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Sugarloaf and Spaulding (Maine) - Trail to Summit

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July 5, 2013 / Comments (0)

Sugarloaf and Spaulding (Maine)

 
Day three in Maine began at 4:45 am. The four of us (Theresa, Ann, Karen, and I) would be meeting Robin at Caribou Valley Road to begin our 14 mile hike over Abraham, Spaulding, and Sugarloaf where Robin’s husband would be picking us up. 

The early morning at the Roadhouse was great. We were the only people there! For $25 a night you get a bed in the bunkhouse. There’s room for 14 I believe so it must get pretty busy and loud, but the four of us had the whole place to ourselves!


The other rooms (more expensive) includes one or two beds and are small, but private.There’s a common room, washer/dryer, two stoves, two refrigerators, plus more and this is all included in the price.
                                    

Back to the trail… 
At 6:30 we were all running late. Whoops! It had been raining pretty hard all morning and throughout the night so we spent the first half hour on the CVR looking at the forecast, radar, and taking way too many bathroom breaks! The heavy rain and possible thunderstorms would continue throughout the morning so we decided to switch up our plans. We all agreed we’d be miserable hiking 14 miles in the rain.

After breakfast at the hotel on Sugarloaf we began our hike on the slopes. The rain had mostly stopped and we’d be able to two of the peaks before the storms would return. We also avoided some potentially dangerous high water crossings at the end of Abraham. We felt really good about this decision. Most of us need to come back for the Bigelows anyway so we’d hike Abraham with that trip! And we may even see some views!

We began our ascent to the right of the quad lift. There were a bunch of men working on something at the top of the mountain (putting new cables in possibly). They rode by us a handful of times in their ATVs and trucks. We joked that they were placing bets on how far we’d get.

When we reached the summit, the men were all bundled up in winter jackets and pants while most of us were sporting shorts. They thought we were just going up the trail a bit and were surprised we were going to the summit. We informed them we were going to another peak as well.

The summit reminded me of Washington with the weather we were having. The fog was so thick we could barely make out the blazes to Spaulding. The wind really picked up on the summit.

There was a building they were working in that we had a snack break in. They didn’t say we couldn’t be there!

The trek over to Spaulding in 2.8 miles. We hiked 11 miles that day so only 3 miles were shaved off from the original plan, but we were able to avoid those water crossings that were most likely impassible that day.

This was the trail we hiked on. Much of it had a stream of water flowing down it!

Some of the sections were tricky but fun to navigate around. You know you’re meant to be on the trail when you enjoy the challenges and are pleasantly surprised when the trail returns to it’s “original state”.

 The trail connecting Sugarloaf and Spaulding is gorgeous. There were tall pines and haunting woods draped in fog.

 

 We passed this plaque which is in honor of the Maine Civilian Conservation Corps who helped complete the Appalachian Trial. It is also the final link of the AT. I can only imagine how Northbounders feel when they reach this point.

Only 150 yards to the summit! At first we read this as 50 yards! 
Spaulding Summit

The summit sign of Spaulding is newer and reads 3988′ while maps and books list it at 4010′. It’s a nice hike up and I’ll need it eventually for the New England Hundred Highest list whenever I decide to focus on that one!

On the way back to Sugarloaf I spotted this box. I thought it was for a geocache, but I guess it is a spring box. I’m not quite sure what it is used for. When I opened it up, it had as much water as the trail had with some foam on top.
This hike ended up being 11.25 miles long with 4400′ of elevation gain. At the end of the hike, I got my car in Kingfield and headed home. I definitely felt better hiking on day three versus day one. It’s crazy how your body adjusts to such a different way of being. I’m already planning out my Bigelows and Abraham hike! I’m loving these Maine peaks.

Video of the hike from The Horn to Saddleback!

Last modified: November 28, 2014

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