky. :(
I really enjoyed Mount Bailey, and can't wait to try it again and do the full loop.
Things you should know about MCPP:
Campgrounds close at the end of September. Check their website for dates.
The park "officially" closes mid-October. You can still go in after this point, but you'll have to walk in past the gate.
They only accept cash!!
There is no cell phone service, except on the top of mountains. :)