Berry Pickers’ Trail – Great Maine Outdoor Weekend

Finishing up the sign post.
Dave Field puts on the finishing touches.
On our way!
The junction with the A.T.
The Saddleback group makes its way to the summit.

The Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust had a GREAT outing for the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend on Saturday, September 17th.  The weather was perfect, we had a great (very large!) group and we accomplished our goal of getting up the first signs for the Berry Pickers’ Trail.

We met at Edmunds Market in Phillips and proceeded to break into groups according to planned hiking agendas for the day.  One group was planning to go up to the summits of both Saddleback and The Horn, one was going to accompany Dave Field on a loop hike over Saddleback to Eddy Pond and back to the car spot on the Fly Rod Crosby Trail, and one was just going up to the junction with the Appalachian Trail between Saddleback and The Horn, where the Berry Pickers’ Trail ends.

After re-meeting at the ATV gate on the Fly Rod Crosby Trail – which is a multi-use trail, allowing hikers, bikers, ATV riders, cross country skiers and snowmobilers – we proceeded up to the actual trailhead of the Berry Pickers’ Trail, which is located at a bridge crossing Winship Stream.  Betsy and Bud, who live in the area and have used some incarnation of the Berry Pickers’ Trail for thirty years, met us on their fat tire bikes!  We – actually one volunteer (thanks Rob!) – carried a post to put up at the trailhead, with a sign that has the following text.

sign-textSince there were 19 hikers who were all excited about the opening on this trail, we had many hands to make the work light.  Dave Field dug the post hole with some help from Deb Carroll, Maine A.T. Land Trust board member.  Hikers Kimberly, Charlie and Terri helped gather stones to put around the post once it was up. When it was standing, Dave Field read the text and put the sign board up.  Applause!

Back to the hiking, where we proceeded in a long line up to the ridge to Saddleback Mountain.  People went at different paces, but everybody was having a good time and meeting new people.  Betsy and Bud had lunch with the big group and went back down to their fat tire bikes.  We made it to the A.T. junction at about 1pm and Dave Field took out another, identical sign board, which he then hung at the intersection of the A.T. and Berry Pickers’ Trail.  Mission accomplished!

At the junction, everybody took in the views and then proceeded on their different hikes.  One large group headed up Saddleback, where five individuals went down to Eddy Pond.  Nine would backtrack and then head over to The Horn, before backtracking again down the Berry Pickers’ Trail.  And a last group lingered at the junction spot for a long time, watching the others head up, before heading back down.

It was a great day on the trail and we want to thank everybody for coming out for the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend and helping us to finish the work on the Berry Pickers’ Trail.  And most of all, thanks to Dave Field and Maine Appalachian Trail Club for trail work to get it open.

Check our website for updates on our next hike up Pleasant Pond Mountain on September 25th!