The 12,050-acre Crocker Mountain property is located in the town of Carrabassett Valley and houses three of the tallest mountains in Maine: Crocker, South Crocker, and Sugarloaf. It is part of the largest high-elevation forest in the state and includes a 10-mile section of the Appalachian Trail. The Trust for Public Land (TPL) led a series of efforts to conserve Crocker Mountain, and it was able to purchase the property in 2013 with help from the Land for Maine’s Future program. TPL then passed the land on to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry so that it may be protected permanently.
The Crocker Mountain property offers several steep, challenging trails that lead hikers up to some great viewpoints of the surrounding area. One of the most breathtaking sights in the preserve is the Crocker Cirque, a large amphitheater-like natural feature that was formed by glaciers. The recreational opportunities offered in the area include ATVing, mountain biking, snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, and snowshoeing. The property is home to several rare animal species, including Bicknell’s Thrush and the Roaring Brook mayfly.
This property was the focus of conservation efforts in part because of its proximity to Sugarloaf, which is the largest ski area east of the Rocky Mountains. By protecting Crocker Mountain and opening it up for recreational activity, the state has bolstered the tourism industry in the area, particularly in the summer and fall when skiing is not offered. Furthermore, the property’s woodlands are critical to the local timber industry, and so its preservation will therefore help to ensure that the land remains healthy and viable for generations of loggers to come.
Closest Town: Carrabassett Valley
Activities: ATVing, Birdwatching, Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing, Wildlife Watching, Fishing, Hiking, Hunting, Mountain Biking, Nature Study, Snowmobiling
Region: Western Mountains – Oxford, Franklin, Somerset
Directions: From Carrabassett Valley, head north on Highland Road before turning left onto ME-16 W/ME-27 N. After about 4 miles, turn left onto Caribou Pond Road.