Trail Distance: 11.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2800'
Terrain Rating: Average
Hike In: 9:12AM
Hike Out: 3:42PM
Trailhead: Stratton Brook parking area on Stratton Brook Pond Road in Kingfield, ME. When you turn on Stratton Brook Pond Road, follow the road about 2 miles until you reach the parking lot (mileage is not marked). Keep right at the fork on Stratton Brook Pond Road (it crosses the AT).
This classic Maine loop hike goes up 2 of Maine’s 4000 footers - West Peak (4,150’) and Avery Peak (4,088’) via the Fire Warden’s and Horns Pond Trail. Both summits have 360 degree views, and you will hike along portions of the famed Appalachian Trail. This was a beautiful fall hike, full of colors and out of bug season. Every moment was an opportunity to look up.
At the Stratton Brook parking area, head 1.6 miles until you reach the official trail post. This means you’re at the Fire Warden’s trail! From here, it is 2 miles of mild terrain and gradual elevation gain, and 1 mile of steep uphill scrambling. At the Avery Col Campsite junction, head right 0.4 miles to Avery Peak. This summit offers sweeping views of Flagstaff Lake and in the fall, beautiful fall foliage views. This is a good time to relax, eat lunch, and enjoy the view!
Afterwards, head back towards the Avery Col Campsite and summit West Peak (another 0.3 miles). From here you will start your descent on the Appalachian Trail 2.6 miles to the Horns Pond Trail junction. Take Horns Pond Trail 2.5 miles until you are back at the official trail post.
There are many no fee, no reservation options to camp along the loop. I would highly recommend taking it slow and enjoying a weekend here! It was absolutely beautiful in the fall, with bright greens and yellows, and a few reds. The best park about hiking in Maine is that it is less crowded.
- 4L of water
- 1 KIND granola bar, 1 ClifBar, 1 premade massive sandwich to feed a small army
- LL Bean Hiking Shoes, Hiking Socks
- Yoga pants, Non-cotton t shirt
- Standard daypack
- Extra clothes packed away: hiking socks, hiking pants, windbreaker, lightweight long-sleeved shirt, thin fleece
- Emergency Gear: Map & GPS, Headlamp, reduced First-Aid Kit, Swiss Army Knife