From the blog

The Trails Less Traveled

The Saddleback Spur Series: An Overview of The Fly Rod Crosby Trail

By Clover


Sometimes it’s not about the mountain-top experience.  Sometimes being immersed in nature is all you are really looking for.  Spend a day on the mountain wandering through the forest spotting signs of moose, angling fish, or listening to the birdsongs.  Then hike out of the woods to a hot meal and friendly service. 


If this sounds like the perfect day, then allow me to introduce you to the Saddleback Spur of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail, where history and nature converge to create a remarkable outdoor experience. This segment, maintained by volunteers of the High Peaks Alliance, offers a glimpse into the extraordinary lifestyle of Fly Rod Crosby and showcases the breathtaking beauty of Maine's western mountains.  Come see for yourself why Fly Rod spent her life inviting others to experience the secret beauties our region holds.  


First, a Little History About Cornelia "Fly Rod" Crosby: 

Cornelia "Fly Rod" Crosby, born 1854, emerged as a pioneer becoming the first registered Maine Guide. Her passion for the wilderness and her extraordinary angling skills earned her the nickname "Fly Rod." Through her efforts, she championed Maine's recreational opportunities and encouraged women to participate in these traditionally male-dominated activities.  This community trail is designed to allow those “from away” to easily experience the character of the region and, in that spirit, is named in honor of her. Learn More about Cornelia Crosby HERE.


A Bit About the Fly Rod Crosby Trail: 

This proposed 45-mile route from Strong to Oquossoc was named after Cornelia who was the first to balance conservation and tourism within the region. The High Peaks Alliance’s goal for the trail is to help residents and visitors take an active interest in preserving the unique character of High Peaks communities and natural resources.  There are currently a little over 20 miles of hiking trail from Phillips to Rangeley.  You can find more information about the trail HERE



More About the Saddleback Spur: 

The Saddleback Spur of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail is a treasure trove for nature lovers.  We have our own Ski Patroller-turned-Trail Master Bob Greene and his team of caretakers to thank for the condition of the trails.  Due to the efforts of his volunteers, there is now a small system of trails allowing for loop hikes instead of out and back. Some sections are so new that the single-track trail feels more like a game trail than a hiking trail, my favorite.   See the MAP.


As you traverse this section, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls this area home, including moose, deer, and various bird species. It is a perfect introductory hike for those up-and-coming anglers. Bring bug spray and cast the day away out on the ponds.  


The trails wind over gradual, yet uneven terrain while passing through dense forest.  Along the loops are stunning views of the serene Rock and Midway ponds where, in less than a 15-minute walk, you can feel like you’re deep in the Maine Woods listening to the water lap against the shore.  Fishing is allowed in these waters.  Make sure to know the regulations and have a license.   







Eddy PondSo Where Can I Camp?

Unfortunately, no camping is allowed along the Saddleback Spur, however, you can find a cozy backpacking site if you keep walking out to where the Fly Rod Crosby Trail crosses the Appalachian Trail at Eddy Pond.  Crash here and hike to the top along the AT for a unique loop back down the ski slopes.


The Saddleback Spur of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail is an opportunity to connect with the legacy of an iconic figure in Maine's outdoor history. Whether you're an experienced hiker or a casual nature lover, the Saddleback Spur offers something for everyone. Immerse yourself in a journey that celebrates the indomitable spirit of exploration and adventure.  As you hike through this section, remember the remarkable contributions of Fly Rod Crosby and the ongoing efforts of the High Peaks Alliance to preserve Maine's natural wonders.  


So, now it’s time to lace up your hiking boots, grab your fishing rod, and embark on an unforgettable journey along the Saddleback Spur of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail.