hiking

Located in western Maine just east of the village of Stratton about 40 miles north of Farmington, Bigelow Preserve includes over 36,000 acres of public land. The preserve encompasses the entire Bigelow Range, which includes seven summits. The highest of these at 4,150 feet is West Peak, one of only 10 Maine summits over 4,000 feet in elevation. Bounded on the north by 20,000-acre Flagstaff Lake, the preserve offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation. Flagstaff Lake is part of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is an historic 740-mile watertrail through New York, Vermont, Quebec, New Hampshire, and Maine. This is a popular three-season recreation area, with spring being the only time when there are few visitors. The Appalachian Trail and other trails as well as fishing, swimming, and camping offer a variety of outdoor activities at the Preserve. Fall foliage can be viewed from the roads and trails. Hunting and trapping opportunities range from easy vehicle access to foot access only in the backcountry areas. Fishing is plentiful in many small ponds and brooks. Winter visitors enjoy snowmobiling and cross country skiing over 20 miles of designated trails.

What a hike! After reading reviews I knew it was difficult, and the hard part was the hike down! Close to 40 years of age, my knees have never ached so bad on a hike before... was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! The 360 views were literally breathtaking, but, it will take some convincing to get me back, only because of the harsh knee terrain.
It's wet, steep, and when you think your almost at the top- you're not! Haha
I recommend it for sure, but next time I'll buy and use trekking poles so save wear on my knees....
Enjoy! Bring plenty of water!

best trail in maine.
harder on the knees the katahdin in my opinion but far more interesting.

I consider myself to be a fairly experienced hiker and this was by far the hardest climb I've ever done but if you are willing to push yourself the reward of the summit is well worth it. the first 3 miles of the trail is some rough yet relatively level terrain, it's the last Mile to the summit that gets you. it's pretty much straight up on a narrow trail with loose rocks, down trees and water run off. it took us a little over an hour to cover that last Mile. my advice for anyone going to this trail: get there early, bring plenty of water and snacks, a good pair of hiking shoes (waterproof if you can) and pace yourself. the trail says dog friendly but I don't recommend it. Certainly a challenging hike but well worth it once you get to the top!

backpacking
26 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

Great hike, well-marked, steep finish into the col.

hiking
6 months ago

Five-star quality for three-star effort. Spectacular and rewarding 6-mile out-and-back fall hike starting at the trailhead on East Flagstaff Rd. It's moderate-easy exertion with a stream and views along the way, about 4 hours roundtrip for us with breaks, lunch, and side trip to Flagstaff shore.

Parked in a gravel pullout on the right side of East Flagstaff Rd, shortly after where Bog Brook Rd branches off Long Falls Dam Rd. Side trails from parking area take you to toilets, campsite, and Flagstaff shore.

AT sign marks the Little Bigelow/Avery Peak trailhead on left just beyond the parking area. Full trail sign with distances to peaks is just up the trail.

Trail is easy going through mixed hardwoods and follows a fine stream for the first third or so. At 1.3 miles or so there's a quick side trip to the AT lean-to and swimming hole called The Tubs.

From the lean-to/Tubs junction, the trail climbs moderately with some open ledges and views to Flagstaff and mountains beyond. Spectacular views from the top ledges: the Bigelow Range peaks, Flagstaff, Sugarloaf, Katahdin and distant peaks. Descent is fast and easy.

In short, Little Bigelow from East Flagstaff Rd. trailhead offers lots of bang for a modest amount of time and effort.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing challenging hike! So worth the view even with the wind and 30 degree weather!

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Thursday, May 05, 2016

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!

snowshoeing
Saturday, January 09, 2016