Parking on the ME Appalachian Trail

Section 5 - Kennebec River to Maine 27 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
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. Cross US 201 and go in on the left .3 mile to the Kennebec River and the official start of section #5. Caratunk is the home of Steve Longley "The Ferryman". He will take you across the Kennebec River on the official AT canoe ferry. Link to www.matc.org/alerts.htm for the latest time schedule to take the ferry. There is a white blaze on the floor of the canoe! Do not attempt to wade or swim across the Kennebec as this is dangerous! 4/17/2006 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
GPS N45.23853 W69.99570 el.526
9/28/11
1
at @ rohland.org
Just N of jct of US 201 & old US 201, on steep incline on E side of rd. We parked our car there twice (four days each time), and everything was fine. 01/13/10 1
pkarnold1 @ att.net
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
3.0
Pierce Pond access
  Poor            Great



 
From the south side of Bingham take ME 16 across the bridge over the Kennebec River. Then make a right turn along the west side of the river. You will soon be going along the west bank of Wyman Lake for a couple of miles before turning west. Then you branch right at an intersection 4.5 miles from Bingham on Carry Pond Road. This road soon turns to gravel, and at 12.1 miles the town road ends and continues as a private logging road. The road forks at 15.4 miles. The right fork heads north uphill towards Pierce Pond and crosses the AT at 19.4 miles from Bingham, immediately after crossing Pierce Pond Stream. This road access is excellent for a quick approach to Harrisons Pierce Pond Camp. If you have two cars you can do the short hike I highly recommend from Caratunk, US 201 one way, stay at the camp and come out here so you dont have to retrace your steps back to US 201 the second day. 4/17/2006 I did not check out or use this road access point beyond the fork at 15.4 miles, but got the information on it from the ME AT Map #5.
askus3 @ ptonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
7.9
Main logging road
  Poor            Great



 
From the south side of Bingham take ME 16 across the bridge over the Kennebec River. Then make a right turn along the west side of the river. You will soon be going along the west bank of Wyman Lake for a couple of miles before turning west. Then you branch right at an intersection 4.5 miles from Bingham on Carry Pond Road. This road soon turns to gravel, and at 12.1 miles the town road ends and continues as a private logging road. The road forks at 15.4 miles. The left fork (west) continues on the private logging road, crossing the AT 18.2 miles from Bingham. Northbound: This is a good breaking point for a pleasant dayhike along this stretch of the AT. From US 201 to the Main Logging Road and including a couple of spur turnoffs to waterfalls and the first 0.3 mile from US 201 to the start of section 5 at the Kennebec Canoe crossing this hike involved an aggregate 8.8 miles and a modest 1700 feet of elevation gain.

Southbound: From here to East Flagstaff Road, involves an 11.7 mile hike, but only 1520 feet of elevation gain. Highlights of this hike are the East & West Carry Ponds, the bog bridges thru the Arnold Swamp, and the views of Little Bigelow overlooking Flagstaff Lake from its southeast shore.

Bingham is not mentioned as a trail town, because it is a distance from the AT where the trail goes directly through Caratunk. However, if slackpacking the AT through this region you will find you will save considerable driving and can use Bingham as a base for all hiking from Moxie Pond Road (Section 4 - MM 24.8) thru East Flagstaff Road (Section 5 - MM 19.6). The three shuttles take you thru Bingham. I also want to put a pitch in at this point for Pine Grove Lodge which is where we made our base for this area of the AT. It is located four miles north of Bingham and 1/2 mile up the road on your left after you depart from the shore of Wyman Lake en route to the 7.9 Main Logging Road access point. The owners of the lodge offer breakfast & dinner buffet style as well as shuttle service. They have rooms in the main lodge as well as private cabins with full bathrooms. Website: www.pinegrovelodge.com. 4/18/2006
4

From Bingham to this road access point it took me approximately 40 minutes. Keep an eye open for this trail access point when driving as it is easy to drive right by it (like we did). Limited parking here. Park well off the road.

You may want to go 100 yards or so west of the AT to a road on the right. You can park on the corner of that road, without blocking it. Remember when parking that logging trucks do make wide turns.

askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
17.2
Long Falls Dam Road
  Poor            Great



 
Go north on Long Falls Dam Road (all paved) 19.8 miles from North New Portland. Being that a long no-road access stretch begins at East Flagstaff Road just 2.4 miles further along southbound and parking availability is limited (parking along narrow gravel shoulder) at this access point. I dont recommend using this location for accessing the AT. 4/18/2006 When thru-hikers come to this point northbound, painted straddling the double solid yellow lines in the middle of the road is "2,000 miles". It is close to that distance to this point from Springer Mountain, Georgia. Of course the trail has minor reroutes all the time that changes the mileage some, but it is close to that mileage at this location. It certainly is a major milestone to be witnessed by the northbounder.
askus3 @ optonline.net
The Google map represents the approximate area of where Long Falls Dam Road crosses the AT. 2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
19.6
East Flagstaff Road
  Poor            Great




From Bingham: Take US 201 South to Solon, 8 miles. Make right turn on US 201A and cross Kennebec River. Go 1.5 miles. Make right turn on Across Town Road. Follow this 4 miles. Make right turn onto Wentworth Road. Follow to its end (2.5 miles) and make another right on ME 16. Take this to New North Portland. Here bear right at a gas station/convenience store onto Long Falls Dam Road. At 17.4 miles north of North New Portland leave the paved Long Falls Dam Road turning northwest on the gravel Bog brook Road. At 0.7 mile Bog Brook Road comes to a fork. Left fork is East Flagstaff Road which intersects the AT in 0.1 mile. Allow 50 minutes for this 38 mile trip.

