The Bigelows, Revisited

It’s been a while since I’ve been hiking, nearly a year since I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Maine, and even longer since I’ve been kayaking, so with these things in mind, Tripp and I hashed out a plan for a multi-day, multi-mode excursion in the Flagstaff Lake region.

The Bigelow Range makes for one of New England’s best ridge walks.  The only real shortcoming, is that it’s difficult to perform a traverse of the entire range (from end to end) without backtracking anywhere.  Last November, we made a traverse of the ridge starting from the Stratton Pond Brook area and descending well before the end of the ridge, simply because it did not require us to return along the same trails.  This time around, we hoped not only to make a lengthier stay in the region, but to see more of the range and return by a totally novel route.

From these stipulations, we came up with the following template:

  • Day 1 (Friday afternoon / evening)
  • Pick up people / boats
  • Drive to Round Barn Campsite and deposit boats some place secure
  • Drive to Trout Brook Campsite, set up camp, crash
  • Day 2 (Saturday)
  • Depart Trout Brook via car and head to Trailhead and Parking
  • Traverse Bigelows on foot
  • Arrive back at Round Barn Campsite, retrieve boats, setup camp
  • Day 3 (Sunday)
  • Pack up Round Barn camp
  • Put boats in water and begin paddle back toward Stratton, past Trout Brook
  • Arrive at Stratton Elementary school boat launch
  • Potentially stop again at Trout Brook (or wherever else is convenient)
  • Day 4 (Monday morning)
  • In case we don’t finish on Saturday…finish paddling and camp
  • Drive home and store boats

And of course, here is a map of the rough plan:

View Bigelow Range Traverse / Flagstaff Lake Paddle in a larger map

The trip is tentatively scheduled for the second weekend in October for ideal temperatures and foliage viewing.  Update to follow, but for now I need to pack and rest for a warm-up hike in Franconia Notch tomorrow morning!

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