Buck Cove Mountain / by Greg Westrich

Buck Cove Mountain is a granite lump carpeted with dark spruce halfway between Schoodic Head and Birch Harbor Mountain. The trail from Schoodic Woods campground to Schoodic Head crosses its semi-open summit. There are no views to speak of—a glimpse of sunlight sparkling on the sea, the rocky summit of Schoodic Head seen between scraggly trees.


All the same, it turns out that climbing Buck Cove Mountain is a worthwhile hike. To get to the trailhead from Winter Harbor, drive 6.2 miles on Schoodic Loop Road around Schoodic Point. About a mile past Blueberry Hill, there's a sign for the turnout across the road from the East Trail trailhead.


East Trail is shortest and easiest of the three that climbs to the summit of Schoodic Head. It winds through an open pine forest across bare granite to the base of Schoodic Head. The trail then switchbacks up the nearly vertical mountainside through a thick spruce forest.


At the junction above the climb, turn right and cross Schoodic Head's summit. Beyond the overlook, the trail descends into a mossy forest. The trail springs beneath your feet. It's like walking on a marshmallow.


The trail crosses an open area where butterflies and blueberries abound.


Back in the woods, the trail climbs gently to the marked summit of Buck Cove Mountain. Up cracked lichen-covered granite and past laurel with faint purple blooms. It feels like there'll be a great view any second. But, no, the trail crosses the summit and descends to one of the bike trails that circle Schoodic Woods campground.


Even without a view, the walk keeps your attention, passing over and through many different forest types. And besides, you got a great view from Schoodic Head. The hike out to Buck Cove Mountain and back is not about looking outward, but seeing what's right there in from of you. It's about the comforting sponginess of the forest floor. It's about moss and blueberries and dry, scratchy granite.