Route: Bigelow-Flagstaff Loop (ME)

Submitted by randyweld on Mon, 10/11/2021 - 05:47pm
Maine, US
37.5 mi
Vertical Gain
6,604 ft

A singular Northeast adventure!  Where else can you traverse an 18 mile mountain ridge line, whose rugged terrain and summit vistas rival any others in the region, and then paddle back to the start?  Add to that, the fact the majority of the loop coincides with both the Appalachian Trail and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, and it surely makes for one of the most iconic single day adventures New England has to offer.  While working along the roots and rocks of Bigelow ridge, you catch views of the impossibly long Flagstaff Lake and try not to think about the paddle ahead.  As you paddle back for over 18 miles, you look up and square the feeling in your legs with the imposing ridge line above.  This line is so obvious and tantalizing, it is amazing it hasn’t gotten FKT attention sooner.  The official route includes traveling the full ridge on foot as well as the 1.5 miles from the boat launch in Stratton and paddling (whichever kind of vessel) from the intersection with the AT (East Flagstaff Rd.) to the boat launch.  

Note: the submitted GPX file includes an accidental 39 min. pause in tracking from launching the canoe on the East end of Flagstaff Lake.  Using our consistent paddle splits and tracking on the map, estimated lost distance was 3.7 miles. 


Ri Fahnestock, Randy Weld Multi-sport 11h 18m 12s