Fly Rod Crosby Trail Update 7/15

Summer 2015 Fly Rod Crosby Trail update

We have been working diligently this spring on the northern link of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail to connect from the Rock pond area on Saddleback Mountain to the Lady of the lakes Chapel, in Oquossoc; the end of the Trail and a church Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby was instrumental in raising the funds to build.

Specifically, the trail route would use existing trails to cross Saddleback Mountain ski resort with our goal to reach the trails on the Rangeley Region Forestry Museum’s land,  where we will meet the Northern Forest Canoe trail. The remaining route through Rangeley will follow the Northern Forest Canoe trail across both Haley Pond and Rangeley Lake.
We have secured landowner permission for most of this northern link.  This approved initial route involves crossing the outlet of Saddleback Lake,  the South branch of the Dead River, which may not be possible during high water and rain events.  In an effort to avoid crossing the water on foot,  we have looked into another safer route that would use an existing road with a bridge.At this time, we are working hard to obtain landowner permission for this alternative route across the south branch of the Dead River.

We plan to start on building the northern section of trail once the route around Saddleback Lake has been determined.

Check back here for more updates and we hope to see you it on the trails!

Fly Rod Crosby Trail Committee of the High Peaks Alliance

Fly Rod Crosby Trail work days

2015 Fly Rod Crosby Trail Workdays

Meeting Place
May 16, 2015 Saturday 9:00-1:00 Madrid Kiosk, Reeds Mill Road

June 27, 2015 Saturday 9:00- 1:00 Madrid Kiosk, Reeds Mill Road

July 10, 2015 Friday 9:00-1:00
Madrid Kiosk, Reeds Mill Road

July 11, 2015, Saturday 9:00-1:00
Madrid Kiosk, Reeds Mill Road

August 8, 2015 Saturday canceled

September 19, 2015 canceled

What to Bring
Sunscreen, bug dope, lots of water and a lunch!

Contact for more information
Betsy Squibb tel. 207-639-3432 or

Guided Fly Rod Crosby hike

The High Peaks Alliance will be hosting a guided trail hike on the Fly Rod Crosby Trail, and we have room for some more people to attend.

When: June 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m.  Rain Date is June 20th.
Where:  The Madrid Section along the Orbeton Stream.  (Directions below)
Who:  A small group (8-12 persons) with forester Patty Cormier and some other volunteers knowleagable about the trail
What to bring:  water, bug dope and a smile!

Please let Betsy Squibb know ( if your going to attend. Let us know also if you are bringing someone else along. If you cannot come, you are welcome to suggest someone else you think might enjoy the hike and we will contact them.


Directions:   From Route #4 in Madrid turn on the Reeds Mill Road. Cross the small bridge over the Sandy River and continue on the Reeds Mill Road for just over 4.5 miles. After you pass the Star Barn Yoga sign and the large white house on the left go down a small hill and you will see the Fly Rod Crosby Trail Head sign on the left. (A picture of the Trail Head kiosk is in the attached flyer). You can park in the field or along the road. 

Trail work day

Fly Rod Crosby Trail  Workday
Saturday May 16th
9:30 – 12:30 (or whenever you can)
Meet at the Madrid Trailhead on the Reeds Mill Road at 9:30
Bring, water, lunch, bug dope, and a smile!
Call Betsy at 639-3432 if you need more information or have questions.
See you there!

Orbeton celebration event

Our latest land conservation project, the Orbeton Stream parcel of 5,800 acres, recently closed and a great celebration recognizing this was held on Saturday February 21st.

The Phillips Area Community Center in Phillips, Maine was the scene of a great celebration on completion of the Orbeton Stream Project. There were a number of national conservation and political figures in attendance, including U.S. Senator Susan Collins, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Arthur “Butch” Blazer, and Ben Tucker, the Regional Representative for U.S. Senator Angus S. King. A number of state and local representatives were in attendance (Senator Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, and Rep. Russell Black, R-Wilton, among them) as were many representatives of the many conservation groups who were involved with the Orbeton Stream project.

Link to WSKI coverage of the event :


Public access to snowmobile trails like ITS-84-86 and trails like the Fly Rod Crosby Trail are guaranteed. An important section of the Appalachian Trail has been buffered from incompatible development. There was a whole lot to be thankful for.





