Parking on the ME Appalachian Trail

Section 4 - Monson to Kennebec River Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Maine Appalachian Trail Club http://www.matc.org/ info @ matc.org Katahdin to Grafton Notch


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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Weather  
Source
0.0
ME 15
  Poor            Great




Take ME 15, a paved state highway north from Monson, an AT trail town with hiker services 3.5 miles to the AT crossing. Crossing is marked clearly with AT signs. Parking lot is on the right side of the road going northbound. Northbound: Officially this is the start of the Hundred Mile Wilderness. For almost 100 miles the AT follows a course that does not cross a paved road (thus the name Hundred Mile Wilderness). Although there are lumber road access points at varied intervals during this stretch (see sections 1, 2 & 3).

Southbound: There are a couple of short stretches with access back to Monson, before another major no access stretch as you go into section 4. 4/12/06
20
askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
3.3
Bray Road
  Poor            Great



 
From Monson go west on Pleasant Street which becomes Bray Road. One mile from Monson & ME 15, you come to the AT hikers parking area on the left. Lake Hebron is on the right. From the parking area, you follow the blue blazed spur .3 mile to the AT. This is convenient and the closest AT road access to Monson. All paved road. Historically at one time the AT went along Pleasant Street right into Monson. 4/12/06 6
askus3 @ optonline.net
1/28/08 1
at @ rohland.org
6.3
Shirley-Blanchard Road (Trail Crossing)
  Poor            Great



 
From the south side of Monson, take Blanchard Road west approximately 4.4 miles to the stop sign at the four-way crossroad intersection with Blanchard-Shirley Road. Make a right turn and go 1.3 miles north on Blanchard-Shirley Road to AT crossing. Limited roadside parking is available. In addition to this, .1 mile before the AT crossing is a small hikers parking area on the left side of the road. (See below). Northbound: Using Monson as a base this access point is actually a good starting point for the distance from here to the beaver pond at 23.2 MM in the middle of section 3. This makes the first leg of the Hundred Mile Wilderness a dayhike in the Monson area. Then the distance from here to KI Road at the north end of section 3 can be split more equally in 3 days (using Cloud Pond Lean-to) to distances of 13.4, 12.0, 12.2. I think this makes a much better split of the first 6 miles of section 4 and all of section 3. With this in mind and using shuttle service in Monson, you can make a nice 2 night stay (3 nights if you want to take a zero day) in Monson and slackpack the day from Shirley-Blanchard Road to the beaver pond road access near Little Wilson Falls.

Southbound: Start of a long but manageable dayhike to Moxie Pond Road. This hike is 18.7 miles with an elevation gain of 3,090 feet. I did this day hike on Sept. 27, 2004. Date submitted: 4/12/06
6

Allow 12 minutes for the 7 mile all paved drive to this road access from Monson. Nice view of Lake Hebron at Whiting Cove from the south side along Blanchard Road en route.
1
askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
The directions above are excellent. Probably one clarification is needed. Blanchard Road is the road that goes straight ahead when southbound ME 6/15 bears left about 0.4 miles south of downtown Monson. Parking right at the trail crossing is quite limited. There is a wide shoulder on the east side of the road good for 2-3 cars at most. At the crossing, the northbound trail goes east while the southbound trail goes west. 08/23/11 2-3 roadside 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
While Google will give directions to this point approaching from the north (Greenville) be aware that the northern approach on Blanchard Rd. is nearly impassable due to the poor condition of the dirt road. Hikers should approach from the south on the paved portion of the road. 08/04/14 1
maccarone30 @ comcasst.net
6.3
Shirley-Blanchard Road (Parking Area)
  Poor            Great




See directions to the trail crossing of Shirley-Blanchard Road (above). There is a small dirt parking area on the left (west) side of the road 1.2 miles from the crossroads in Blancahard. This is 0.1 miles before the trail crossing. The lot can be difficult to see from the road. There are no signs or landmarks in the direction described. If coming the other way (i.e. from the trail crossing), there is a caution sign warning trucks to use a lower gear just before the entrance. 08/23/11 3-4
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
While Google will give directions to this point approaching from the north (Greenville) be aware that the northern approach on Blanchard Rd. is nearly impassable due to the poor condition of the dirt road. Hikers should approach from the south on the paved portion of the road. 08/04/14 1
maccarone30 @ comcaast.net
12.4
Old Marble Brook Access (Jeep Road)
  Poor            Great



 
From Monson take Blanchard Road 4.4 miles to stop sign at fourway intersection (junction with Blanchard-Shirley Road). Continue straight, crossing the Piscataquis River and turn right on the next road. Go 5.3 miles to a fork in the road. Bear right at the fork and go 2 to 3 miles (as far as you can get). From here turn right and walk .7 miles (maybe more) to the AT crossing. A high clearance vehicle is highly recommended. I borrowed these directions from Greg Beckert who slackpacked this area in summer 2002. I originally wanted to break the section from Bray Road to Moxie Pond Road using this access ppoint into 2 hikes of distances of 9.1 & 12.4 miles. However, I was discouraged from doing so by Keith Shaw Jr. So we did not use this access point. Instead we pushed from Shirley-Blanchard Road all the way 18.7 miles to Moxie Pond Road.

I also got an e-mail from lobstergirl stating I tried doing this in 7/02 and could not cross a huge (60+ feet) wash out with my AWD Subaru Forester. 2002 was a dry year, so I am assuming this washout would be an issue in any given year. So I would not recommend using this road access without first checking it out. Maybe someone else can post an update on driving conditions to this point. When walking by Horseshoe Canyon Lean-to I heard heavy machinery noise (lumbering?) across the river from the direction of this road access. 4/12/06
1
gbeckert @ fuse.net
Apparently this is no longer a viable access. What people in the area now call Marble Brook is the crossing at Mile 13.9 (see below). I do not believe the right turn mentioned above at mile 5.3 is the same right turn at mile 5.4 given below. 01/05/13 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
13.9
Blanchard-Perkins Road (New Marble Brook Access)
  Poor            Great



 
From Monson take Blanchard Road 4.4 miles to stop sign at fourway intersection (junction with Blanchard-Shirley Road). Continue straight, crossing the Piscataquis River and turn right on the next road. Go 5.3 miles to a fork in the road. Bear right at the fork and go 2 to 3 miles (as far as you can get). From here turn right and walk .7 miles (maybe more) to the AT crossing. A high clearance vehicle is highly recommended. I borrowed these directions from Greg Beckert who slackpacked this area in summer 2002. I originally wanted to break the section from Bray Road to Moxie Pond Road using this access ppoint into 2 hikes of distances of 9.1 & 12.4 miles. However, I was discouraged from doing so by Keith Shaw Jr. So we did not use this access point. Instead we pushed from Shirley-Blanchard Road all the way 18.7 miles to Moxie Pond Road.

I also got an e-mail from lobstergirl stating I tried doing this in 7/02 and could not cross a huge (60+ feet) wash out with my AWD Subaru Forester. 2002 was a dry year, so I am assuming this washout would be an issue in any given year. So I would not recommend using this road access without first checking it out. Maybe someone else can post an update on driving conditions to this point. When walking by Horseshoe Canyon Lean-to I heard heavy machinery noise (lumbering?) across the river from the direction of this road access. 4/12/06

gbeckert @ fuse.net
From Monson take Blanchard Road 4.4 miles to stop sign at fourway intersection (junction with Blanchard-Shirley Road). Continue straight, crossing the Piscataquis River and turn right on the next gravel road (sign for Taylor Road). At 5.4 miles from the Piscataquis River bear right. At 6.6 miles bear right again (marked "ccRd to Shirley). At 7.3 miles the AT is reached just before crossing a bridge. There is a large clearing in sight beyond the bridge with ample parking. There is active logging along this road in 2006, new drainage has been installed, and the entire length has been graded although there are lots of loose stones. My Honda CRV had no trouble clearing a couple rutted spots which might be passable with a car using extreme care. Solo hiked north to Blanchard Road 9/2/2006 in 3 hours and south to Moxie Pond 10/8/2006 in 5 hours. 10/14/06 Ample parking in a large clearing just beyond the AT
mosher86 @ ptd.net
Google maps does not show the gravel road north from this point to the AT. Also, what is represented as the Appalachian Trail on Google maps seems incorrect to me. The AT travels north of the road. 2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
I got a shuttle to the Marble Brook Jeep Road per the directions on your site. However, I believe that the trail access is around 1.5 miles south of the 12.4 mile marker and not too near Marble Brook. I asked someone at Shaws who confirmed that this was correct. I was actually way upstream on Bald Mountain Stream as opposed to only being .2 miles south of the Piscataquis River ford. The AT map does not show the road to Bald Mountain Stream where I was dropped off. I would hazard to guess that the trail access is actually at mile 13.9 - Cross gravel road. However, I would defer to someone living in that area to concur with that statement. 08/03/11 1
akores @ nc.rr.com
In August 2010, I drove this route and came up with identical directions as Mosher86. No 4WD was needed in August 2010. 03/05/12 1
Trailbum @ webtv.net
It is now quite clear that this is what people in the area call the Marble Brook Access. The green arrow on the attached map shows the trail crossing. 01/05/13 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
21.9
Road near Bald Mt. Brook Shelter
  Poor            Great



 
Moxie Pond Road in good condition in 2011.
There IS easy vehicle access to Bald Mtn Brook Lean to. This also makes for a shorter dayhike to the summit of Moxie Bald Mtn, as it puts you on the trail several minutes North of Bald Mtn Brook Lean to. Directions are as follows.
From the AT crossing on Moxie Pond Road, continue South on Moxie Pond Road for 1.7 miles, turning left at a fairly large intersection.
Reset odometer here and continue, bearing left at 0.8 miles and bearing right at 1.7 miles. The Maine Atlas pg 30 identifies this as the AT Road. At 4.0 miles, the AT will cross this road, just several minutes North of the Bald Mtn Brook Lean to. The trail crossing is NOT marked on the road, so you really have to be looking for it.
There are several places to park off the road near the trail crossing. 4WD was NOT necessary in 2011, but good ground clearance is. There was a road grader reworking the surface of the road when we visited in late May 2011. 03/05/12 01/05/13
1
trailbum @ webtv.net
The green arrow on the attached map indicates what is probably the trail crossing. The version of the AT Guide to Maine that I have shows the road but does not mention it in the narrative. Thus the milemarker and the coordinates for the crossing are approximate.
01/05/13
1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
24.8
Moxie Pond Road
  Poor            Great



 
From Bingham: Go north on US 201 about 23 miles to a community called "The Forks". Turn right (east) on the road (Lake Moxie Road) just before the bridge and go 5.3 miles to the village of Lake Moxie. Turn right on Moxie Pond Road and go 7.7 miles to the AT crossing.

Or if you just want the most direct route from Bingham to Moxie Pond Road and then you want to set up the car shuttle to do the AT from Caratunk to Moxie Pond Road northbound, the directions are: From Bingham, follow ME 16 northeast from US 201. At 0.8 mile, turn north on the Scott Paper Company gravel road at the junction with Cassidy Road. Follow this gravel road (old Maine Central RR bed) to the AT crossing at a point 15.9 miles from Bingham.

From Monson: Take ME 15 South to Abbott Village (8 miles). Make a right turn on ME 16 West. Follow to Town Line Road (gravel road), right turn, approx. 19-20 miles from Abbott Village (small sign for entering Moscow Township-look for township sign boundary). Four miles on Town Line Road hit a "T" intersection, make a right turn and follow approximately 8 miles to AT crossing.
The first set of directions from Bingham passes Caratunk thus the directions from Bingham is the route of the car shuttle from Caratunk to Moxie Pond Road. The total distance of the car shuttle is 20 miles & 40 minutes and allow 30 minutes to get from Bingham to Caratunk. The 7.7 miles along Moxie Pond Road along the west side of the lake is gravel. The second set of directions is if you need the direct route to Moxie Pond Road and then want to set up the car shuttle in reverse and hike from Caratunk to Moxie Pond Road. For this alternative allow 30 minutes from Bingham to the AT crossing of Moxie Pond Road.

The directions from Monson is good for the car shuttle from Shirley-Blanchard Road to Moxie Pond Road (but add the directions to Shirley-Blanchard Road as posted in directions to MM 6.3). So that is an 18.7 mile hike and the car shuttle is 45 miles (including 12 miles traveling on gravel roadway). Time allowance: 70 minutes.

Note that if slackpacking from road access to road access between Monson & Caratunk (two dayhikes), these two car shuttle routes for the hikes would be very necessary to follow.

Northbound: The 18.7 mile hike from Shirley-Blanchard Road to here took 11 hours to complete with 1/2 hour stops at Bald Mountain Pond & the summit of Moxie Bald and 15 minute stops each for the two fords of the Piscataquis River, the ford of Bald Mountain Stream & stops at Horseshoe Canyon & Bald Mountain Brook Lean-to. The total elevation gain for this dayhike was 3,090 feet.

