"Take a Hike"
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Originally published by CVOA in 2012 -- Moderately edited July 2020 -- Posted online July 2020
PLEASE HELP US UPDATE our guide by sharing your area hiking knowledge at
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Whether corrections, updates or additional hikes, your contributions will be appreciated.
Over the years, we have have placed five orders for the guides, totally 900 copies! At this time, there are no plans to republish our hiking guide in a paper format, unless we make significant updates and additions to the content.
We hope you enjoy all these wondrous spots that make our backyard such a special place to play! Lace up your boots and join the adventure!
All About TAKE A HIKE
Hiked and Written by the Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Association in 2012
Do you want to know an easy hike to a great waterfall? How about a trek that allows you to bag THREE 4,000- foot peaks in a single day? Or maybe the best spot to picnic, surrounded by awesome vistas?
Want to get to know your own backyard just a little bit better? The Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Association can help!! Members of the "active outdoor club" put boot to boulder during the summer of 2012, hiking the mountains in our very own playground. We made notes about the views, the wildlife and the terrain over the miles upon miles of trails that criss-cross our Valley and its neighboring towns.
The result is this hiking guide, an insider’s look at our mountains, waterfalls, lakes and trails .. all the places that make Carrabassett Valley such a special place. We'll tell you what the trail is like, how long it will take you to get to the top, where to stop for a swim or a picnic .. and how tough a hike you are getting yourself into! This book is filled with personal observations and hard facts. It is crammed with some of our favorite hikes .. including all the 4,000-footers in our valley, five waterfall walks and some nice loop treks.
Our region has much to boast about: There are just 14 peaks in Maine that tower to the 4,000-foot level .. and 10 of them are in our backyard: Avery Peak, Mount Abraham, North & South Crocker, Redington, Saddleback, Saddleback Horn, Spaulding, Sugarloaf and West Peak
Yet, look in most hiking guides and the town of “Carrabassett Valley” gets none of the kudos. Instead, our mountains get lumped into the “Rangeley/Stratton Region.” We thought it was time to set the record straight!
Not only do we have the highest concentration of 4,000- footers in Maine, but the Appalachian Trail runs right through our town. Our trails are some of the toughest climbs the thru-hikers make on their way to the summit of Katahdin and the terminus of the 2,174 mile Appalachian Trail.
7/2020 –in past years, CVOA members have maintained several sections of the AT, trimming back brush, clearing blow downs, building bog bridges and marking trails. And all our members are on constant litter patrol, picking up trash left behind by other less considerate hikers.
We are also the home base to the Maine Huts & Trail system. 7/20: visit their website mht.org for updated information.
A WORD ABOUT OUR GUIDE
Our guide is not just for the hard-core hiker: There are easy hikes to waterfalls, swimming holes and fishing ponds. There are “slack pack” hikes you can finish in half a day. There are special hikes to scenic vistas that give you a lot of view for not much exertion!
We tried to be as accurate as we could with distances, referencing several sources. Our estimated hiking “times” were what it took our hikers to get to the summit and back .. with some leeway to account for the twinkle toes who skip to the peak and the foot-draggers who slog their way up and limp back down.
As a rule of thumb, figure on hiking 2 miles every hour .. and then add an extra half hour for every 1000 feet of elevation gained.
HIKING IN CARRABASSETT VALLEY
We enjoy these special lands we call “home” .. and we want future generations to do so as well. That is why we are committed to preserving and protecting our natural resources .. and to keeping them pristine and “open” for those who hike behind us.
For anyone who enjoys recreating in the outdoors, whether it be hiking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, biking, hiking, fishing, bird watching or any other activity you might enjoy out in the woods, no one likes to see “No Trespassing “ signs. Unfortunately as we travel around the State of Maine, these signs are becoming more common, with thousands of acres being posted. It is frustrating to us outdoor enthusiasts to see these signs. But when we talk to the landowners, we understand their reasons: The stories they tell of the inconsiderate acts people do on other’s private property are infuriating.
Here in our Valley, the landowners generously allow us to use their property. In return we should all respect their land as if it is our own. Carry-In, Carry-Out is always the rule. And please pick up any trash left behind by others who are less considerate. It’s the right thing to do.
The hikes listed in the book traverse property owned by a mix of private landowners .. the Sugarloaf and Saddleback ski areas, Plum Creek Corporation, The State of Maine (Bigelow Preserve), The Town of Carrabassett, the Penobscot Indian Tribe and others. Please join us in thanking these generous neighbors for giving the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors by respecting their lands. Without them allowing us to recreate on their land, there would be no need for this book!
A WORD OF CAUTION
The Carrabassett Valley is a popular area for hunting in the fall. If you go hiking during October, November and early December, remember to wear florescent orange and do not wear any white clothing. In Maine, there is no hunting on Sundays, but during the rest of the week you do need to dress appropriately.
These are big woods around here. When going for a hike, we recommend always taking a compass, a map of the area where you will be hiking, plenty of water, extra clothing, a flashlight that works, matches, and a first aid kit. And, always let someone know what your plans are.
A WORD OF RECOGNITION
It must be noted that the driving force behind the guide was Nancy Perry, past president, hiker, volunteer, inspiration and hard worker.
We want to thank the hikers/writers who laced up their boots and spent summer days taking notes on the trails: Peggy Bickford, Duff Doherty, Don Fowler, Paul Houlares, Sandy Jamison, John Marden, Jane Marden, John McCatherin, John Morey, Nancy Perry, Tom Spring, Linda Trueworthy, Paul Trueworthy, Judy Weston, Pete Weston and Rick Young.
We also want to thank the photographers who shared their pictures of these special vistas with us: Peggy Bickford, Vicki Foster, Nancy Fowler, Sandy Jamison, Nancy Perry, Linda Trueworthy, Judy Weston and Pete Weston. We want to thank our editorial “staff” for pulling this guide together .. reading, researching, writing, editing, laying out the pages, working with the photos: Nancy Perry and Sandy Jamison. And we want to thank our eagle-eyed proofreaders Linda Trueworthy, Helen Poulin, Peter Weston and Judy Weston, who diligently rooted out typos and double- checked directions so you wouldn’t get you lost!.
A WORD ABOUT US
7/2020: The Carrabassett Valley Outdoor Association started 20 years ago with a small band of outdoor enthusiasts .. and grew. And grew. And grew. Today there are more than 1100 members in CVOA. Our mission is simple: to protect our natural resources and promote recreational opportunities in our area. Every year we travel around Maine, Canada and the western ski resorts .. skiing, hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing, snowshoeing and just having fun!
If you want to join us .. it’s easy .. and it’s cheap. For about the price of a pair of smart wool socks or a good water bottle you get a year’s worth of adventures! You can get an application online at: