View Full Version : ME shuttles & trailheads - Monson to Saddleback

10-04-2004, 10:28
This is all about my shuttling adventures on my latest AT trip. I just got back from my annual southbound slackpacking AT trip. This year I hiked from Monson to Bog Brook Road off of Long Falls Dam Road near the east end of Flagstaff Lake. We were discouraged from using Marble Brook Road (which I heard I should consider to split up section from Blanchard to Moxie pond. But my group did not want to take their cars in there. And once we were committed to driving in and if it did not work out we felt we lost the day. So judging from the terrain we pushed and hiked from Blanchard-Shirley Road all the way to Moxie Pond Road which was 18.5 miles and although very long, the terrain and trail was easy (even with the moderate climb up Moxie Bald). We also arranged for two cars to pick us up at the end so no car shuttle was required. One car was from our group by one of the participants who chose not to hike the 18 miles. So starting at 7:10 AM we finished the hike by 6 PM.
So our schedule and hikes went like this.

Sun. 9/26: Monson (ME 15) to spur trail leading to Pleasant Street/Bray Road on Lake Hebron. (3.6 miles) Short hike because we drove from NY (500 miles) on this day.

Mon: 9/27: Shirley-Blanchard Road to Moxie Pond Road (18.5 miles)

Tue: 9/28: spur trail leading to Pleasant Street/Bray Road on Lake Hebron to Shirley-Blanchard Road. (3.3 miles) This filled in the gap left from Monday's hike. Short hike and good thing since we were beat from yesterday's marathon. Then we left Shaw's in Monson and headed for our stay in Bingham. We made the Pine Grove Lodge near Bingham as our base for the rest of the trip (next 4 nights). The afternoon was open and I explored the dirt road leading to Perham Stream so I know what to expect next year. I found the intersection of the road with the AT. See below with accurate mileages and detailed account of drive. My directions approached it along ME 142 from Kingfield.

Wed. 9/29: Moxie Pond Road to US 201-Caratunk. (12.2 miles) Made short excursion hike to Moxie Falls (one mile RT) while on car shuttle past The Forks. Worth it. The drive along Moxie Pond from the north is all very scenic and an added bonus.

Thurs: 9/30: US 201-Caratunk to Main Logging Road. No problem finding Main Logging Road. One turn from Pine Grove Lodge. This is an ideal base for these 3 day hikes. $30 per day includes breakfast. Excellent all you can eat full breakfast was served at 6 AM buffet style. They have two cabins, bunk room and several rooms in the main lodge. They mainly cater to hunters & fishermen, but their location just 5 miles out of Bingham to the northwest is perfect. They also said they would offer shuttle service if requested. Above and beyond they have an indoor hot tub for your use. Bob & Andrea Howe, Pine Grove Lodge, 823 Ridge Road, Pleasant Ridge, ME 04920, www.pinegrovelodge.com, (207) 672-4011.

Fri. 10/1: Main Logging Road to East Flagstaff Road near east end of Flagstaff Lake. To get from Pine Grove Lodge to Flagstaff Lake, it was decided that it would be easier to stay with paved roads and go the long way around making a big horseshoe by following ME 16 from Bingham to North New Portland and then Long Falls Dam Road. (Note: where ME 16 makes sharp curve to left at a general store Long Falls Dam Road goes straight. It is clearly marked.) Another note along excellent paved roads and easy to follow cutting off some distance is as follows. Just after Solon bridge on ME 16/ US 201A, make a right turn on Across Town Road and another right on Wentworth Road, which leads back into ME 16. This short cut saves the extra travel distance looping south on ME 16 thru North Anson. The directions I had from Long Falls Dam Road to the Main Logging Road was perfect and better than what was described on the ME AT map set. (I still don't know where their starting point of gated access road to dam facility was!!!).

Sat. 10/2: Travel home.

Now for the updated directions to Perham Stream (This will get you to intersect the AT between Mt. Abraham & Saddleback Junior):

1) From intersection of Me 16/27/142 in Kingfield take ME 142 southwest 12.7 miles.
2) Look for East Madrid Road (signed & paved) on right. Sign there is for (Hot Mix Plant).
3) 1.0 miles from there pavement ends & 1.9 miles pavement resumes.
4) 2.1 4-way intersection (crossroad) continue straight. (I made right turn here on Bray Hill Road - way too soon following directions I had and came to dead end.)
5) 3.0 pavement ends again.
6) 4.5 cross bridge near houses. Just beyond, road becomes a little rough going up hill to left.
7) 5.3 cross roads with fences on far side of intersection. (alot of posted signs at intersection) - make right. Rough narrrow road from here.
8) 5.7 rotted bridge and I wasn't sure I could trust it but asked around and they assured me the bridge was OK and safe to cross.
9) 6.9 green gate on right
10) 7.5 bridge over stream. make immediate left at fork after bridge. Many snowmobile trail signs at intersection
11) 7.7 & 7.8 cross rough gullys
12) 8.0 another fork after another bridge - bear left.
13) 8.3 junction on left - stay straight
14) 9.2 fork again - stay left. (this fork I was not expecting and I took a wild guess which was correct)
15) 9.4 branches on left onto road
16) 10.7 cross AT, Perham Stream bridge & parking on left.

I took my Dodge Caravan and with careful driving a regular passenger car can negotiate the roads to this point. If anyone has any questions and needs detailed mileage directions to any dirt road AT crossingnin Maine I will be very obliged to help. I also have excellent driving directions to access points in Maine 100 Mile Wilderness.

10-24-2004, 22:56
Thanks for the details, I'm planning to do that hike next summer. Is Pine Grove the nearest shuttle service to Caratunk? I'm thinking I would leave my car (a dodge Caravan!) at Caratunk, shuttle to Monson, hike to Caratunk, shuttle to Flagstaff and hike north back to Caratunk. Would be nice to find a spot within walking distance of the trail in Caratunk.

10-25-2004, 00:00
For what you are doing, I would stay right in Caratunk as there is no advantage to go down to Pine Grove Lodge. the reason Pine Grove Lodge was advantageous for us is we broke the stretch from Flagstaff to Caratunk into two dayhikes which made Pine Grove lodge convenient. But if you make that a two day/one night affair then staying in Caratunk would be more convenient and contact Steve Longley. However, if you need shuttling service you can call Pine Grove for their rates and tell them that I recommended you to them. They do alot of shuttling for kayak runs on the Kennebec in the summer.