Epic Fall Ridge Walk

The plan: drive to Stratton, ME the coolest way possible, set up camp some place chill, kick back for the night and hit the trail early for a traverse of the Bigelow Range.  The Bigelow Range is due north of Sugarloaf and is in fact where Sugarloaf was originally slated to be cut, however some civil engineers dammed up a river and created Flagstaff Lake where the base village was supposed to be.  This nixed the ski resort plans and they picked Sugarloaf instead, but I digress.  My point: Sugarloaf is awesome, so if the Bigelows were Plan A of that whole endeavor, they really must have something going for them.  I gotta check this out.  Details…

View Best Possible way to Sugarloaf / Bigelow Range in a larger map

The trip there could be 35 minutes faster but I figure as long as were gonna be in the car for 5 hours we may as well have a good view for nearly the entire way and take the scenic route: through and past the White Mountains and then dodge east into Maine, past Umbagog and Rangeley Lakes and finally through Stratton, ME, and into the Carrabassett Valley.

The hike itself is alleged to be one of New England’s “great ridge walks” according to 100 Classic New Hikes.  The idea is to ascend from the southwestern flank of the range, traverse east a ways and then descend along the southeastern flank.  From the bottom we’ll need to hike west along a dirt road back to the car but for not more than a mile or so.  I can hardly imagine being anything short of awesome.  Observe:

View Best Possible way to Sugarloaf / Bigelow Range in a larger map
Bigelow Range from the north with Sugarloaf in the semi-distant background.

Hopefully this gets under way next weekend.

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