Sugarloaf and The Wire Bridge


Our trip to Sugarloaf and the Carrabassett Valley was twofold in design. We wished our students to see Maine’s largest ski resort with its many trails, lifts, condominiums and shops. We also wished them to view from the top the mountains of western Maine and the height of land as mentioned in treaties and disputes as they relate to our borders with Canada. One would contact Sugarloaf USA, Kingfield, Maine….

From Bangor we traveled Route 2 to Newport and Skowhegan. At Skowhegan we followed Route 201 to the junction of 148 and then Route 27 to Sugarloaf. Our travel time was approximately two hours. We returned via Route 27 to Farmington and Route 2 to the Bangor area.

At Sugarloaf we rode the gondola to the summit. Group rates are available. The regular rate is $1.50 round trip and adults $3.00 round trip. This magnificent ride carries you to the summit lodge where you receive a panoramic view from inside the glassed-in lodge or from the large outside deck. Here the staff explained to the students the view and its geological as well as historical significance. From the top of Sugarloaf one can see Bigelow Mountain, named after one of Arnold’s officers who climbed it expecting to see Quebec, the Rangely Lakes, Casco Bay, Mt. Katahdin, Flagstaff Lake, the “Height of Land” and many other interesting and beautiful sights. Students may eat their lunch at the summit lodge or at the base lodge. The return trip may be made by gondola or students may elect to hike. If one hikes down, plan on a minimum of one hour and a quarter.

If arrangement can be made, the University of Maine Forestry Scholl located at the Capricorn Lodge will give the students a presentation on the Maine Forest.

Our return travel along Route 27 found us making a detour a few miles south of Kingfield to The Wire Bridge in New Portland. This is a miniature suspension bridge which spans the Carrabassett River. This bridge, built in 1842, is probably the last such span in New England. Students went out on the bridge, made it sway and explored along the banks of the stream.

Our return was to Farmington and then the Bangor area along Route 2. The whole day’s activities lasted nine hours.

*Not visited in 1980; gondola was inoperative during the Summer. [No ratings]

(Excerpt from The Maine Journey Field Trip Guide, 1980, p.25.)

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