Via: Bickford Brook Trail and Blueberry Ledge Trail 8.6 mile loop
Speckled mountain (2,906 feet) is the tallest peak in the Speckled Mountain Region east of Evan’s Notch, and the Maine section of the White Mountain National Forest. It is one of three mountains with the name in the state and offers excellent views in all directions from its bare summit. It is also the site of a former fire tower. Blueberry mountain is a long, flat, spur that runs southwest from Speckled Mountain. The top was once burned completely and now it is one big open ledge that affords fantastic views. There are numerous viewpoints along the trail that runs the ridge where you can see into Maine and across the notch to the Bladfaces, Carter Range and the Wildcat Mountains. As its name suggests in the right season it is also a great place to find wild blueberries. By combining several trails that are all located behind Brickett Place off ME 113, you can make a moderately strenuous loop hike that combines these mountains.
Brickett Place is located on ME 113, it is a historical building that was once a homestead, originally built in 1830 it is now the oldest building in forest region 9. It has been many things over the years and is now a wilderness education center. There is a parking lot and restroom facilities located here that accommodate both hikers and people visiting the historic site. A day use fee is collected for parking here. The trails are located behind the garage and are signed with a large information board as well as trail markers.
Starting out on Bickford Brook Trail at an easy grade along an old forest service road, that was built to access the former fire tower on the summit of Speckled Mountain. Most of the trail is located in the Caribou-Speckled Wilderness and there is a sign when the boundary is reached. At mile .7 the trail for the Blueberry Ledges split to the right (east), this trail rejoins the Bickford Brook Trail .5 miles from the summit of Speckled Mountain, constructing a loop across the ledges of Blueberry Mountain. Here you can continue up at an easy pace on the Bickford Brook Trail or chose to climb the steep but shorter Blueberry Ledge Trail. We continued up towards Speckled Mountain on the easier Bickford Brook Trail that follows the road for another 2 miles. At mile 3.1 a junction with the Spruce Mountain Trail is reached and at mile 3.8 the junction with the Blueberry Ledge Trail rejoins. From here it is another .5 miles up to reach the summit of Speckled Mountain.
Once you are done enjoying the expansive views from Speckled Mountain, retrace your steps down to the junction with the Blueberry Ledges Trail, follow it through a spruce forest and climb slightly up to gain the first of the ledges. The views from here are spectacular. Continue to follow the trail as it runs the ridge of the mountain, with areas of small forests and viewpoints. This summit was once burned completely but now the mature trees are starting to reclaim the area slowly. For the time being, much of the peak is covered with blueberry plants, so during the right time of year it is a nice spot for a little foraging. At the hight of land there is a junction with the Stone House Pond Trail marked with a cairn and sign. The Blueberry Ledge trail veers right from here and begins to descend. This stretch of trail is rougher and steeper so use caution as you go down. There is a small side loop trail called the Bickford Slides Loop .5 miles that can be added to the hike for views of the slides, cascades and pools. Parts of the loop trail are steep and rough and can be challenging in high water but add some interesting features to the hike. The trail rejoins the Bickford Brook Trail .1 miles after the lower junction with the Bickford Slide Loop Trail. From here the remaining .7 miles back to the parking area is easy as you are back on the forest service road.
This is a great day hike for hikers of most abilities. This region is close to the more popular Presidential Range in New Hampshire but sees a lot less visitors. There are a lot of great trails that network from ME 113 and while most of the mountains are smaller in elevation, many such as these two still have some great views. This makes them wonderful destinations for family hikes, dog hikes and day trips. There are no obstacles on the trail that are challenging for people or dogs and there is abundant water on the lower sections of the trails.