ElevationAscent: 1,370' 417 m
Descent: -2,785' -849 m
High: 2,373' 723 m
Low: 638' 194 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 55% (29°)
Popular runs nearby
Mt. Cardigan Super Loop
9.7 mi 15.6 km • Loop • 3,074 ft Ascent 936.89 m Ascent
Moose Mountain Trail
4.3 mi 6.9 km • Loop • 1,004 ft Ascent 306.13 m Ascent
Winslow State Park Loop
2.6 mi 4.2 km • Loop • 1,090 ft Ascent 332.17 m Ascent
1.8 mi 2.8 km • Loop • 344 ft Ascent 104.84 m Ascent
Welch-Dickey Mountain Loop
4.2 mi 6.8 km • Loop • 1,709 ft Ascent 520.84 m Ascent
Mt. Belknap via East Gilford Trail (Yellow)
4.3 mi 6.9 km • Out and Back • 1,285 ft Ascent 391.57 m Ascent
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“A lovely trail connecting the AMC Cardigan Preserve to the Goose Pond/Sugarloaf Conservation Area and Wellington SP.”— Ken Cutting
This trail is composed of pleasantly rugged bare rock in places mixed with peaceful sections through soft and hardwood stands. After making your way down from Oregon Mountain and nearing the halfway point, you'll reach the only truly unfortunate area of the trail, The Blight. Recent logging in the area has significantly affected the trail making it difficult to follow and detracts heavily from the tranquility of the area.
Getting through this area which includes a large power line crossing, luckily gives way to a gentle and peaceful incline to the summit and along the ridge of Bear Mountain. It is here that you'll find two potential bailout routes along Elwell Trail, one to the northeast (Bear Mountain Trail) leads to the Hobart Hill area of Hebron, and one to the southwest (Welton Falls S Trail) leads towards Welton Falls.
Coming to the end of this restful section be prepared for a steep descent off of Bear Mountain. After the descent, the trail winds through the woods—across Bear Mtn/Hebron Road—for a short, but steep, final ascent of Big Sugarloaf. Be sure to watch for nice views of Newfound Lake and Wellington State Park as you traverse these final peaks! Some overlooks are slightly “off-trail” but worth a look and even a moment of pause and enjoyment. With well under two miles to go on the trail coming down from Big Sugarloaf, enjoy the remainder of the Elwell Trail and the many neat little features of the area as you make your way over Little Sugarloaf to complete the trail.
I always enjoy making my way from the conservation area parking lot to the Wellington State Park beach to take a refreshing swim after the trail! This trail is well worth the trek and deserves more attention and protection for future generations.
Run this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: Lakes Region Conservation Trust
Aug 9, 2019: LRCT’s 40th Anniversary Celebration
Mar 25, 2019: 40 Ways to Celebrate LRCT