As part of a last push to finish off the New England 4000 footers, I did a day hike to finish of Bigelow and Avery peaks.
Now I know that this hike in Bigelow Preserve in Maine is normally done as a lollipop hike up the Fire Warden’s trail (something like this). However, I originally tried to do this which is shorter to hit both the peaks via Safford Brook Trail. Unfortunately, I did not count on the Carriage Road being closed that I was supposed to take to get to Safford Brook Trail. Without much cell service to do a lot of research, I frantically decided to just go up the AT from the south and figure out what to do after I was on top of the mountain.
The trip was harder than it had to be because it goes up and over the Bigelow horns which adds some extra mileage and climbing on the day. But there were plenty of great peaks culminating in the climb up Bigelow and then Avery. These are great peaks, in my opinion. They have great 360 views from the top but not a lot of exposure before that. While peaks with a lot of exposure can be exciting (like nearby Abraham) I usually prefer the “hike below treeline and then pop up” style that Bigelow and Avery both have.
Horn Pond was an awesome bonus to the hike that I wouldn’t have gotten. It was a very peaceful pond at elevation with a nearby tent campground. This is definitely a backpacking spot worth coming back and checking out again.
At the top of Bigelow I met the caretaker, Logjam. He assumed I was a thru-hiker which instantly indeared him to me. After the conversation, I decided to take the Fire Warden’s trail back down the mountain. That was a crazy steep trail but also incredibly well built so that it was essentially a giant staircase up the mountain.