Route: Bigelow Range Traverse (ME)
Backpacker Magazine called Maine's Bigelow Traverse one of "America's Hardest Dayhikes", saying "You’ll be tempted to run this northbound traverse of the AT from ME 27/16-not because you’re feeling jaunty, but to escape the Maine woods’ infamous black flies. But the relentlessly steep and rocky trail along long, forested ridges discourages any such fantasies. The trail gets ruthless on the fierce half-mile climb to 3,331-foot South Horn, the ridges are waterless, and the summits windy and exposed. But the wild-north panoramas stretch all the way to Mt. Washington." The traverse is nominally 17 miles, with about 10,000' of elevation gain, and summits two peaks over 4000' (West Bigelow and Avery) and some shorter peaks as well.
Here's mking's original post (from 6/8/2014):
"Yesterday I took a crack at the Bigelow range across from Sugarloaf. I started at the trailhead off of East Flagstaff Rd and followed the AT across all of the major peaks until I got to the junction to go over Cranberry Peak. I took a right at the junction on the blue blaze trail and headed past the pond and up over Cranberry to finish the range at the other trail head off of Rt 27 in Stratton. The trail is rough and has a lot of wet rock and roots I think only 50% is really runnable. I haven't seen any other times or reports that have listed a FKT for the route. If anyone has done it faster or knows a link to someone that has Please share! I have looked a lot on the net and can't seem to find to much other than hiking trip times for the range and not full range hikes. Another thing I found interesting was the distances listed by different books, maps, and reports. Some said that the traverse was 19miles, 17miles, my gps track said it was 16.27 and is usually pretty accurate. Anyways here is the link to my run-www.movescount.com/moves/move33293173 my run was done in 5:14, unsupported. - Michael"
Adam Wilcox added this: For some history, Tim Seaver traversed the range in 2009 in 8:05, then kayaked Flagstaff Lake back to his truck. www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?30341-Bigelow-Range-Flagstaff-Lake-Loop