For car shuttle to 7.9 Main Logging Road: Retrace your route .8 mile back to Long Falls Dam Road. Make left turn. Go north on Long Falls Dam Road about 6 miles. Turn right on the road that has the sign to Pierce Pond and go 2.5 miles to the end of that road. Turn right and go 1.3 miles to fork. Bear right at the fork and go 3.4 miles to the trailhead. The trail is difficult to see, so watch your mileage. This car shuttle is 14 miles and allow 40 minutes. Mostly gravel roads (except the 6 miles on Long Falls Dam Road). When on logging roads make sure you remember that logging trucks have the Right of Way!
Southbound: Continue on AT to the summit of Bigelow-Avery Peak passing Safford Brook Trail. Then retrace your steps on the AT back to Safford Brook Trail and take this trail out to East Flagstaff Road. This hike is 12.7 miles with 4,240 feet. By doing the hike this way, you can break this stretch of the AT into two dayhikes without backpacking, as the next day you can do a loop from the south (see MM 35.5). 10

Park in gravel pit on the right side of the road.

askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
26.0
Safford Brook Trailhead
  Poor            Great



 
The same directions as 19.6 East Flagstaff Road, but you continue beyond 4.5 miles along East Flagstaff Road to this trailhead parking area. This hike offers a short car shuttle but is the first of 5 very strenuous hikes southbound, going over 10 - Maine 4,000 footers plus a good number of other peaks. Each of these five hikes is 12+ miles and has over 4,200 feet of elevation gain. Looking over my notes in the next few road access locations, you will see how you can do these hikes without backpacking. But a zero day somewhere between these hikes especially due to weather might be highly recommended. Also note that other than the Bigelow hikes, the car shuttles in section 6 are incredibly lengthy. 10
askus3 @ optonline.net
2/15/08 1
at @ rohland.org
35.5
Stratton Brook Pond Road
  Poor            Great



 
For the last two road access points in section 5 and all the way to MM 32.2 in section #6, I used Kingfield, ME as my base. So directions are from this town which has a campground (Deer Farm CG) with cabins and several lodging establishments including the grand Herbert Hotel right in town.

From Kingfield: Follow ME 27 North 18 miles to the crossing of the AT. Continue another .6 mile slowly looking for a sharp acute right turn on to a rough gravel road not clearly marked and easy to miss (we missed it). Follow this road (Stratton Brook Pond Road) for 1.4 miles to the AT crossing. Allow 1/2 hour for this car trip.

From Stratton, ME: Stratton Brook Pond Road leaves ME 27 on the left, 4.6 miles from town.
It would be so much simpler to park out on ME 27, so you might ask why go in on this dirt road? Because if you park at the AT crossing of Stratton Brook Pond Road you can do a 13.9 mile circular hike without car shuttling, including a 7.6 mile stretch of the AT continuing where you left off at the summit of Bigelow-Avery Peak on the previous dayhike. This hike which includes 4570 feet of elevation gain starts out by walking along Stratton Brook Pond Road for another .7 mile to the Firewardens Trailhead. Then we follow this all the way up to Bigelow Col and the intersection of the AT. Next you go up and back on the AT to the summit of Bigelow-Avery Peak to finish the link from the previous Bigelow Hike. Then you follow the AT all the way around and back to your car. So now you have traversed the entire Bigelow Range along the AT. Save this hike for a nice day as it is one of the all-time favorite New England hikes to do. However, even though we split this Bigelow 15.9 mile stretch of the AT into two strenuous dayhikes, we did make it so that you dont have a monster car shuttle as one hike is a circular and the other requires only a 4.5 mile car shuttle along East Flagstaff Road. Three spurs of note I strongly recommend you consider, if you have the time and energy. 1) Take the spur trail over to North Horn, worth the view and the different perspective. 2) Make sure you go down to the Horns Pond lakeshore for possible moose observing. 3) Take the short spur to the south of Horns Pond for a beautiful view back east of the pond. 4/20/2006 4

You can also park another 6 vehicles at the Firewarden Trailhead at the end of Stratton Brook Pond Road. But I prefer to get the road walking done while I am fresh at the beginning of the hike. You also can do a 0.7 mile shuttle but walking along the dirt road is short and quick and not worth the hassle in shuttling.
1
askus3 @ optonline.net
N45.11180 W70.34937 el.1,266

GPS for alternate parking at end of Stratton Brook Pond Road is: N45.10995 W70.33739


9/25/2011
3 1
at @ rohland.org
36.3
ME 27 - Stratton
  Poor            Great




From Kingfield: Follow ME 27 North 18 miles to the crossing of the AT. It is an easy 0.8 miles in either direction from Stratton Brook Pond Road. So I added it to the next strenuous and lengthy hike. This eliminates any car shuttle on the Bigelow Circular Hike. Thus if you are slackpacking or dayhiking the AT with car shuttles, I would not use this road access point even though it is so accessible. However, if you are doing a dayhike 15.2 miles southbound, up and back to the Crockers and Redington (bagging three 4,000 footers) and you dont want to deal with Caribou Valley Road (understandable) then this access point makes good sense. 4/20/2006 20

Parking is on the left side of the road when going northbound on ME 27 from Kingfield. This is a large turnout on an old Route 27 spur.

askus3 @ optonline.net
GPS N45.10355 W70.35682 el. 1,423
9/25/2011
1
at @ rohland.org
Hwy 27 trailhead for AT on old rd on W side of Hwy 27. We parked our car there for four days and everything was fine. 01/13/10 1
pkarnold1 @ att.net

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