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.

I would call this on the easy side of moderate, never got too steep very gradual. Since it is on a ridge it is hard to know when you've reached the summit, we went to about 3.5 miles and decided to turn around. There are so good views but they are limited.

hiking
18 days ago

Yess it's very cool hiking

hiking
27 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

I took the fire wardens trail and what an ass- kicker that is! Up was steady and rocky, so coming down was KILLER on the knees, so use poles if you have them!
The view is AMAZING, but my knees would be mad if I went that particular route again!
Heed my warning : )

hiking
1 month ago

I did this as a day hike in mid July. Nice hike. Difficult but worth it.

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing mountain! One of Maine's best mountain top views for sure! Fun spot along the AT. Fishing in Horns Pond is great fun and fruitful! An AT lean-to at horns pond to camp out at. A must do hike to experience Maine's beautiful backcountry!!!

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

First off, this is a hard hike, not a moderate one. Additionally, it felt longer than the listed length - I would guess more along the lines of 13+ miles. That all being said, it's a beaut and definitely worth the effort. I did this one on a rainy day and did the loop clockwise to avoid the steeper incline of the counterclockwise route, but that was a mistake because the wet conditions made the descent a painfully slow process. Backpacked at one of the Stratton Brook Pond sites but brought a daypack for the ascent. Great experience.

Great trail with amazing views, very quiet which is nice, highly recommend you summit the 4 peaks (Avery, bigelow and the 2 horns), bring plenty of bug spray, mosquitos are pretty bad here, lastly this trail is not moderate, it is extremely difficult, ask any park Ranger and they will tell you that bigelows loop with the 4 peaks is one of the hardest hikes in Maine

Beautiful views, not very busy, remote and quiet area.. A plague of flies and other random insects swarmed all day. Didn't damper the experience. Took about seven hours to complete loop counter clockwise.

Nice intermediate hike. Great views just not from the summit.

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.