QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 6,214 acres
- Trail Mileage: 4.5 miles to summit
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: challenging
- Sights: Georgous views from the 4,049-ft. summit
Mt.Abraham and Spaulding Mountain trail in yellow; trail up North/South Crocker in blue; Mt. Redington loop trail in red; Sugarloaf Mountain trail in purple;
Climbing this mountain via the well-marked 4.5-mile Fire Warden’s Trail, the most popular way to summit, will take a good chunk of the day (at least five hours up and down). Nonetheless, it is a hike I feel confident many people can do. The day I did it, there were many hikers (it’s quite popular) of all ages and speeds. What helps to make the high mountain (4,049 feet) accessible is that the first ~2.6 miles is easy going, offering a gradual uphill walk through forest. At about 2.6 miles, which is also where you’ll see a rustic camping spot, the trail begins to get a bit steeper. This continues for 0.7 miles before entering the last open — and gorgeous — stretch to the summit.
The final 0.5 miles of the hike, up what I believe is called a talus field, is perhaps the hardest part because you’re walking on broken rock fragments. The path has been well made, however, and it feels stable and easy to follow.
Be warned: There can be an icy gale at the exposed summit! Hikers have created wind blocks, and other interesting sculptures, with the loose stone, so it is possible to enjoy a sandwich without freezing. Mt. Abraham’s alpine zone is 350 acres, which is the second-largest in Maine after Katahdin, according to the AMC Maine Mountain Guide. Additionally, it looks like some hikers explore the open ridge extending southeast from the summit—I’ll have to check it out one day.
From the summit, you can continue west to the Appalachian Trail, 1.7 miles away down a descent. Once you’re on the AT, you can continue north, to Spaulding Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, or the Crockers, or south, to Saddleback Ridge.
The mountain is part of the 6,214-acre Mt. Abraham Public Reserved Land.
Directions: The access road to the trailhead is very rough, only recommended for high-clearance vehicles. If you don’t want to drive it, I highly recommend booking a ride with All Points Transportation, a local shuttle service you can reserve ahead of time. From Route 27 in Kingfield, turn onto West Kingfield Road. At 3.3 miles, the road turns to dirt. At 3.5 miles, continue straight onto Rapid Stream Road. At 6 miles, take a left at a big intersection and cross two bridges. After the second bright, take a sharp right onto what can be a rough road for 0.5 mile to the trail head, which is marked with a sign. The main parking area is a hundred feet or so from the trailhead, which can be a bit confusing.