This trail follows a gravel road through woods into a field for about three quarters of a mile, paralleling the restored railroad bed of the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad (SR&RL). A short section of the trail from the end of the field to Sanders Station is actually the railroad track itself. There are several geocaches along the trail, for those interested in geocaching.
The trail has many interesting features highlighting Maine's narrow gauge railroad history. At the north end of the trail, Sanders Station and the Phillips Freight House, both relocated and restored buildings, now function as a railroad museum. A working replica roundhouse and the restored Phillips Station are at the southern end of the rail. The brick house marking the Amble Street Trailhead was built by Civil War Major Seward Dill, an early promoter and investor in the railroad, and was called Ambleside. Numerous passenger cars, cabooses, and box cars also line the trail.
The trail and the narrow gauge rail line are both maintained and operated by the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad. The original line was abandoned in 1935, but was revived in the 1970 by the Phillips Historical Society. Throughout the summer and fall it operates a replica SR&RL steam engine and it offers rides and tours to visitors about every two weeks. Check the train schedule ahead of time if you are interested in one of their tours by contacting the SR&RL Museum or by consulting their website.
Users please note that this is an easy trail; however, the short section on the railroad track makes for uneven walking, and also, if the Sandy River and Rangeley Railroad is offering rides on the day of your visit, this section of the trail on the tracks will be closed!
Visit the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad online for more information or contact:Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad
From Farmington or Rangeley: From the intersection of ME Routes 4 and 142 in Phillips, follow ME Route 142 into Phillips. At the stop sign, turn right onto ME Route 149 (Main Street) and continue 0.4 miles to the "T" intersection in downtown Phillips. Turn left and continue on ME Route 149 across the bridge over the Sandy River. Immediately after the bridge, turn left onto Amble Street and park next to the brick building ("Ambleside") on the right at the end of Amble Street.
From Kingfield: From the intersection of ME Routes 27 and 142, follow ME Route 142 south to Philips. Once in Philips, proceed straight onto ME Route 149 (Main Street) when ME Route 142 takes a sharp right. Continue 0.4 miles on ME Route 149 to the "T" intersection in downtown Phillips. Turn left and continue on ME Route 149 across the bridge over the Sandy River. Immediately after the bridge, turn left onto Amble Street and park next to the brick building ("Ambleside") on the right at the end of Amble Street.
Sanders Station Trailhead
From Farmington or Rangeley: Follow the above instructions, but instead of turning left onto Amble Street, drive straight onto Bridge Street (Bridge Hill). The trailhead is located at the SR&RL Museum on the left about 0.5 miles from the bridge over the Sandy River.
From Kingfield: From the intersection of ME Routes 27 and 142, follow ME Route 142 south to Philips. Just before ME Route 142 crosses the Sandy River, veer left onto Mill Hill Road. Follow Mill Hill Road (Bridge Hill Road) for about 0.7 miles and turn right into the SR&RL RR Museum.
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