Something fun needed to happen today. It’s been a while since I’ve been up and at ’em, so I was ready to get out there and make it happen. Last night’s temperatures dropped into the 40s and today’s didn’t make it out of the 60s. The sky was clear and I thought it was high time to get back up to the rail trail near Sugarloaf Mountain. We haven’t been to that area in quite a while and after looking at the local map this morning, I thought it would be a good idea do get packed and do some walking. Recently, we’ve been sticking to our nearby roads for exercise. If you’re a walker, you probably know how boring that can get. I’m always trying to find new places to go and new things to see. Especially when it comes to walking.
If you remember our last visit to the area, you’ll remember that we started our walk directly north of the small airport in Carrabassett Valley. That’s a really good place to park and leave from because there’s tons of room. Since we already did a bunch of walking around there last time, I figured we could head north about three miles and park at another dirt lot to see what that was like. Good thing we did, because this new spot was much better than the previous one. The trees are more mature and it’s greener all around. And the parking lot is very casual. I took a bunch of photos for you.
If that parking lot picture didn’t excite you, perhaps one of the sign that described the rules will.
The parking lot is on the opposite side of the Carrabassett River than the trail is on. Luckily, there was a really cool steel bridge built for us to use to get to the other side.
Before crossing the bridge, we followed a short path that led to a picnic table. Near the table was another path that led down to the river. While I was down there taking some random pictures, a few bicyclers crossed the bridge. One of them was kind enough to smile for me. Everyone was very friendly.
While I was down there, I grabbed a few more shots of the bridge. I found it interesting.
The best part about this particular trail is that it’s fairly narrow. I’ve been on a few different trails of this type and many of them were created from more traditionally sized train tracks. Since this was a narrow gauge, the trail is much more cozy. A full size truck can still fit on it, but not nearly as well as on one of the wider versions.
I don’t know what this is, but it was directly off the path. I’m guessing it’s some sort of train related building from years ago. The sign on it says it’s from 1900.
I wasn’t expecting this, but there really are some beautiful wetlands that surround parts of the trail. I took a few photos of them. Okay, I took a lot of photos, but narrowed them down to just a few.
While we were there, I saw three ducks and one fish jump out of the water. It was a large fish because it made a substantial splash. I’m guess three to four feet long. Okay, kidding, but it was big.
I even managed to take photos of some purple aster and another similar looking white flower.
This is the bridge that lead us through this section of wetlands. I was surprised at how many people were on the trail today. It wasn’t like this the last time we were in the area. Virtually everyone was on bicycles too, so we’ll have to fill the tires with air in ours and get riding.
Along the pathway were a few areas with picnic tables in them. I might just take advantage of this amenity next time and pack lunch. I don’t ordinarily do this sort of thing, but I’m getting older and more relaxed, so parking and eating for a few minutes won’t be so bad. I’m sure of it. Especially during this time of the year when there are hardly any bugs left.
The really cool part of the whole thing is that there are tons of mountain bike trails on both sides of the pathway. They are much more narrow and wind their ways through the woods. As a matter of fact, on our way back, after we turned around on the main trail, we walked in one of the bike trails. That’s pretty fun and leads down towards the Carrabassett River.
I don’t know if you can see the dirt trail here, but it’s shaped like an “S.” Each of these trails is named as well and the name is engraved into a piece of wood that’s hung from a nearby tree.
If you’re into mountain biking, you’d be in heaven around here.
Finally, we made it down to the river again and took a bunch of pictures. They became repetitive as I was looking through them, so I just closed my eyes and selected two to show here.
Since it’s the end of the season, the water was low. It sure was clear though.
As we made it back to the parking lot, I saw the perfect sign for the end of this post. Take a look.
The trail ends. If I had to guess, I’d say we walked about three miles today. Not bad. Next time, we’re going to take the bikes and cover the entire eight. That’s easy on bikes.
Thanks for reading!
PS – If you’re interested in seeing many more photos of this rail trail, you can check out another very special blog post. We went together, so things should look familiar.