West Kingfield: The hills have feathers! Birds that nest at higher elevations may do so a little later in the season than their lower elevation cousins. Earlier this year, the High Peaks Alliance offered to take eager bird watchers on the trail to hear the spring birds in the forests of Madrid. Now, the High Peaks Alliance will be leading a hike on Mount Abraham in West Kingfield, on Friday the 8th of July.
“If past birding in this area is any indication we should be hearing, seeing and identifying dozens of species of birds, everything from the Bicknell’s and Swainson’s Thrushes, to the Black Throated Green and Blackpoll Warblers,” says High Peaks Alliance Board Member and Wilderness Society Ecologist Peter McKinley. Even without the bird life, there is plenty to see and talk about in this spectacular unobstructed scenery of the high peaks above treeline.
McKinley and Maine Conservation Corps AmeriCorps member Dylan Cookson will be leading the hike, rain or shine. The event is free and welcomes all levels of birders. In addition to binoculars, those joining the walk should wear sturdy shoes and bring water, lunch and snacks, rain gear just in case, and a good insulating layer such as a fleece jacket, sunscreen and DEET-based repellents for warding off ticks.
The adventure will be 8.5-mile round trip and take up the better part of the day. The terrain includes some moderately steep uphill sections of trail and a little uneven walking in places, but we have taken many a newcomer to hiking up and back and happy they went. We would meet at Tranten’s Grocery store in Kingfield at 9 in the morning and carpool in the West Kingfield to Rapid Stream Road to the trailhead, about a 15-minute drive on pavement and gravel road. For more information about the walk, call 416-4952. For information about the trail, log onto www.highpeaksalliance.org.