Orbeton celebration

The Trust for Public Land – with the High Peaks Alliance and North Franklin Snowmobile Club as local partners – announce a celebration of the success of the Orbeton Stream Project, protecting traditional public recreational activities in 5,800 acres of working forest in northern Franklin County.

21 Depot Street, Phillips, Maine
(Weather concerns, call 207.772.7424)
Welcoming The Honorable Susan Collins, U.S. Senator, and other Dignitaries

Light luncheon (Please RSVP to The Trust for Public Land 207.772.7424 ext. 5 or

(Beginning at 10:15 am at PACC)

North Franklin Snowmobile Club SNOWMOBILE RIDE-IN on ITS89!
North Franklin Snowmobile Club UP CLOSE WITH A TRAIL GROOMER!
Come Join Us!

Orbeton Stream area, Op-ed

Lloyd Griscom

Sunday, January 11, 2015
As a local landowner with a camp near the Appalachian Trail in Madrid Township, I became aware of a desire to protect the back country area around the headwaters of the Orbeton Stream.

I knew this was a special place — my uncle once owned forestland here, and despite living all over the country, this area is what we consider our home. I started taking people who had any interest for a hike to the summit of Saddleback Jr., which overlooks the Orbeton.

One such group was the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust.

Late in 2006, I joined the board of directors of the Land Trust and, with many others, started to advocate for the protection of the Orbeton Stream area. The parcel, which consists of roughly 5,800 acres of working forest, features outstanding mountain vistas, pristine mountain streams, an ample road system, and recreational use and opportunities for ATVs, snowmobiles, cross-country skiers, hikers, hunters, birdwatchers and fishermen.

One of the most memorable stretches of Appalachian Trail runs along the northern border of the property and the experience of wildness it provides hikers is protected by the forests of Orbeton.

This beautiful, wild expanse of land was specifically indicated by Peter S. McKinley, conservation biologist at The Wilderness Society, as of critical importance as Maine enters a new era of climate change, forest products industry upheaval, and an aging demographic. McKinley’s ecological study of the High Peaks for the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust led to a growing understanding of the importance of this area and to the creation of the High Peaks Initiative.

At about the same time, a group of local folks (myself included) formed the High Peaks Alliance with a mission to ensure and enhance public recreational access and opportunities in Maine’s high peaks. Their objective was public access and finding a way to coordinate the various interests so that we could all get 80 percent of what we wanted by cooperating together.

Early innovative and collaborative work by Chris Beach and others produced a compromise 100-foot corridor that was transferred from the National Park Service to Maine’s Bureau of Public Lands, permitting a legal, multi-use route over the Appalachian Trail at Eddy Pond known as the Saddleback Connector.

That crossing permitted the creation of the Moose Loop ATV System and settled some difficult issues.

Sen. Susan Collins had language in a bill on the Appalachian Trail Corridor that was helpful in bringing resolution to that issue and her support for this project was essential to its success and funding.

An earlier 2010 Forest Legacy Project in the high peaks failed to get funding. The Trust for Public Land was brought in because of its larger capacity to see conservation projects to completion, like the one we are celebrating.

The key factor in conserving Orbeton Stream is the collaboration among the various groups, all of whom seemed to have divergent interests: forest products versus ecology, motorized trail use versus. non-motorized, private ownership versus state ownership. In the end, what we realized by coming to the table and working together was that conservation doesn’t have to be about “getting what you want” – it can and indeed is about “getting what’s best for everybody.”

Would some environmentalists have been happier with an ecological reserve without ATVs and loggers? Maybe. Would some ATV and snowmobile riders have been happier with continued private ownership of the land? Maybe. But every single outdoor club, group or organization in the area supported the project and is excited to get out on the land with the rest of us.

The ITS 84/89 snowmobile trails, the Moose Loop ATV system, the Fly Rod Crosby Trail and the new Appalachian Trail Berry Pickers side trail all benefit from the guarantee of public access, not to mention Linkletter Brothers Timberlands getting support for its working forest operations.

In a celebration of the Saddleback Connector, Collins said, “in Maine, the environment is the economy.”

Conservation is a form of economic development that protects our brand. Conservation benefits all of us, and the Orbeton Stream project is an excellent model for the future of Maine.

Lloyd Griscom serves on the board of directors of the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust. He owns and operates Peace and Plenty Organic Blueberry Farm in Phillips with his wife. He is also vice president of High Peaks Alliance and a trustee of the Sandy River Land Trust.