Moose Odessey Hike (3.1 mi)

Green Arrows show the main route. Brown arrows show optional loops

Summary

Trails: Moose Odessey Only (see loop options)
Distance: 3.1 mi
Options: Moose Odessey Connector trails, Deer Run (Yellow), Holmquist Hollow (Blue)

Detailed Description

Moose Odessey is the main ski trail for Libby Hill. Designed by John Morton this 5k ski trail gives you a great introduction to the Libby Hill Trail system. It is a nice wide trail with most roots and rocks removed. It is easy to follow and is the only trail that is blazed white on Libby Hill. It features a view of the old foundation, ospreys on the cell tower, scenic views north, and a lot of side trail options. It starts and ends near the basketball court by the GNG Middle School. You can also shorten your hike by taking the Deer Run trail at the top of the hill to make this a 2-mile hike. Remember, this is a ski trail so no hiking when ski trails are groomed!

Green arrows on the map show your route, brown arrows are optional short cuts you can use to get over to the return leg of Moose Odessey quicker.

Begin from the parking area. Walk around the front of the Middle School following the paved road that leads to the basketball court. The start of Moose Odessey starts on the right side (look for the kiosk) and you’ll return at the trail head that is on the left. Begin following the white blazed trail. The first intersection will be with the Lynx and ATV trails, continue straight following the white blazes. Halfway up the hill you’ll see a cell tower that has ospreys nesting for most of the summer. Be careful, the other loop of the Moose Odessey comes close here and there is a groomer path between, go straight on the trail to proceed up the hill.

When you come to a rock wall you proceed right and are now near the top of Libby Hill. In 400 feet you’ll cross the Old Libby Hill Road and come to an open area and an old cellar hole. This cellar hole has been transformed into a garden and has a bench where you can imagine what the James Libby house looked like in 1815! Note Old Libby Hill Road is not a trail but can be used if you need to quickly exit Libby Hill to the parking lot which is 10 minutes down the hill.

Continue following the white blazes as you wind through a majestic stand of mature pine trees. One quarter mile after the cellar hole you’ll come to the Deer Run trail junction on the left. You have an option here if you want to cut your hike short you can follow the Deer Run Trail (Yellow) which leads to the summit of Libby Hill then connects to the back side of Moose Odessey. If you want to do the full Moose Odessey, continue straight on the white trail. You’ll see the rock wall at the property boundary with views north to New Gloucester. Please respect local neighbors and stay away from the houses. You’ll continue on rolling small hills over the top of Libby Hill until you reach the second intersection with the Deer Run trail (yellow). This too can be used to cut across to the backside of Moose Odessey. The blue Ghost Trail also ends here and is a narrow hiking trail taking you back to the Lynx Trail.

Continuing on the white blazed trail you will see another blue trail intersection on the right, which is Holmquist Hollow. It is the steepest ski trail on the hill and drops down to a nice oak grove then circles back up the hill to connect again at Moose Odessey. This side trip off the white trail will add 0.6 miles to your hike but give you a challenge as you drop and climb 200 feet back up to the Moose Odessey.

After you pass the second intersection with Holmquist Hollow you are at the halfway point (1.6 miles) of the Moose Odessey. The trail loops back near the ATV trail then begins working its way back toward the school. You’ll first hit the intersection with the Deer Run Trail on your left. Remember this can be used as a short cut over to the first leg of Moose Odessey. You’ll then encounter two intersections with the Blue Ghost Trail, continue on the white trail. You’ll cross the Old Libby Hill Road and then you’ll see the Harold Libbey Trail (red) on the right. As you keep going on the white trail you’ll come to the second intersection of the Harold Libbey trail (red) and also a stone circle that contains the memorial to Harold Libbey. This is a great place to take a break and get ready to finish the last leg of your hike.

The white blazes will take you through the stone wall again and lead you downhill where after 1/2 mile you will emerge out at the Middle School Field. You now have a great orientation of where all the trails connect!

Still room for hike over both Libby Hill and Thayer Brook Trails on Saturday, Oct 1st at 9am.

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