Berry Picker's Trail to Saddleback or the Horn (via Appalachian Trail)

The Berry Picker’s Trail is a side trail between the Fly Rod Crosby multi-use trail and the Appalachian National Scenic Trail that follows, in part, a route used by local residents for more than 150 years to harvest mountain blueberries and cranberries on Saddleback Mountain.
Trail Activity
Length
4.6 miles, Network
Difficulty
Moderate
Towns
Madrid Twp, Sandy River Plt
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone, Rock/Ledge
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

From the ATV gate, proceed 0.9 miles up the ATV trail and turn left onto the Fly Rod Crosby multi-use trail at a group of signs on two wooden posts. At 1.4 miles you will reach the Berry Picker's trailhead proper, which is on the right side just before a bridge over Winship Stream. From the trailhead at Winship Stream, the route ascends through mixed hardwood and softwood forest along the stream, which has beautiful cascades. The trail becomes steeper, turns away from the stream and at approximately 1.9 miles turns up the ridge toward Saddleback to the left (northwest). On the right, the former route of the historic Berry Picker's Trail can be seen going down the slope.

The trail transitions to open ledges dominated by dwarf spruce, alpine blueberry, and mountain cranberry. At 2.1 miles the trail reaches Boundary Ledge, which is marked with yellow blazes to denote the boundary line between the landowners. At 2.6 miles the trail reaches The Erratic (a large boulder), and then the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) at the top of the ridge at 3 miles. From there, it is 0.7 miles southbound on the A.T. to the summit of Saddleback and 0.9 miles northbound on the A.T. to the summit of The Horn.

The Berry Picker's Trail was also the route originally planned for the Appalachian Trail in 1933. The trail crosses the Orbeton Stream Conservation Easement, land owned by Appalachian Trail Conservancy and land owned by the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust before finally entering the A.T. corridor owned by the National Park Service. Except for occasional double blazes which indicate sharp or unexpected turns, the trail is marked by single, rectangular blue blazes and rock cairns. Much of the route follows open ledges with outstanding views.

Other Information

Do not underestimate the difficulty of hiking the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in Maine. Be sure to carry equipment and supplies necessary for this undertaking and be prepared for challenging weather conditions. Please educate yourself before hiking, so that you can have the knowledge and skills necessary for an enjoyable and safe hike. Fires are only allowed in the provided fireplace ring at established campsites; it is illegal in Maine to build a fire elsewhere.

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail runs from Maine to Georgia along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. It is managed cooperatively by the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and 31 trail-maintaining clubs along with other federal and state land managers whose land the trail crosses. Over 3 million people visit the A.T. every year. Since its inception in the 1920s, thousands of volunteers have worked tirelessly to maintain, manage, and protect the Appalachian Trail. 

In Maine, the all-volunteer Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) maintains and protects the 267-mile section of the Appalachian Trail extending from Katahdin in Baxter State Park to Grafton Notch at ME-26. In addition, MATC maintains over 60 miles of side trails as well as a system of regularly-spaced shelters and campsites to preserve access to wild, backcountry hiking in Maine. MATC publishes The Official Appalachian Trail Guide to Maine, which includes seven maps, please visit their website for information on how to purchase the guide or to learn more about becoming a member of MATC.

Natural Heritage HikesNatural Heritage Hikes is a project of the Maine Natural Areas Program in partnership with Maine Trail Finder. View the "Saddleback Mountain, The Horn - Berry Picker's Trail" guide online here

Trail Manager

Visit Maine Appalachian Trail Club online for more information or contact:

Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC)

Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC)
PO Box 283
Augusta, ME 04332-0283
info@matc.org
View website

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Trail Tips

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Find out about and follow any local regulations and respect landowners’ property.
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Trailhead Information

To reach the trailhead, turn off ME-4 in the center of Madrid village and cross the Sandy River over the one-lane bridge onto the paved Reeds Mill Road. At 3.0 miles, immediately after crossing a bridge over Conant Stream in front of a white house (on the right), turn left onto a good gravel road. Follow this private road which was a very good gravel road but has deteriorated some, for 3.1 miles. Do not take a right on an older, but still high-quality gravel road at this point. This gravel “cross road” has two connections, creating a pie-shaped island in the middle, and is signed for snowmobile use. Follow the road, which bears left at this point and, shortly after crossing a stream (watch out for holes in the bridge), you will arrive at an ATV gate where you can park.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
Please Log In or Create Account to add comments.
Simon Rucker
June 13, 2019
Road in is in pretty good condition - culverts have been replaced and one of the bridges has been re-decked. Take it slow on the bumpier parts but most vehicles should be able to make it in fine! Trail is in great shape.
Theresa York
July 15, 2018
As of July two of the culverts are damaged to the point that l walked miles to the trailhead rather than take my Jeep over them. But with that being said others were driving cars over them.
Simon Rucker
August 08, 2017
The drainage ditches (culverts) have been fixed as of August 8, 2017. Road is rough but any car can probably make it to ATV gate!
Jordan Bell
August 01, 2017
The road to get to where you start can be rather rough unless you have a vehicle with good clearance (SUV or truck). We did it in an Impreza but I probably wouldn't again. There's one place with a drainage ditch where I could see someone in a car without all wheel drive getting stuck. From start to top is 2300 vertical feet over 5.6 miles. Round trip I think took us 4.5 hours. Great trail!
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