|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Saddle, Marble Mountain, ME|
||SF 2, SF 5, SF 1, ATV trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, September 4, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||There are numerous trailheads, but we parked at what seemed like the main one. It had a large lot, but was overflowing by the time we left. |
||Dry Trail, Wet Trail |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Lots and lots of bridges in area even slightly wet |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Trails are very well maintained and marked |
||Saw quite a few |
|Lost and Found:
||Marble Mountain and Mount Saddle are two peaks along the Canadian Border. An approach to these peaks from the Maine side would be extremely difficult, but luckily the border has reopened to US citizens, and both peaks are easy to access via the Sentiers Frontaliers trail network from the Quebec side. We crossed the border from Coburn Gore around 7:30 and reached the trailhead around 8:00, where we were the first car in the large parking lot. Let me note in advance that I'm sorry about the mix of distance units used, but the trail signs used kilometers while we were tracking our hike using miles, so I have specific segments in kilometers, but the overall distance in miles.|
There was a lean-to in the parking lot, and another about 100 yards down the trail. We followed the SF 2 trail through the valley until we reached SF 5 in about 2 km. This trail climbed at reasonable grades along a huge network of sap lines until reaching SF 1 and the border swath at 3.2 km from SF 2. We followed SF 1 north along the border for 1.4 km until we reached the summit of of Mount Saddle. There were two highpoints about 0.1 mile apart. I'm not sure which was actually higher, but the first one had the summit sign, but the second had the logbook. The summit area provided great views along the border in both directions.
From the summit of Mount Saddle, we followed SF 1 back to the south for a little over 2 km to reach the summit of Marble Mountain, which also had a logbook. Although slightly shorter, Marble Mountain had more panoramic views. Up until this point, we had only seen one other person, but for the rest of our hike, the trail would be much more busy. A little ways past the summit of Marble Mountain, we followed a short spur to a viewpoint on top of the cliffs towering above Petit-Lac Danger. This was likely the best viewpoint of the trip, and it provided spectacular view in all directions except north. Views stretched from Sugarloaf and the High Peaks to Mont Orford and Jay Peak.
The section of trail after the viewpoint descended steeply to Petit-Lac Danger. Here there was a camping area and great views back up the cliffs. From Petit-Lac Danger, it was a relatively easy 4 km hike along SF 2 back to the parking lot, which by now was overflowing.
In total our hike was about 9 miles long. The trails in the Sentiers Frontaliers network are very well marked and maintained. There are lots of bridges, signs, and trail markers to help you find your way, even in lesser trafficked areas. The trail maintainers deserve a lot of credit, and we made sure to leave a donation in the box before leaving. Our trip to Quebec wouldn't be complete without it, so we made sure to stop in Woburn for some delicious poutine before crossing back to the US. A number of peaks which are half in Maine are much more accessible from Quebec, and it's always fun to explore the trails on the Canadian side!
||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.