|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Bigelow Mountain - Avery Peak, Bigelow Mountain - West Peak, ME|
||Stratton Brook Pond Road, Fire Warden’s Trail, Appalachian Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, January 10, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Stratton Brook Pond Rd is normally a good dirt road that leaves ME 16/27 north of Kingfield, ME. It is about 2 miles from the junction with the highway to the trailhead (Guide says 1.6, Gaia says 1.97 miles). Either way, it is not maintained in winter. This road becomes a snowmobile trail. However, lower than normal snow levels have made this road drive-able to the parking area. Note that it is snow covered. I refused to drive down it. I mean, for goodness sakes, it was a 25 minute walk. Hmmm... 25 minutes of walking or risking getting my car stuck... Yeah. I chose to park my car in a small area just past the residential houses and do the road walk. |
||Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Wet/Sticky |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||The opening to Stratton Pond is bridged with a lovely wood bridge. Small brooks are all open. These are hoppable. The one larger water area is bridged with log bridges. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||“Blow Down Alley” is back. On Fire Warden’s from the bridge over Stratton Pond to the start of the first major incline, there are numerous blow downs obstructing the trail. All the hard work done last summer has been undone by Mother Nature. Other various blow downs scattered along the remainder of the trail. Many obstruct the trail and have to be hiked around. |
||Great trail for dogs. |
|Lost and Found:
Stratton Pond Rd > Fire Warden’s Trail > AT (northbound) to Avery Peak > AT (southbound) to West Peak > AT (northbound) back to junction > Fire Warden’s to road walk and end.
Fire Warden’s: very well blazed in blue. Much recent foot traffic has broken out the trail to the junction. See blowdown notes above. Crossed single width wooden log bridges IN SNOWSHOES. Oh yeah- #badass-snowshoe-skills. Though there are no true post holes, the trail is pretty well churned up by boots. But, I mean, there isn’t much snow. It was still enough snow for my snowshoes, though! One tough fella skinned quite a ways up on skis. Though I met him hiking in boots, I didn’t fuss. He really had to work those skis up some tough terrain, for a surprising distance. All others use snowshoes, though! Conditions today lent to non-postholing because snowshoers had set up a good, compact trench.
AT: blazed in standard white blazes. Both the paths to Avery and West Peaks were broken out. But look, non-Mainers, snow above tree line drifts. Deep drifts. Even though it is rocky, leave the snowshoes on to traverse the drifts. It is a far more pleasant experience. The rocky sections are super short. All signs up and mostly legible. Rime only completely covered the West Peak summit sign.
Of note, Horns Pond trail was also recently broken out. Looks like the Bigs are getting a little winter love. Saw 3 people all day. Surprising given its a weekend and such a glorious day on rugged peaks.
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.