From Avery peak the A.T. continues southbound towards the Fire Warden's Trail, West Peak, and the rest of the Bigelow Range. The state park property has about five miles of trails including the yellow Bigelow Pond loop and the blue/white Mashapuag Pond View Trail. This mountain bike primary trail can be used both directions. The Bigelow Trail reaches a saddle and a four way trail junction with a little sign at 0.65 miles, where the Kellogg Trail departs to the right, and the Butterfly Trail continues straight ahead. Marked trails lead from Bigelow Hollow to the Breakneck area, but no trail in this area is a loop trail. Map shows Bigelow Preserve trails (except for Safford Brook Trail.) The route of the Safford Brook Trail approximately follows the old "Dead River Route" part of the A.T. from the 1930s before the creation of Flagstaff Lake. Based on the numbers of people hiking this 12-mile loop on a beautiful Saturday in July, it is probably the most popular hike in the state-run Bigelow Preserve.It doesn’t hurt that you can summit four peaks in one day. Bigelow Pond Loop is a 2,148 m less popular green singletrack trail located near Union Connecticut. We hit the trail just after 9 am and already the heat and humidity were rising steadily. There are no marked trails to Briggs pond. I must say, the Bigelow Mountains are some of the best in Maine. It is obvious from talking with the Bigelow Conservation people that they take a lot of pride in their work. The hike was a loop featuring 2 peaks this day, West Avery and South Horn, with a side visit to Horns Pond. They may not be the biggest nor the most challenging, but it is a whole package; views, some challanging areas, short or long hike, great trails. The trail to the Lean-to leaves to the north (right) side of the trail at 1.4 miles above the East Flagstaff Road. A day hike to Bigelow Mountain’s Avery Peak and West Peak via the Fire Warden Trail, possibly in conjunction with the Appalachian Trail and the Horns Pond Trail as a loop hike, is a sure-bet treasured experience for the memory bank. 0.7 miles, 8350′: Look for an unsigned junction and make a sharp right. This section of the trail is steeper climbing but ledges provide good resting points with nice views towards Flagstaff Lake. These are the Mashapaug Pond View Trail, the Ridge Trail, Bigelow Pond Loop Trail, Breakview Pond Loop Trail and the East Ridge Trail. The trail continues 1.7 miles past Cranberry Peak to connect with the Appalachian Trail and the rest of the Bigelow Preserve for a considerably longer hike. However these trails connect to those in the Nipmuck State Forest for a total of 35 miles. Continue uphill to the west to climb to Mount Bigelow on the Butterfly Trail. This trail was opened in 1934-35 by Game Warden Helon Taylor of Eustis, Maine. Turn left to continue on the Bigelow Trail. Pass a small side trail to an old campsite as the trail turns – reach the Bigelow Road at 0.85 miles, 8500′ [Waypoint b-bgr/] Trail Overview: In Bigelow Hollow State Park, five trails (along with the Nipmuck Trail) are maintained by CFPA. The Avery-West-Horns loop is marked in red. Hikers should be prepared to walk at least 6 miles to complete a loop around Breakneck. Continuing past the Lean-to trail, it is another 1.7 miles upward to the East Peak of Little Bigelow. Despite the conditions, we made it to Avery Col by noon, traveling via the Fire Warden’s Trail, the shortest route to reach Avery and West Peak.

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