9:00 - 4.6 miles / 9 minutes - 9:09
Eighty years ago, Benton MacKaye dreamed of a footpath running
along the eastern mountains. The dream became a reality in the form
of the Appalachian Trail, which extends more than 2,160 miles from
Maine to Georgia. The section of the trail between central Maine
and western New Hampshire offers some of the roughest and most
challenging terrain, coupled with some of the harshest weather
conditions of the entire Appalachian Trail. Some people have hiked
or walked the entire Appalachian trail -- a feat that can take from
six to eight months. Visitors to the Rangeley Lakes Byway may wish
to just take a day trip.
One area of heavy use near the Byway is Saddleback, which runs from the
Horn to SR 4. Hikers may wish to try other sections as well. The
trail crosses both SR 4 and SR 17 and provides recreational access to
the extensive trail system and many of the highest peaks in the
area. The Route 17 crossing is at Height of Land with panoramic
views of the White Mountains and Rangeley area. The Route 4
crossing is very near Piazza Rock, an enormous, flat, overhanging
ledge that supports mature trees. Piazza Rock and several
boulder caves are accessed via a clearly marked side trail from the
Appalachian Trail. Hikers should keep their eyes open for moose,
which are common, but remain at a safe distance.
9:09 - 11.2 miles / 22 minutes - 9:31
Oquossoc (Indian for "landing place") is a small and quiet town located between Rangeley and Mooselookmeguntic Lakes.
9:31 - 18.7 miles / 37 minutes - 10:09
The Smalls Falls area sits just south of Rangeley and serves as the beginning point for the Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway. A popular place to picnic, it provides picnic tables and fire pits. Many who come here don’t just picnic; they play in the pools created by the 54-foot waterfall. Hike the short path to the top of the falls in five minutes. The gorge walls, colored in green, gold, and orange, are perfect places to perch and admire the scenery.
12:09 - 0.2 miles / - 12:09
Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway - end