Mount Abraham - Fire Warden Trail

This challenging day hike leads up to one of Maine’s 4000-foot peaks and the second largest alpine zone in Maine. Features include a boulder scramble and beautiful views on a nice day.
Trail Activity
Length
3.8 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Strenuous
Town
Mount Abram Twp
Surface
Dirt/Forest Floor, Rock/Ledge
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

This hike up Mount Abraham, locally referred to as Mount Abram, offers a challenging and rewarding experience for the experienced and advanced hiker. The Fire Warden Trail is the traditional, non-Appalachian Trail approach to the highest of the eight peaks that make up the 4.5 mile ridge line. The ridge line and eastern slopes of the mountain, up which the trail climbs, are a part of a Maine state ecological reserve. The well-worn Fire Warden Trail is easy to follow with blue-blazed markings until just after the campsite/privy where they start to become sparse as the trail gets more steep. 

From the trailhead, the trail goes through forest stands of deciduous with open undergrowth, crosses another logging road at just over a mile, and continues to a campsite reached at roughly 2.5 miles from the start of the trail, the trail begins to steadily and sometimes steeply climb towards the 4,045 foot summit of Mount Abram. About three-quarters of a mile from the campsite, the trail breaks above tree line offering great views on a clear day of nearby Spaulding and Sugarloaf Mountains. The remaining half mile of the trail to the summit is a boulder scramble through the second largest alpine zone in Maine. At approximately 350 acres, it is second in area only to Katahdin in the state. This section of trail is very exposed and can be dangerous in bad weather. The trail is well marked by cairns above tree line, but even the experienced and advanced hikers will need to pay attention to stay on the trail, especially in bad weather.

At the summit, there is a large cairn marking the peak. Here, the trail connects to a side trail which runs north to connect to the Appalachian Trail. On a clear day hikers can enjoy 360 degree views of the entire High Peaks region of Maine.

Other Information

For more information about the interesting geology of Mount Abraham and the features along the trail check out Geology of Mount Abraham in the Maine Geological Survey's website

 

LMF Logo

This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage.

Trail Manager

Visit Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands online for more information or contact:

Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Western Public Lands Office

Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Western Public Lands Office
PO Box 327
Farmington, Maine 04938
Phone: (207) 778-8231
Tim.Post@maine.gov

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Trail Tips

Minimize Campfire Impacts
Keep campfires small and contained to established fire rings in permitted sites only.
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Trailhead Information

From the intersection of ME-27 and ME-16 in Kingfield, follow ME-27 north about a half mile and turn left onto West Kingfield Road. This will be the second left after crossing a bridge over a tributary to the Carrabassett River. Stay on West Kingfield Road, which becomes a dirt road. West Kingfield Road ends after 3.5 miles; continue straight onto Rapid Stream Road (also a dirt road), and follow it another 2.5 miles until you reach the first major fork in the road. Take the left fork and park at the grassy pullout before Rapid Stream.

High clearance vehicles can continue on past this first parking area and across two bridges over Rapid Stream. After the second crossing, there is a fork, follow the right fork for approximately 1 mile until the trailhead, where parking is also available.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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Karen Henderson
August 05, 2019
08.04.2019
Spent an amazing day hiking to the Mt. Abraham summit! Our tribe consisted of myself and two other women I frequently walk or exercise with. I consider myself moderately in shape, possibly sporting more weight than I should be, however, despite the duration it was well worth the effort.
The road in is well maintained, once you are at the end of West Kingfield Road (approx. 3 miles), the hot top ends and turns to dirt. From this point it is approx. another 2.5 miles to the trailhead. You will cross 2 cement bridges, upon crossing the second bridge you take an immediate right and follow the dirt road another 3/10 ths of a mile and come to a tee in the road. Parking is to the left and the trailhead is to the right.
The first portion of the hike winds through forest consisting of roots and rock, all well worn with time and travel. During the first hour of hiking you cross what appears to be an old road (maybe an old county road?) of some sort, don’t let this distract you, you cross and keep going!
Halfway to the summit you pass a rustic campsite including an outhouse, just be sure you have your own T-paper! Once you get here the trail becomes significantly more challenging regarding a cardiovascular workout, but nothing unmanageable. The true challenge presents when you break out of the tree line about ¾ mile from the summit. It is steep and rocky, large granite type rock, shale and roundish rocks that give way under your feet. I felt extremely exposed as it was quite windy but keep on going! This portion extends for a few rises which makes you think you’re there but not quite, it is here that you also cross the Appalachian Trail.

We set foot on the trail post selfie with the trailhead sign at 7:20 A.M. and returned to the car to give word to my spouse that we were safely off the mountain at 1:57 P.M. We took a few water breaks, stopping halfway at the campsite for about 10 minutes and spend about 30 minutes at the peak. You are afforded a panoramic view that makes you feel very small but powerful at the same time. I do not have enough words to describe how incredibly fortunate that this is in my backyard!
Karen Henderson
July 15, 2019
Planning on making this trek next weekend. How long do most people allow for up and back?
Patrick Cunningham
August 13, 2018
We had a great hike on this route to the summit. The bridges are awesome and the last little stretch of road was a bit rough but fine in our minivan. I think any reasonable car can make it as long as there isn't a wash out. Good hike for our 13 year olds. Great visibility and views 360 degrees on top. Highly recommend it.
Laura Casey
June 07, 2017
The two bridges across Rapid Stream are beautiful and durable; however, Rapid Stream road after that point is still extremely rough (yes, rougher than the first 2.5 miles). Would only recommend high clearance vehicles past the bridges.
Kristine Reid
May 08, 2017
The trail manager for MBPL, Peter Smith, says that the bridges are in great shape and we should be able to drive to the trailhead! Good day Saturday for hiking.
MaineTrailFinder
May 06, 2017
Snowapple53 - If you don't get a response from another user, you might try contacting the trail manager whose email and phone are listed above. And feel free to report back what you find out here. Happy trails! -MTF Team
Kristine Reid
May 06, 2017
Has anyone been up Abraham this spring? As of May3, how far is the road to the trailhead passable? Just wondering. Thinking of climbing for Mother's day!
MaineTrailFinder
July 20, 2016
Thanks for letting us know that the bridges have been rebuilt, mchabe! We have updated the map and text accordingly. Happy hiking! -MTF Team
Matthew Chabe
July 20, 2016
Updates as of 19JUL2016:

The two bridges to cross Spring Stream have been replaced. You no longer need to ford this area.

While the trail is well-marked with MATC signage, the summit has no sign.
EmilyZimmermann
October 06, 2014
As of 10/5/14 the remains of the fire tower was no longer standing. It had been pushed off the high point and was lying just to the southwest, with the summit sign pointing up at the sky.
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