QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: >15,000 acres
- Trail Mileage: ~10.5-mile loop
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: challenging
- Sights: views, mossy forests, river, meadows
Mt. Redington loop trail in red; trail up North/South Crockerin blue; Sugarloaf Mountain trail in purple; Mt. Abraham and Spaulding Mountain trail in yellow
The paths up Mt. Redington are almost more enjoyable than the 4,010-foot summit, which has a decent view evidently, although I couldn’t see anything due to the fog when I hiked it! Even with the clouds and drizzle, I found this area, part of the 3,415-acre Redington Wilderness Sanctuary and 12,046-acre Crocker Mountains preserve, to be very pretty.
Many hiking guides warn that the routes up Redington are unmarked “herd paths.” While there may be no blazes painted on trees, the paths to the summit are easy to follow as this mountain is increasingly popular. Cairns and tape help steer you in the right direction at junctions. If you’re still nervous, use mapping apps like Strava, Gaia or AllTrails to make sure you’re on the right path.
I recommend hiking the approximately 10.5-mile loop to Redington clockwise, starting from the Caribou Valley Road trailhead. If you take this route, you’ll first walk a rather long 3.0 miles down a dirt road that follows the river. (At one point, there is a rough, short path down to where the river washes over some flat ledges.)
At 3 miles, this road forks left over the river. You will turn right here, onto a more narrow path that was a bit overgrown when I was there. But eventually the trail opens up and you’ll find yourself walking through flower-filled meadows (depending on the time of year, of course) with views of the mountain ahead (on clear days, of course…I surmise this from looking at other people’s photos). The area is being “rewilded,” and the forest is recovering. So these meadows won’t be here forever!
Eventually, the path takes a turn into a mossy fir forest, which ascends fairly steeply up to a trail that connects Redington with South Crocker. Turn left at this junction, and you’ll reach Redington’s summit in about a quarter mile.
I found the path connecting Redington and South Crocker to be the most difficult part of the hike. It is very narrow and rough in sections, and includes steep sections. My GPS also cut out at one point, oddly. Nonetheless, I never felt unsure of where the path went. It is visible at all times.
Once you’re on South Crocker’s summit, you can follow the Appalachian Trail steeply down 2.1 miles or so back to Caribou Valley Road. Or you can make your way over to North Crocker on the AT.
Directions: You can summit Mt. Redington two ways. One of the trailheads leaves from Caribou Valley Road, which is a rough dirt road best tackled with high-clearance vehicles. To reach Caribou Valley Road, continue 1 mile west along Route 27 from the access road to Sugarloaf. Turn left and drive carefully another 3.8 miles down the road to a yellow gate and large parking area (often filled with cars on nice summer days). If you’re leaving from Mt Abraham, check out my directions here. If you don’t want to drive the treacherous road to Mt Abraham’s trailhead, I highly recommend booking a ride with All Points Transportation.