Franklin County Highpoint Trip Report

Sugarloaf Mtn (4,240+ ft)

Date: August 21, 2006
Author: Michael Schwartz

Denis Hanson's directions are still good. Caribou Valley Road was in fair condition and I was able to drive a low-clearance sedan 3.9 of the 4.5 miles to the Appalachian Trail crossing. After crossing a couple of small, deteriorating, wooden bridges, you reach a large, metal-grate bridge, beyond which the road turns ugly. Several cars, mine included, were parked at a large pullout just before the metal bridge and only a Jeep went further. The walk from there to the trailhead takes only a few minutes. You will see some large puddles and another small wooden bridge in poor condition.

Take the AT to the left (southbound direction on the Trail) and soon enjoy the exciting crossing of the rocks and plank "bridge" across the Carrabassett River's south branch. Denis's report and other sources state that the mileage from the trailhead to the Sugarloaf side trail is 1.9 miles but signs on the trail indicate it is 2.4 miles. It felt longer than 1.9 miles and, once high on the mountain, the trail contours for some distance, leading one to wonder if the turnoff had been missed. Just keep going (and going) until reaching the very obvious junction with the blue-blazed and signed Sugarloaf side trail. From there it's another steep 1/2 mile to the summit, making the round trip almost six miles.