Cascade Trail Blue-Blaze Footnote (Andover, ME)

The blue-blaze was the Cascade Trail. The journal entry on Sept 22nd says that we cut off two miles – which matches up exactly the 2004 Maine A.T. Map #7.

Also see n2/backpackingfiles/longdistancetrails/appalachiantrailonly/at1994thruhike/andovermaineblueblaze folder which has a great map of this area from Maine Trail Finder (

The Cascade Trail descends 0.9 miles to the A.T. – and the 1994 Maine Guidebook page 142 has details that provide specifics. If we followed the Cascade Trail – then I came out at the same place on the slackpack the following day which was 9-23-1994.

It’s more likely but hard to say with certainty that Harry/I followed the Cascade Trail for a short distance then followed the West Branch of the Ellis River to East B Hill Road on Sept 22nd. No map shows an actual trail following the river – but the Maine Trail Finder map seems to show a pathway along the river. If we did that … then I have a short gap along the East B Hill Road – but it’s hard to say for certain. The 2004 Maine trail map and 1994 Maine guidebook make no mention of a trail along the West Branch of the Ellis River.

Regardless, if you follow the Cascade Trail or the West Branch of the Ellis River – you are doing roughly the same mileage as you would on the A.T. So the blue-blazes may have saved some climbing but doesn’t save much distance – especially if we followed the Ellis River (which is more of a brook than a river). The statement “we cut off two miles of the A.T.” – was that we didn’t hike that section of the A.T., not that we saved two miles by doing blue blazed trails.

The Cascade Trail is actually a two mile loop trail (with half of it on the A.T) that has a 0.7 spur that leads off the A.T. to Dunn Falls. It does not show up on AllTrails TOPO maps but does show up on the A.T. 2004 map. It is also worth noting that we actually hiked from South Arm to East B Hill on Sept 23rd which is southbound on the A.T. The journal entry is contradictory, but I think I was trying to make the point that we hiked that section but did it southbound.

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