Explore the most popular trails near Stratton with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Stratton, Maine Map
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The only reason I give this a 4/5 is because there’s not too much to look at hiking up and down, pretty steep and thick vegetation at parts - but the view at the top is well well worth it. Definitely a strenuous long hike but worth it.

hiking
20 days ago

I really wanted to finish this trail, but I had to bail about 1/4 mile from the end. The last mile is very steep over rocks and stone steps. Bring LOTS of water for this one.


Also want to note it was a little tricky to find the start for me. I parked in the place where there is a bulliten board with maps and signs. Continue down what looks like a dirt road, to the left of this sign. You will come to another space cleared out with a smaller sign. Continue straight over the bridge (and enjoy the views on either side of the mountains). Then, keep going straight, there is a flat path that runs along the river. There are not a lot of blue blaze markers, so I wasn't sure if I had missed the trailhead. You will pass one camp site up and to the left right after the bridge, then another farther down on the river. The trail head is near this second campsite. Once you are on the trail it is fairly well marked.


There were a few muddy spots, although steps were mostly in place to pass. This is a hike I'd really recommend bringing poles on.


I hope to finish this one another time. All in all a great and remote hike.

We clocked it at 17 miles not 11 but the peaks were beautiful and totally worth it.

So beautiful! This was my second strenuous hike ever, Katahdin being the first. This hike was not nearly as difficult (Stratton Pond, up Firewarden across West peak and the Horns, down Horns Pond) but the difficulty lies in the length. From parking back to parking, we clocked over 14 miles. I assume the listed distance on this page is just the loop because it is well beyond 10.9 miles from start to finish. We completed this hike in less than 8 hours so it is very doable for a day hike!

hiking
9 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. Passed the Sugarloaf Ski Resort access road approximately 3.2 miles. Stratton Brook Road just before the bridge over Stoney Brook, turned right onto dirt road. Took left fork when it came and parked at the end of road. Went up Stratton Brook Road to junction with Firewarden’s Trail and Horn Pond Trail. Took Firewarden’s Trail up to intersection with AT and went left to West Peak. Firewarden’s Trail starts out easy and then gets pretty steep towards end. Took AT from West Peak to South Horn. Took AT from South Horn to intersection with Horn Pond Trail and took latter Trail down. Intersected Firewarden’s Trail and Strattok Brook Road and took Road back to truck. Total time up and down, 8 hours, with stops for breaks and lunch 9:20 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Reached top of West Peak at approximately 1:30 p.m.

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 car. Not an easy hike. Took 8 hours.

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.

Would you suggest this hike for a day hike?

hiking
10 months ago

I thought this would be a normal hard 4000'. I did Abraham the weekend before and that was a cake walk compared to this. Great hike though. Views were hazy that day but still amazing.

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.

Yess it's very cool hiking

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 : )

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

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!!!

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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

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.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

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

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.

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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