Southbound: The 12.2 mile hike I took to US 201 took 7 hours to complete and had an elevation gain of 2,390 feet. Highlights on this hike are Pleasant Pond Mountain, Pleasant Pond & Holly Brook. 4/12/06
4

Parking on Moxie Pond Road is limited and do not block driveways. Moxie Pond Road along the west shore of Moxie Pond is a scenic drive in its own right. Also worth seeing is the highest waterfalls (Moxie Falls) in Maine via a 1/2 mile trail from a parking access (well signed on left going eatbound) on Lake Moxie Road (car shuttle from Bingham via The Forks & Caratunk). When driving at dawn or dusk in this area watch out for moose. Hitting one could be very dangerous.

askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
This is about the condition of Moxie Pond Road. In August 2009 we took our car to the village of Lake Moxie as the directions stated. We turned onto Moxie Pond Road and it soon turned into a series of deep craters that seemed only an SUV or pickup could traverse. We turned around and later that day came up on the logging road the south (from Bingham) without too much difficulty. I''m not sure if the conditions were abnormal because of the excessive rain last year. 03/10/10
akores @ nc.rr.com
31.3
Pleasant Pond (Boise Cascade gravel road)
  Poor            Great




From Bingham go north on US 201 - 16 miles. At Caratunk (opposite the Post Office), follow Pleasant Pond Road 3.2 miles to the Pond and stay left at the fork. The paved road soon turns into a gravel logging road. At the fork at 4.6 miles continue straight ahead to a hiker parking area and the AT near the north end of Pleasant Pond. For anyone traversing the AT, I could not see any reason for anyone accessing the AT here, but it is a good access point for a picnic at Pleasant Pond or for a short scramble up the west side of Pleasant Pond Mountain which offers great views. 4/13/06 I did not check out or use this road access point but got the information on it from the ME AT Map #4.
askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
1
For easy access to Pleasant Pond Lean-to, Pleasant Pond, and to dayhike Pleasant Pond Mtn, follow previous directions to Pleasant Pond, but take a right at 4.5 miles onto North Cove Road. Follow North Cove Rd 0.3 miles to the end, make a left at the T. Go downhill for 0.3 miles to a small parking area on the left. Room for perhaps 3 vehicle here. Two trails leave from this parking area. Trail to the left goes directly to Pleasant Pond Lean-to, trail to the right goes to the AT, which will take you to the summit of Pleasant Pond Mtn. Another trail across the gravel road from the small parking area will take you to the shore of Pleasant Pond. 03/05/12 1
Trailbum @ webtv.net
36.7
US 201 - Caratunk
  Poor            Great




Follow US 201 north from Bingham for 16 miles. Hiker parking is located up a steep incline on the right side (eastside) of the road, just north of the junction of US Route 201 & old 201 at the north end of the village of Caratunk. Caratunk is the home of Steve "the ferryman" Longley. He runs a small hiking supply store and hostel here. His legendary canoe ferry service is required for the AT crossing of the Kennebec River just .3 mile south of here. Link to www.matc.org/alerts.htm for the latest time schedule to take the ferry. This is a required white blaze on the AT as there is blaze on the floor of the canoe! Do not attempt to wade or swim across the Kennebec as this is dangerous!

Southbound: A fantastic hike is to cross 201 from here and go 4.5 miles along the AT to Harrisons Pierce Pond Camp, (a fullservice cabin lodge withe meals served). You get the experience of staying at a Maine lodge in the middle of nowhere on a scenic lake with canoe rentals. You also get to use the famous Kennebec Canoe Ferry and en route you see some exhilarating waterfalls on the southside (left) on short blue spurs when you are going. Pierce Pond has a spectacular location deep in the Maine woods. The next day your return retraces your steps. Almost guaranteed to see moose and loons. This is a great outing for young families (age 6 and up).

20

Major AT access point for Kennebec Canoe ferry & being a major US highway, well used. Lock your car and avoid placing valuables within. Route 201 is known as "moose alley". Look out for moose when driving from dusk to dawn. They could be dangerous to your car.

askus3 @ optonline.net
The road into this parking is steep.
GPS N45.23853 W69.99570 el.526
9/28/11
1
at @ rohland.org
Forks Area Scenic Trail - alternate parking off of Rt 201 1.3 miles north from official parking area.

GPS N45.25317 W69.989872 el.532

9/28/2011
25 1
at @ rohland.org

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