Western Maine to welcome new 20-mile trail

The completion of the first 20 miles of the Fly Rod Crosby (FRC) Trail will be celebrated at a dedication ceremony held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Philips Area Community Center in Philips.

Courtesy of High Peaks Alliance
High Peaks Alliance summer interns Quincy Mitman, Jay Chenard and Michael Phaelon celebrate the completion of the final section of newly constructed foot path in Madrid Township.

The FRC Trail will eventually stretch 45 miles from Strong to Oquossoc. The trail is being developed in three segments, of which Phillips to Saddleback Mountain is the first.

The trail is based on the life and times of Maine’s first registered guide, Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby. Crosby was a famous fly-fisher, journalist and the first person to market the Maine Woods as an early destination for tourism.

She lived in Phillips, where the first section of trail starts, and worked closely with the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad. The trail stats close to the railroad’s abandoned bed, which stretches north and west through Madrid and Sandy River Plantation. The trail then veers off into the backcountry as it follows Orbeton and Hardy streams around the western shoulder of Saddleback Mountain, finally ending at the ski resort.

The Fly Rod Crosby Trail is a project of the High Peaks Alliance, a small nonprofit in northern Franklin County whose mission is: “to ensure and enhance public access to recreation in Maine’s High Peaks Region.” The group is made up of local people who hunt, fish, hike, ski, bike, ATV and snowmobile, and advocates for collaboration and cooperation in order to preserve public access to recreation for current and future generations.

“This new trail wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of so many private landowners who gave permission for the trail to cross their land and wonderful effort by all of our volunteers,” said Ben Godsoe, who has been working on this project since 2010, in a recent press release. “We are especially proud that we could offer a total of 11 jobs over three years to local youth to work on the trail.”


• 10 a.m. The dedication will kick off with a history walk around downtown Phillips, starting at the Old Gym on Depot Street. The walk will feature the Beal Block, Vose House, Paul G. Whittemore Building and Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum.

10:30 a.m. For a small donation walkers can take a ride on the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad, which will be giving rides.

11:30 a.m. Maine Senator Tom Saviello will help dedicate the trail at the Phillips Area Community Center (old gym).
12-1 p.m. Cookout in the the Phillips Area Community Center (old gym), as well as music and trail information.
1-3 p.m. Guided hikes on the Fly Rod Crosby Trail. Hikes leave from the Phillips Area Community Center at 1 p.m.

For information about the dedication or trail, visit www.highpeaksalliance.org or call 578-0306.


Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com.