Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Sugarloaf Mountain (Carrabassett Valley), ME
Trails: Blueberry Trail, Amos Trail, Pierre Trail, ski trails, Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, Binder Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Friday, September 9, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Tons of parking at the base lodge 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All easily hoppable 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Hah, there is no trail maintenance on the trails on Sugarloaf property; The Sugarloaf Mountain Trail is in good shape 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Bugs: Very few 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Today I hiked Sugarloaf from the ski resort side. The resorts website shows a network of hiking trails and I decided to give them a try.

The first challenge was finding the trailhead, which was hidden in between the Skidway and Whiffletree Lifts. The trail seemed nice at first with good blazing and a worn footbed, but it was soon apparent that it was primarily used to access the zipline course. The trail followed a mountain bike trail for a while, before turning left and becoming very obscure. It didn't take me long to realize that Sugarloaf puts zero effort into maintaining their hiking trails.

I went up the Blueberry Trail, then down a ways on the Amos Trail until it reached the Pierre Trail which I followed to the top of the Whiffletree Quad. These trails were easy enough to follow where they coincided with MTB trails, but most of the time it was more blaze-assisted bushwhacking than hiking on a trail. The blazing itself wasn't all that good, and there were multiple times where I lost the trails altogether for a bit, before finding them again. There was no footbed to be seen in most places, and there was lots of low brush to push through. These trails were not very enjoyable, but one highlight was a cabin on the Amos Trail which looks to be used for kids programs in the winter.

From the top of the Whiffletree Quad, I followed very steep ski trails to the summit. There were great views today, but as usual on Sugarloaf, the many towers and the ugly old gondola building detracts from the view a bit. I made a quick descent on the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail out-and-back to the AT. It was nice to hike on a real trail for a bit!

After eating lunch, and talking with some other hikers at the summit, I descended via the Tote Road ski trail, and what is marked on the hiking map as the Binder Trail. In reality, the Binder Trail is just a steep service road. It is not marked at all, and is shown improperly on the map. It's unfortunate that Sugarloaf doesn't seem to put much effort into their hiking trails, because if they were well maintained, they could make a nice network on the north side of the mountain.  
Name: Sam Shirley  
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-09-09 
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