Whoever rated this trail moderate must have been a very strong hiker. Although I admit to stopping regularly to take photos and video, the round trip took me 4.75 hours, less than a mile per hour! Yikes. I’d rate it difficult. I was close to spent by the time I got back to my car!
East Royce Trail is a 3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located off Route 113 south of Gilead, Maine. Royce Mountain has an elevation gain of 1643 feet in 1.5 miles, making it a nearly constant uphill climb. The trail is partially blocked by a large deadfall near the beginning but is beautiful overall, through a hardwood forest of birch, ash, and maple. The wildflowers and bird song are a perfect complement to the sounds of the many small waterfalls this time of year.
The view from the top — the Carter Range behind which sits the still snowcapped Presidentials — is well worth the effort. If you want waterfalls and the snowcap to paint the Presidentials, I recommend this hike be taken in the spring, although I’m sure it’s beautiful anytime from May through October.
Wildflowers along the way:
The view from the top. Snowcapped Mt. Washington and the Presidentials centered between two pines in lower photo.