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.
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 the website for information on how to purchase the guide and to learn about volunteer opportunities and becoming a member of MATC.
Visit Maine Appalachian Trail Club online for more information or contact:
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.
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