The High Peaks Region is not only home to ten of Maine’s mountain peaks over 4,000 feet, with its alpine flora and fauna and spectacular views, but also to vast working forests, rich wildlife habitats and numerous fast flowing streams that are recognized as prime spawning habitats of the endangered sea-run Atlantic salmon.
Widely known for the ski resorts of Sugarloaf and Saddleback Mountain, the region is also home to numerous small towns, plantations, and unorganized townships.
It is to connect these small towns with their rich heritage through back-country trails, that the High Peaks Alliance’s “Fly Rod Crosby” Hiking Trail from Strong to Oquossoc is being developed. The trail is named in honor of the woman born in Phillips who worked to promote the Maine Woods for early recreation.
Routes 4 and 27 frames the High Peaks Region and offer numerous opportunities to take in the dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife and recreation opportunities in the High Peaks Region. The newly dubbed “High Peaks Scenic Byway” starts in Kingfield and extends north along the Carrabassett and Dead Rivers to Coburn Gore on the Canadian border. Starting in Madrid, the Route 4 National Scenic Byway bisects the Rangeley Lakes Region, ending in Oquossoc village.
The economy, once robust and timber-based in the late 19th and early 20th century, when the narrow gauge Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad followed the rivers and skirted the mountains to bring out the lumber of the regions virgin spruce forests, has evolved into a partnership between sustainable working forests and a nature-based tourism industry.
The High Peaks Alliance enjoys the support of the local businesses and business organizations. In 2016 the Sandy River Business Association produced a Letter of Support for the High Peaks Alliance and its effort. The High Peaks Alliance is among the founding members of the Sandy River Business Association, which aims to stimulate the economy of the Sandy River region.