Black Bear Mountain is a gem in the Inlet area! One of the nice features of the Black Bear Mountain trail is that you can loop over the top and connect to another trail making for an interesting day in the woods. The loop will add on time and distance to the trip, but you will get to see different lays of land and spend some time on a lightly used and soft trail. You also have the option to descend via your route in, once you have reached the summit.
How to get there
Drive 0.75 mile south of Inlet on Route 28. The trailhead is on the right. This parking area is the same for both Black Bear Mountain and Rocky Mountain. The trail is intermediate and about 2.5 miles in length. Black Bear Mountain from Route 28 is the most popular approach, but a secondary approach can be found departing from Uncas Road.
By the numbers
- Distance: 1.9 miles to the summit via the shorter trail and 3.1 via the longer trail.
- Elevation gain: 700 feet via the shorter trail
- Mountain elevation: 2,442 feet
From the trailhead, you will start off walking along an old rocky woods road and quickly come to a split in the trail. Take the right at this time; you will return left at the end of the loop. From here, the old road continues for a bit before it turns into more of a foot trail and goes through a wet area over a long attractive boardwalk. At this point, the trail will start to ascend, at times quite steeply. The final approach to the summit is a bit more interesting, as rocky footing starts to be introduced as well as your first views. The summit of Black Bear has several viewing areas to spread out amongst the crowds of people who often frequent this peak.
The loop continues over the top of the mountain; it can be hard to locate off the summit, but look closely for markers on the trees and you will find the way. The trail will drop off the summit on a very narrow trail. The trail is easy to follow but in many cases ends up being steep and slippery. The descent is through a different forest type than you were in on the way up. You will be down off the mountain quite quickly and come to the Uncas Road Trail on your right. Don't follow here but head much more left along a grassy trail that shadows the base of Black Bear Mountain. Through this area the forest opens up into mostly hardwoods with wildflowers blooming all around. The lower portion of this loop is quite flat, and for being as flat as it is, there are not too many wet areas to navigate through. It will be 3-miles back to the trail you started in on, but those 3-miles moves by quickly. Once back at the trail intersection you pass on the way in, you will have about 0.75 miles remaining to your vehicle on Route 28.
The trail from Uncas Road leads 2.2 miles to the summit, one way, but is less steep.
Black Bear Mountain in winter
The parking off Route 28 is plowed and accessible in winter.
Black Bear is an excellent destination for snowshoeing and does get some winter attention. It may be too much of a snowshoe for young children under winter conditions. The back portion of the loop gets very little use in winter. It may require the user to break trail under difficult and/or icy conditions.
The mountain trail is not recommended for cross-country skiing.