View Full Version : Gorham to Caratunk... Section Hike in July

06-10-2017, 10:35
Any advice on must sees or do's?

Not familiar with Maine ABC laws. Will I be able to fill up my flask in any of the towns?

Suggestions on transportation from Caratunk to Portland train station.

588.2 miles to go.


06-10-2017, 12:10
You'll see enough not leaving the trail.

Probably the only town with a liquor store will be in Rangeley, which is about 1/2 way.

Caratunk is in the middle of no where. You'll have to bribe a local to take you to Portland. It's a long way, so will cost you plenty.

06-10-2017, 15:29
Slo-go'en, thanks!

TJ aka Teej
06-10-2017, 15:38
Western Maine is rugged, as you know. If you can, extend your trip to Monson, an AT shuttle hub.
"must sees or do's?" You're doing it. You'll see.

06-10-2017, 16:07
The Sterling Inn shuttles to Portland. They also shuttle to Waterville, which is a lot closer (and cheaper), where you can catch a Greyhound to points south, including Portland. I did the same section as you last September and took the bus to Boston, then connected with Amtrak and local rail to return home.

06-10-2017, 18:15
Thanks TJ and TipToe. Last 2 sections Salisbury to Rutland and Gorham to Rutland have been so easy to get home from. Just walk to the train station from the Yellow Deli. Can't wait to finish the Long Trail in 2019 and get back to Rutland.

06-11-2017, 08:34
There is a two day detour called the Grafton loop trail in Grafton Notch. Nice ridge line hiking but you will miss about 4 miles of the AT.

Rain Man
06-11-2017, 17:46
Any advice on must sees or do's?

Really rugged trail. Rangeley and Stratton are two nice trail towns. Good resupply, restaurants, places to stay. Rangeley has an outfitter. Stratton motel will shuttle you back to Rangeley.

Andover (& East Andover) have historic and brand new hostels, plus resupply and restaurants. Shuttles.

Harrisons' Pierce Pond Camps is about 4 miles before Caratunk. A worthy stay.

Of course, the Mahoosuc Notch. Lots of great mountain top "balds" too. Oh, and lakes.

06-12-2017, 09:19
...and loons.

06-12-2017, 10:39
The Andover General Store is an "agency" liquor store. Maine runs the alcohol business in the state and in rural areas they have agency stores. Selection is usually small.

When the AT had to be relocated particularly in western Maine, they moved it up to the ridgeline and really got the "best" routing. They did unfortunately skip a few spots one in particular is the Cataracts in Frye Brook Notch. The AT used to go right along them and there was an AT shelter.

A frequently done thing is to slackpack around the Andover Maine area. A local hostel offers potential slackplacks http://www.pineellis.com/hiker-s-page.html

Grafton Notch to E.B. Hill / 10 miles
E.B. Hill to So. Arm Rd. / 10 miles
So. Arm Rd. to Rte. #17 / 13 miles
Rte. #17 to Rte #4 / 13 miles

All four of these sections have steep ups and downs and after a few days in the Mahoosucs, you may appreciate the break from the backpack. Most folks skip from Grafton Notch to East B Hill road, but more than few do to the next stretch as a slackpack as Hall Mountain and Moody mountain are steep and Sawyer notch in between means you are climbing the elevation twice. Moody still has a few steel bars for hiker assists but the trail was relocated around the worse section after a slide. The next section is also popular South Arm to Rt 17. The last section offered is really not worth it, its nice walk in relatively flat territory.

The AT cross the Maine Huts and Trails system on the east side of Bigelow, they have a incredible "hut" on Flagstaff lake about 3 miles north of the AT junction. A deluxe version of an AMC hut with hot showers, breakfast and supper included. Not cheap but a nice break.

Definitely dont miss Pierce Pond Shelter and breakfast at the sporting camp a short walk away (if its still offered).

06-12-2017, 12:12
While slack packing out of Andover is nice since those hills are a LOT easier without a full pack, it is also an expensive way to do it. Between the shuttles, the stay at the hostel and eating out of the little restaurant everyday (breakfast, a sandwich to go for lunch and then dinner) I figure I spent over $200 to slack pack that section. But, it was worth it!

06-12-2017, 12:55
Thanks Peakbagger and Slo-goin. I really hope to hear a loon.

06-12-2017, 12:57
I agree organized slackpacks are definitely not inexpensive hiking but I find that a lot of section hikers tend to have bit more cash and willing to pay for upgrades. I discussed this with a rental owner down south one year with someone who had a rental that she ran as hikers rental during through hiker season and she confirmed that she made more cash for extras out of section hikers than thru hikers.