Bigelows Loop Trail is a 10.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near West Forks, ME and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and fishing and is accessible from May until September.
A beautiful ridge traverse that will gain you two peaks in Maine. You will first head up the Fire Wardens trail then head left up the Horns Pond Trail for a change of scenery and to take you to the Bigelow Ridge, finally returning you to your car again via the Fire Wardens trail. Both peaks have open summits and Avery Peak has a stone fire tower on the top.
Fantastic hike, it was a perfect distance and the trail was well maintained. Fantastic views at the top! Hiked on May 4, above Moose Falls campsite there was still a lot of ice and snow at that point.
Some reviews mention crossing the brook at the base of the trail, there's a bridge now so no major crossings are necessary!
Firewarden's trail up, to West Peak, the Horns and camped at Horn Pond Campsite. Horn Pond was a welcome sight, we went for a swim to cool off! Hiked out Horn Pond trail in the morning, this was a nice easy hike out. Firewarden's trail was difficult for me as I do not hike this distance regularly and we were carrying gear to stay over. Will definitely do this again!
Fire Warden's Trail to West Peak, 1.9 miles to the Horns, stayed overnight at Horn Pond Campsite and trekked out 5-ish miles in the a.m. via horn pond trail. My longest and best trek for sure! Can also reach Avery/West peaks via Safford Trail from the south side of Flagstaff. Gorgeous day, stellar views!
Great hike. Stratton Pond up Fire Warden Trail to Avery back to Bigelow West to both Horns, down horn pond trail. Weather was 89 hazy. The total hike with some side hikes and walking to the car was 13 miles. You can park at the very beginning of Stratton Pond Trail, the area is small and ended up parking much further down the road.
This was a fabulous hike. We started out at the beautiful Stratton Brook Pond. Beautiful view of the Bigelows ridge right from the shore. They're currently building a new bridge to cross one of the streams nearby, but there are wonderful rocks set up for you to use and hop across. After a mile of the trail, which is wide and flat, you reach the Fire Warden's Trail. The FW trail is very gradual as you hike in toward the mountain. After ~1.7, you intersect with the Horns Pond Trail (comes in from the left). Then, the trail becomes a bit steeper, but nothing out of the ordinary. Once you are at about 3 miles, you are really at the mountain and the trail boasts some absolutely gorgeous but steep stairs. Look behind and you can see Sugarloaf through the trees, as well as the pond where you started!
I love exposed ridges on hikes, so this next part was absolutely a must-see. We ascended from the col to bag Avery Peak, tip-toeing across some jagged rocks and withstanding some freezing winds. Worthwhile, though, because once you reach the peak you've got 360 views of Flagstaff Lake, Sugarloaf, Baxter Peak in the far off distance, and maybe even some of the Whites. It's one of the best views in Maine.
We descended from Avery and went to get West Peak, too, which was also gorgeous. We continued on the loop to see the pond, thinking we would skirt around The Horns but instead finding the AT actually summiting. Oh, well! Looped around to Horns Pond at 3000, but we didn't really see much of the pond from the main trail since the leaves were still on the trees.
All in all, I think we did more like 14.5 miles to get all the way back down. The Horns Pond trail is great for the descent because it's very gradual and easy on the knees and ankles.
Good climbs with lots of built in steps. View from top of Avery peak was awesome. Little disappointed that you aren't on the ridge all the way to the horns but definitely a great hike
Really great scenery. Must do this one.