|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Flagstaff Mountain, ME|
|Date of Hike:
||Friday, June 4, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||It is best to use a high clearance vehicle to get there. If you're driving west on the Flagstaff Road along the north shore of Flagstaff Lake, turn right on Loop Road (unsigned, but marked on the Delorme) at it's west end. In less than half a mile, take the first left off of Loop Road and drive until the side road ends, or you don't want to drive any farther. At the end of this side road, the trail heads straight back into the woods. The trail is overgrown, eroded, and has blowdowns, but is easy to follow to the summit. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||No significant crossings, but plenty of muddy areas |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Trail is not maintained regularly. There are plenty of blowdowns and it is overgrown in places |
||Plenty of them! Mosquitos, deerflies, blackflies, ticks, and horseflies! |
|Lost and Found:
||Do you enjoy rough roads, overgrown trails, & sketchy fire towers? Then this hike is for you (and we have a lot in common 😂)! Some of you may know that I have a thing for fire towers, so today I decided to check out that tallest standing fire tower in the Western Maine Mountains, located on Flagstaff Mountain.|
The trail starts on a side road off of Loop Road. You can get to the side road in a vehicle with good clearance, and, with extreme care, you can likely get to the start of Loop Road (about a mile short of the trailhead) with a lower clearance vehicle. I drove a few hundred feet up the side road before parking in an old log yard where the road got more overgrown, but I likely could have driven all the way to the trailhead if I wanted. The trail up is completely unmarked and it alternates between sections with tall grass, sections of mud, and eroded sections with loose rock. There are lots of blowdowns and I got completely soaked from the wet grass. Thankfully, the trail is only about a mile and a half long, and there is a nice section through boreal forest just before the summit.
The 50 foot tall circa 1917 fire tower still stands on the summit without its cab. The first ~15 feet of the ladder has also been removed, which makes the tower extra challenging to climb. However, it is possible to get to the ladder by climbing on the tower's superstructure. This tall tower is not one for anyone even the least bit afraid of heights, but the views from it's top are outstanding, and I ended up spending almost a half hour at the top of the tower. Views include unique up close views of Flagstaff Lake, Spring Lake, and the Bigelows. For anyone who doesn't want to climb the tower, there are directional views from the ground.
About 1/3 the way up, there is a trail branching off the main trail which had a sign labeling it as the Broken Bridge Trail. I thought this was quite strange, but the trail was also overgrown, so I didn't follow it far. If anyone knows anything about this trail, I'd be interested to hear where it leads. I did find a blue digital camera on this trail which amazingly still turned on, although the last photo on it was from 2016. I left the camera hanging from a tree at the trailhead.
This was a fun adventure, and it's always interesting to go to some of the lesser visited fire towers!
||Sam Shirley |
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.