Hosac Mountain Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

2.6
FIETS
1.5 mi
DISTANCE
812 ft
GAINED
10.7 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Dan Razum, San Jose, CA

INTRO

This 1.5 mile bike climb is located in ME, USA. The average gradient is 10.7% and there is a total elevation gain of 812 ft, finishing at 1,312 ft.

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ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Strenuous
4
Road
5
Traffic
4
Scenery

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Northeast Fall Colors
United States (MA,ME,NH,NY,VT)
24 ROUTES
37 POIs
ROUTE STATS (TOTAL)
98
mi
DISTANCE
35,116
ft
ELEV. GAIN

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Sep 13, 2021
difficulty: Strenuous
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 4
Sep 13, 2021
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 4
This climb is short but extremely steep at times…the hardest section is after the descent after the first mile and it feels like 20% for a good stretch, in fact for like 15-20 feet I think it’s over 25%! Zero traffic on this one, it says it’s a quarry blasting zone but was completely empty on a Saturday…In fact I only encountered one single person hiking the whole time…Descent is a little treacherous coming down the steep section near the top. The Views at the top are great; Tough little climb! NOTE: next time I will park on quarry road before the route begins, as it looked like there was a place for cars to park off the road to the right side…
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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Hosac Mountain, Maine

Ride 1.8 miles gaining 878’ at 9% average grade (10.6% climb only).

This is the steepest bike climb in Maine.

Climb start.

Climb summary by PJAMM Ambassador Dan Razum.

Hosac Mountain is a fairly short climb that goes around a rock quarry and then to the top of Hosac Mountain, behind the quarry. But just because it is short doesn't mean that it is easy.  In our opinion it is the  hardest climb in the state of Maine, regardless of what the numbers might say.  This is because of several steep sections, especially near the top.  However, there are great scenic views at the top so the climb is well worth it.

The climb starts off fairly mellow for the first half mile or so, until we come up to the gate to the quarry.  There are two gates across the road, along with a sign saying No Trespassing and Blasting Area. Our opinion is that the No Trespassing sign refers to entering the quarry, as the road goes right next to the quarry.  Since the road continues on to Hosac Mountain, it doesn't appear to be a private road. The gates were open when we did the climb; however, if the gates are closed then it might be wise to pay attention to the second part of the sign, the part about Blasting Area.  We would not recommend

going through if the gates are closed because there could be blasting going on. The sign also tells the whistle signals used during blasting, and you should pay attention to this for safety, in case you hear any whistle signals while you are riding, you will know what they mean.

Gate was open on our trip up the road.

After passing the gates there is a ramp up to the quarry. It's pretty steep and a preview of things to come. At the top of the ramp the quarry is to the left.  Keep to the right and the road will go around the main entrance and continue climbing along the eastern side of the quarry.  As you climb up and around there are great views of the quarry, which is quite interesting if you don't happen to live in the area.  As you ride along there are several numbers on the left hand side of the road, perhaps these are future quarry sites? We will know if we go back in a few years and see bare rock where there

used to be lots of trees.

After going around the quarry, you might think the hard part is finished, but not so.  There are four more ramps to come, each worse than the last.  The first two are fairly short, the third one a bit longer and the fourth ramp is the steepest and longest.  After the last ramp the gradient flattens out to 8% or so for the final couple hundred yards, and this 8% gradient feels like downhill, after the previous ramps.

Start of the fourth ramp.

We were curious about how steep the last ramp actually is, so we lay our water bottle on the road and placed our phone next to it and took a picture. Because the phone was laying next to the water bottle, the picture looks like the side of the water bottle is flat but of course it is the top of the water that is actually level, not the side of the bottle.  Later, we attempted to analyze the picture by adding lines  ith a computer and measuring the lengths of the lines (in pixels, as per our computer screen) to calculate the rise and the run and finally, the gradient.  We came up with a whopping 38.5% gradient! Now granted, this is not a super accurate method, we added the lines manually by looking, they may not be perfect, and the water bottle only covers a short distance, just a few inches.  Still, we think that number is in the ballpark, and we guesstimate that the final ramp is at least 35% for a hundred yards or so. Indeed, the effort felt similar to the super steep hills we've done in San Francisco, CA or Pittsburgh, PA.

Our impromptu science experiment.

After finally arriving at the top of Hosac Mountain we are rewarded with beautiful scenic views in  all directions. There is a large paved area and even some picnic benches to sit and catch your breath. With the scenic views at the top, the views up close of the quarry and the crazy steep pitches, Hosac Mountain is definitely worth riding, in our opinion.

Top of Climb.

Road condition:  The road is fairly narrow with no markings or shoulder but the pavement is in good  condition.  We did not encounter any traffic on the road, but there are probably trucks sometimes, hauling rock from the quarry.

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