Author Topic: First Trip to Bridgton  (Read 7428 times)

Steve Klare

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First Trip to Bridgton
« on: July 18, 2011, 03:13:02 PM »
After years of visying Phillips and Sheepscot I am a month away from my fist trip to B&SR country.

I have a couple of questions:

How accessible is Bridgton Junction? Is there a lot left to find there?

How is Hancock Pond?

Any really good spots along the ROW worth seeing?

We are camping on Long Lake and I already have an understanding with my wife that while I usually go along with her when she goes off shopping, this time is different.

If the timing is good, I will come over to WW&F too!

Glenn Christensen

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Re: First Trip to Bridgton
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 06:35:34 PM »
Hi Steve,

I think a trip down to Bridgton Junction would be a must, if only to visit the Hancock Brook stone masonry arch.  The junction itself is quite over grown and infested with ticks (so be warned).  The turntable pit is still there and the fill leading down to the depot curve.  The standard gauge is of course still in place as is the Saco River bridge.  The bridge is very useful for orienting yourself. 

Hancock Pond is beautiful and the grades south and north of Joe Bennett's cottage pretty easy to find and drive if you've got a 4 wheeler or 4-wheel drive.  In fact you find most of the old ROW is open a drivable except for the Junction to Small's stretch and the section just north from the Sandy Creek landfill to the Willett Brook boat yard.

The Harrison branch gets a little trickier as it is mostly private property nowadays.

Have a good visit!


Best Regards,
Glenn

Duncan Mackiewicz

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Re: First Trip to Bridgton
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 10:04:51 AM »
Steve,
You plan to be camping on Long Lake in a month? Interesting. So do I. Which campground and which week? If we happen to be there at the same time perhaps we could hook up. I happen to have traveled those rights-of-way more than a few times myself. In fact, the campground I stay at is actually on part of the Harrison branch right-of-way.
I will be at Lakeside Pines the week of 8/6 - 8/13.

Steve Klare

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Re: First Trip to Bridgton
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 01:30:10 PM »
Hi Duncan

We will be at Colonial Mast Campground arriving on the 13th. (This is south of Bridgton.)

If it is possible I'd be happy to hook up with somebody from WW&F!

The great part of it is this is the first "new" ROW I've explored in about 10 years.  I'll have along a solo canoe so I intend to find that masonry arch bridge by water. (or at least try...)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 01:34:20 PM by Steve Klare »

Duncan Mackiewicz

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Re: First Trip to Bridgton
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 03:19:21 PM »
Steve,
I know the campground you will be staying at. Unfortunately my group will be departing as you are arriving. Too bad. I would have enjoyed having another fancier of the 2 footers to spend time with.
There are plenty of areas where viewing the former ROW is possible. You simply need to know where to look. Right on rte 302 as you head into Bridgton is the tourist office on the left. There are 2 cars sitting out front on a small stretch of track. If you park in the lot adjacent to the cars and walk down the incline behind the tourist office, you will find yourself on the old ROW that lead to the left to the Bridgton station facilities. If you go back to you vehicle and go a bit further into Bridgton, you will find a small gas station on the right across from a school. Park in the lot there and walk down the path to the right of the building. That is more of the ROW that was heading toward Harrison. It is actually walkable (at least it was a year or so ago) all the way to where the bridge that used to span Stevens Brook once stood. On the way to the bridge site you will see the remains of an old trestle that the B&SR used to service a long-gone mill. If you go to Nerail.org photos, look under B for B&SR, you will find many pages of photos that Mike Fox and I have posted of the places I've mentioned plus many, many more. I wish we could have hooked up next month. You would have "gotten your money's worth".

John McNamara

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Re: First Trip to Bridgton
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 04:53:47 PM »
If you park in the lot adjacent to the cars and walk down the incline behind the tourist office, you will find yourself on the old ROW that lead to the left to the Bridgton station facilities.
I think you mean "to the right"?

-John

Duncan Mackiewicz

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Re: First Trip to Bridgton
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2011, 02:37:04 PM »
Correct John. I was mixed up with my directions, thinking right and typing left. Left will bring you to the edge of the food store parking lot entrance. Right will bring you down the grade to the old school as well as past the grade (on the right) that remains of the ROW toward Harrison.
All this talk gives me the itch to go walking and looking again. Maybe next month.

Duncan

Mike Fox

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Re: First Trip to Bridgton
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 09:21:13 PM »
I was wondering why it was so hot this week. Now I know that some of my friends have the fever again.

Bridgton is an excellent location to visit Steve. The Junction was logged about 5 years ago now, so the suckers will be thick and possibly impair vision. But take your time, still plenty to see and find. Tell us if you find Danas coal pile. Look on NErail to see it.

It is best if you have a Maine Delorme atlas, as this will show you in dashes where the ROW goes. Beware, last trip we took, there were some water holes created by beavers. May be gone now.

If you need any help with planning or how to find something, just ask.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...