Connecting Jay, Wilton, and Farmington, this section of the former broad gauge Androscoggin Railroad (later the Maine Central) has been converted into a multi-use, four-season rail trail for everything from walking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing to horseback riding, dog sledding, ATVing, and snowmobiling. Following the gentle curves and slopes of the railroad bed, the trail is generally wide and flat making it ideal for easy walks or for travelling long distances.
The trail traverses a variety of landscapes including scenic views Western Maine’s foothills, forested wetlands, and rural farmland. Closely replicating the historic railroad setting, the trail also features several trestles spanning tree-lined streams and rivers. In Jay, old granite walls and culverts remain as testaments to both the railroad’s legacy as well as to the nearby quarrying heritage of North Jay. A wayside exhibit details additional information about Maine and New Hampshire Granite Company that operated the quarries until the turn of the century. For more information about the quarries visit the nearby North Jay White Granite Park.
During the winter, Farmington’s Franklin Memorial Hospital provides shelter at a warming “yurt” along the trail. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are both permitted, as is snowmobiling.
Dogs are welcome if leashed and owners clean up after them. On multi-use trails, motorized vehicles must yield to non-motorized traffic. The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands asks all visitors to demonstrate courtesy and respect to all other trail users as well as to adjacent landowners.
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.
Visit Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands for more information or contact:
Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Off-road Vehicle Division
There are two official trailheads, though the Whistle Stop Trail can be accessed at many points in Farmington, Wilton, and Jay.
West Farmington Trailhead: From the intersection of US Route 2 and ME Route 43 in West Farmington, follow ME Route 43. At the four way stop at the top of the hill, turn left. On the right, a sign for the Whistle Stop Trail marks the entrance across the street from the entrance to the West Farmington Post Office. Turn right at this sign and drive about 200 yards on an unpaved road to the large parking area at the end of the road.
French Falls Park Trailhead:
From South: From the intersection of ME Routes 4 and 17 in Livermore Falls follow ME Routes 4/17 north 1.6 miles, turning left onto French Falls Drive just after the Jay Elementary School. Follow this road past the Whistle Stop Trail entrance and park in the lot at the end of the road next to the baseball field.
From North: From the intersection of ME Routes 4 and 17 with ME Route 140 in Jay, follow ME Routes 4/17 south about a mile. Turn right onto French Falls Drive just before you reach the Jay Elementary School. Follow this road past the Whistle Stop Trail entrance and park in the lot at the end of the road next to the baseball field.
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