Parking on the ME Appalachian Trail

Section 6 - Maine 27 to Maine 17 Displayed from North to South

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  Maine Appalachian Trail Club info @ Katahdin to Grafton Notch

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Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
ME 27 - Stratton
  Poor            Great

From Kingfield: Follow ME 27 North 18 miles to the crossing of the AT.

From Stratton: Follow ME 27 South 5.2 miles to the crossing of the AT.
It is an easy 0.8 mile from Stratton Brook Pond Road. So I added it to the this section and this hike from Stratton Brook Road to Caribou Valley Road. It is a strenuous, lengthy and grueling hike. When I did this hike I also added a bushwack from South Crocker over to Reddington and back to bag this 4,000 footer. The sum ascents for this hike was 4800 feet and the mileage was 12.0 miles. 4/24/06 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 @
Rotate the street view on the attached map to the southwest to see the southbound trail to Section 6 and the entrance to the parking area. Rotate to the northeast to see the northbound trail to Section 5. GPS N45.10355 W70.35682 el. 1,423

at @
Caribou Valley Road
  Poor            Great

Travel 16 miles north from Kingfield on ME 27. Make a left turn on Caribou Valley Road. This is an unmarked gravel logging road leaving th eosuth side of ME 27 about one mile north of the Sugarloaf USA ski area access road. Although an important access for day hikers, the condition of the road varies considerably so it may not be possible to drive the entire 4.3 miles to the AT crossing. Allow 20 minutes for the drive from Kingfield to the junction with Caribou Valley Road and another 20 minutes for the 4.3 miles (if you can go that far) along this gravel road. The next dayhike southbound to Perham Stream logging road including hiking the spurs to Sugarloaf, Spaulding & Abraham make this hike another in a string of grueling hikes. The elevation gain for this hike southbound is 4,350 feet and the distance is 13.3 miles. But the worst factor is the car shuttle which is prohibitive. To make it feasible we did the hikes out of order by doing this hike before the Crocker hike that way we left the cars at the beginning of this hike, and they were there the next evening when we wound up at Caribou Valley Raod after going over the Crockers. 4/25/06 4

There are pullover parking spots near the AT crossing. If the road is not navigable all the way and you must stop short of the AT, make sure you park well off the main track of the road.

askus3 @
The green arrow on the attached map indicates the trail crossing of Caribou Valley Road. This point is currently not accessible by vehicle. 8/21/12 1
at @
Caribou Valley Road is currently blocked 3.8 miles from ME 27. There is room to park at this point. One must walk the final 0.5 miles to the trail crossing. The green arrow on the attached map indicates the point where the road is now blocked to further vehicle access. 08/24/12 8-10 1
dlcul @
Sugarloaf Mountain
  Poor            Great

This is not your normal road access point. Drive 15 miles north from Kingfield on ME 27. Make a left turn on the Sugarloaf Ski area access road. Go to the ski area and condominiums. Take the chairlift up the mountain to the Sugarloaf summit station. Then hike down the Sugarloaf spur trail 0.6 miles to intersect the AT. Obviously this access is only available when the chairlift is operating. This is all winter and during weekends mid-day spring-fall. This is a good place for non-hikers to meet hikers and enjoy an incredible view of the region. To make sure the chairlift is running (especially in the spring/summer/fall) call: 1-800-843-5623. 4/25/06 300

Major parking lot for skiers.

askus3 @
2/15/08 1
at @
Mt. Abraham Trail
  Poor            Great


Perham Stream logging road
  Poor            Great

1) From intersection of ME 16/27/142 in Kingfield take ME 142 southwest 12.7 miles.
2) Look for East Madrid Road (signed & paved) on right. Sign there is for (Hot Mix Plant).
3) 1.0 miles from there pavement ends & 1.9 miles pavement resumes.
4) 2.1 4-way intersection (crossroad) continue straight. Junction with Bray Hill Road.
5) 3.0 pavement ends again.
6) 4.5 cross bridge near houses. Just beyond, road becomes a little rough going up hill to left.
7) 5.3 cross roads with fences on far side of intersection. (plenty of posted signs at intersection) - make right. Rough narrow road from here.
8) 5.7 rotted bridge and I was not sure I could trust it but asked around and they assured me the bridge was OK and safe to cross.
9) 6.9 green gate on right
10) 7.5 bridge over stream. Make immediate left at fork after bridge. Many snowmobile trail signs at intersection
11) 7.7 & 7.8 cross rough gullys
12) 8.0 another fork after another bridge - bear left.
13) 8.3 junction on left - stay straight
14) 9.2 fork again - stay left.
15) 10.7 cross AT, Perham Stream bridge & parking on left.

Total distance is 23.4 miles from our campground outside of Kingfield, but it is 10.7 miles to ME 142 from the AT and that is what took 34 minutes. BTW: I did this route on with my Dodge Caravan which does not have four-wheel drive but does have decent clearance on 8-23-05.
Northbound: When you combine this with the directions and time consumed going to Caribou Valley Road, you have an incredible (if not impossible) car shuttle. We placed a car in here the night before, so when we got here we just had to drive out.

