Bigelows Loop Trail

MODERATE 33 reviews

Bigelows Loop Trail is a 10.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near West Forks, Maine and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and fishing and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3638 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

fishing

hiking

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.

hiking
3 months ago

The Horns is a great hike for views. First hiked on September 25, 1992. Stayed at Cathedral Pines Campground. Hiked 10 mile loop with nasty downhill. Last hiked on October 3, 1999, taking dirt road to Firewardens Trail to the top of West Peak, then over to South Horn. From there took Horns Pond Trail down to Firewarden's Trail to the ca. Not an easy hike. Took 8 hours.

hiking
4 months ago

It's a strenuous day hike, but definitely doable and with time to spare to enjoy the excellent views from the ridge if you have decent weather and are in good shape for it. I think going up the steeper Fire Wardens Trail and coming back down via the slightly easier Horns Pond Trail to save the knees is the way to go.

hiking
4 months ago

Would you suggest this hike for a day hike?

4 months ago

Beautiful hike.....the views from both Bigelows are 360 and stunning. Many AT though hikers....record high temps the day I hiked.....90 degrees on 9/24. The temps made it a " hard" hike for me....a cool breeze would have been fantastic!! Well worth the effort of doing the entire loop.

hiking
5 months ago

Yess it's very cool hiking

6 months 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
6 months ago

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

backpacking
6 months 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!!!

backpacking
6 months 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.

7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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

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!

hiking
Tuesday, November 03, 2015

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!

hiking
Sunday, September 13, 2015

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!

hiking
Saturday, August 22, 2015

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.

hiking
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

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

hiking
Saturday, October 19, 2013

Really great scenery. Must do this one.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

GPS on mobile phone some lack part of this trail. it's about 14 miles long. Many class it difficult (not extreme) on the length. Surely need to be in shape to done it in a half day, many take two days for it.

But wonderful trail, worth the effort

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