View Full Version : Bigelow Range via the AT

07-08-2008, 08:12 PM
Date: 7/6 to 7/7/08

Trails: AT from Rt. 27, Stratton to East Flagstaff Rd.

Condition: A few big blow-downs very close to Rt. 27. Trail very overgrown just south of the summit of Little Bigelow, but otherwise, everything was inpretty good shape.

Comments: In our continued quest to finish up our section hike of the AT north-bound, we headed to the Bigelow Range this Sun/Mon. I have wanted to do this stretch for years, and it didn't disappoint! We parked a car at East Flagstaff Rd. and got a shuttle from the friendly folks at Stratton Motel back to the trail junction at Rt. 27. Great weather on Sunday, and we enjoyed the hike. Had a nice lunch at Horns Pond, great views atop North & South Horn, and West Peak, of Sugarloaf on one side and Flagstaff Lake on the other, and enjoyed the many alpine flowers (diapensia, labrador tea, alpine azalea). Descended into the col and set up camp on one of the tent platforms at Avery Campsite. Only downsides of this spot were that: 1) Water along Firewarden's Trail was a bit grim. We were able to get to the small pool with a filter, but took a bit of work, and 2) Black flies were horrible, and we spent a few hours in late afternoon/early evening hiding from them in our tent! But we capped off the day with a great sunset over the lake from partway up Avery Peak, so can't complain too much!

Monday, we woke early and got up to Avery Peak in the cool of the morning, with the wind whipping around us and a beautiful light across Flagstaff Lake. Saw a few southbound AT hikers on our way up to the Little Bigelow ridgeline and had an early lunch on the "summit" ledges before descending to East Flagstaff Rd. Drove up to Round Barn to stick our legs in the lake and clean off a bit.

A great hike! Also managed to check off South Horn, Avery and West Peaks from our 100 highest (#83, 84 and 85) and NE 4000 footers (#62 and 63) lists.

Photos here (http://homepage.mac.com/daniellenryan/AppalachianTrail/PhotoAlbum402.html) and here (http://homepage.mac.com/daniellenryan/AppalachianTrail/PhotoAlbum403.html)