The Blue Ridge Trail system -- developing north of the Katahdin Iron Works (KI) Road east of Greenville -- provides hiking, remote pond fishing access, backcountry (primitive) mountain biking, trail running, and wildlife watching opportunities. Backpacking and expanded winter use including snowshoeing and ungroomed, challenging cross-country skiing will be available as trailheads, campsites, and final trail segments are completed. This description includes only a portion of the trail system; the listing will be updated as soon as final stages of construction occur on adjacent trail resources.
“Rum - Cranberry Loop” - 5K (3.1 miles)
The westernmost portion of the Blue Ridge Trail System is the focus of this listing. Starting at the trailhead parking near Rum Pond, head roughly 250 feet down the trail towards the pond. To join the blue-marked trail system, veer right (north). After a short distance including crossing Rum Brook on a "winter" logging road bridge and ducking back into the woods, look for the Blue Ridge Trail to continue northward while the yellow-marked Rum Brook Trail heads across the logging road and into the woods eastward. The main blue-marked Blue Ridge Trail continues generally northward eventually passing a pleasant stand of mature softwood along Rum Pond. Shortly thereafter, the trail reaches a spur to a proposed campsite on the shore of Rum Pond. The trail then crosses the same woods road as it leaves the pond, gaining elevation and passing through fairly recent timber harvesting on the other side of the growing-in logging road.
After cresting the low ridge between Rum Pond and Cranberry Pond, the trail begins its relatively gentle descent to the low ground around Cranberry Pond. Just before reaching Cranberry Pond, a spur trail to a planned campsite runs roughly 600 feet to the north, where the mostly wetland-fringed pond's outlet drains steeply northward towards Upper Wilson Pond. The main trail continues eastward along the south shore of the pond before reaching a junction with the yellow-marked Rum Brook Trail. Take the Rum Brook Trail to head back to the starting point. At approximately a half-mile south of the junction by Cranberry Pond, there is a junction with the Headwaters Trail (heading east, red-marked). Continue past this junction on the Rum Brook Trail another 0.8 miles to reach the original junction of the Blue Ridge and Rum Brook Trails near the trailhead. Note: the Headwaters Trail is under construction to its eventual designated trailhead on the KI Road near Vaughn Stream. However, it is possible to access the currently completed 0.7-miles of this trail by parking at a temporary access point shown on the map (and then walking 700 feet east along the unnamed logging road to reach the completed segment north of the road (on left).
Trailheads and campsite areas are planned to be owned by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands through a donation made by the Weyerhaeuser Company as part of the Moosehead Lake Region Concept Plan (2009 - Maine Land Use Planning Commission). The Concept Plan also enabled the construction of the trail itself, which is on land still owned by Weyerhaeuser but on which the State of Maine holds a trail easement.
Check back on this listing as 2018 should see the trail mileage available to the public here more than double by the end of the construction season - including exciting options for multi-day excursions made possible by linkages with partner trail managers.
You can volunteer on this and other trails managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. Here, this is especially true for mountain bikers. Trail development has sought to enable (at least advanced) bike use, though continual improvements to the trail can improve the biking experience. Contact us if interested -- many hands are needed to keep Maine's trails beautiful and open.
Visit Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands online for more information or contact:
Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Western Public Lands Office
The trailhead sits roughly 7 miles east of Greenville. Leave downtown Greenville and drive east on Pleasant Street/East Road past the Greenville Municipal Airport. The road becomes gravel-surfaced and passes over Wilson Stream becoming known as the Katahdin Iron Works Road. (Alternatively, access from the east via Brownville is possible, though road fees apply.) At just over 7 miles from Greenville, turn north on Rum Pond Road -- a somewhat rough gravel road leading a little over a mile to the trailhead parking area. The Rum Pond Road is not plowed.
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