Southbound: To ME 4 over the Saddlebacks is another incredibly difficult hike. It was 15.8 miles and included 4820 feet in elevation gain. 4/26/06

Make sure you are off the road when parking. Lumber trucks use this road. Although i sometimes wonder if anybody in their right mind uses this road. If you thought Caribou Valley Road is bad, then this might be the most difficult road access to the AT anywhere!

askus3 @
I found the information you have listed extremely accurate. It is nearly a year later from when the information was posted and I found 2 changes.

The rotted bridge at mile 5.7 has been repaired. Near mile 8 (approximately, my truck does not have an odometer down to a tenth of a mile) there is a small bridge that is in need of repair. There was a ribbon across it. I inspected it and it seemed stable enough to support my small pickup and it did. You will have to use your own judgment on this one.
elrathbun @
I submitted an entry in July stating a problem with another bridge. On August 5th 2006 I used this access road again. All bridge have now been repaired and are in excellent shape. 8/7/06
elrathbun @
Important update: The bridge across Perham Stream is washed out thanks to Hurricane Irene. The road is blocked at the fork mentioned at Mile 9.2 above. See pictures. It is possible to park near the barrier. It is a 1.5 mile walk to the AT. The A marker on the attached map indicates the barrier. The B marker indicates the actual AT crossing. 08/21/12 Some roadside parking available 1
pjwetzel @
Saddleback Mountain
  Poor            Great

From Rangeley go south 0.5 mile past the IGA Store. Make a left on Dallas Hill Road and go 4 miles to the end of the road which is the start of the ski area. Either hike up the ski slope or take the chairlift (when operating). Then take a major pathway that will hook up with the AT near the summit of Saddleback. This is a common access for bagging the Saddleback (and Horn) 4,000 footers. My group was very fortunate that we had peak baggers and AT followers in our group so our AT hikers started where we left off at Perham Stream and headed southbound. Our peakbaggers climbed up the ski slope and then headed northbound. We then did a key swap on Saddleback Junior, so we did not have to drive back in to Perham Stream to retrieve our car there, which as you could tell from the directions and road conditions posted on the previous MM were hideous. 4/27/06 100

Ski Area parking lot.

askus3 @
2/15/08 1
at @
ME 4 - Rangeley
  Poor            Great

From Rangeley: It is 9 miles south to the AT crossing of ME 4.

From Kingfield: Take ME 142 South to Phillips & ME4 (15 miles). Then take ME 4 West 12 miles to the AT crossing. When coming from Phillips the AT parking lot is on the left side of the road.

For shuttling purposes East Madrid Road which is your approach to Perham Stream and the AT is 2 miles north of Phillips on ME 142.
Southbound: From this road access point you get a reprieve from the string of grueling hikes that you just completed. Although the distance to ME 17 is 13.1 miles the highest point in this next hike is not even 3,000 feet and the total elevation gain is just 3,000 feet. So although you wouldnt say that this next hike is easy, it is relatively milder than anything you have done for the last 50 miles. Some beautiful fishing and swimming lakes (South Pond, little Swift River Pond, Sabbath Day Pond, long Pond & Moxie Pond) are passed on this next dayhike. 04/27/2006 10

Clearly visible AT sign is posted where the trail crosses ME 4. Parking lot on left when driving westbound towards Rangeley.

askus3 @
2/15/08 1
at @
ME 17 - Oquossuc
  Poor            Great

Follow ME 17 south from Oquossuc.

Car shuttle from ME 17 to ME 4: Take ME 17 northbound from AT crossing 8 miles to South Shore Road (sign for Rangeley Lakes State Park). Make a right and follow this road 8 miles to its end at a "T" intersection at ME 4. Make a right and travel 6 miles to the AT parking area on the right. Allow 30 minutes for this 22 mile car shuttle. Only a short portion of South Shore Road is gravel otherwise the route is well paved two lane highway.
Personally, I would not use this road access location for several reasons. Going southbound, you would then start the next dayhike with a 700 foot descent. Why not finish the descent off on the previous hike and end at the bottom where a decent gravel road intersects the AT. This gravel road is the grade of an old railbed. Also, as of 8-18-05 you are not allowed to park where the AT crosses ME 17 but 1/2 mile south. If you have to walk uphill 500 feet on ME 17 only to descend on the AT 700 feet is ludicrous. Construction of a new parking lot for AT use is slated for 2005 but I have no confirmation if it is completed. Even if it is finished, I would still park on the gravel road one mile further southbound along the AT. 04/27/2006 6

This parking area is in the process of being replaced by a new one at the AT crossing of ME 17. As of August 2005, the official AT parking was on the left (east side of ME 17) down the hill 1/2 mile beyond the Appalachian Trail crossing and the overlook of Mooselookmeguntic Lake southbound on ME 17.

askus3 @
Follow ME 17 11 miles S from the intersection with ME 4 in Oquossoc or 24 miles north from the intersection with US 2 in Rangely. There is a new scenic overlook with adequate hiker parking a few hundred feet north of the actual trail crossing. It is no longer necessary to park half a mile from the trailhead. he green arrow on the attached map indices the trail crossing. Rotate the street view to the east to see the northbound trail (to Section 6). Rotate to the southwest to see the southbound trail (to Section 7). The trail goes through the gap in the guard rail by the parked car. This street view was taken prior to completion of the new overlook/ parking area. See pictures for an updated view. 08/20/12 Adequate 1
dlcul @

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