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Jay to Farmington Rail Trail

Lakes & Mountains Region

Romantic
Trail Description

Location: Jay to Farmington. Franklin County.

Directions: From I-495 take Rt.4 north about 35 miles through Livermore Falls. Continue past the town of Jay Municipal Building on right. After .5 mile turn left on Old Jay Rd. past the Knights of Columbus building. Pass an auto body shop, cross the trail corridor to a small park with parking.

Trail Length: 14 miles

Trail Surface: Gravel, ballast.

Trail Difficulty: Easy

Caution: Multi-use trail. Shared use with hikers, equestrians and ATVs. Soft sandy sections.

 

 

 

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Jay to Farmington Trail Map

Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.

The Trail:

The Jay to Farmington Rail Trail was originally developed as a route for off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. It is also a great ride for anyone with a little mountain bike handling experience, because of sandy and rutted sections. The State of Maine, along with local user groups, have been actively working together to improve the rail-trail surface. One such project was The 400-foot East Wilton Trestle. It was re-decked in 2001 to accommodate a diverse group of trail users.

The grade is gentle, yet runs through Maine’s rugged Western Mountains region. The trail travels over rolling hills and passes through dense mixed hardwood and pine forest, meadows, wetlands and across several streams. Watch for beaver activity along the trail. It also passes through the backyards of small rural communities and the sites of old rail stations. It is a popular four season multi-use recreational path and an exceptionally beautiful Northern New England bike ride during fall foliage season.

You can access the Jay to Farmington Trail at many different points and make the ride as long as you want. There are picnic areas along the way and services in the towns you pass through.

 

History:

The trail is an abandoned railbed of the Maine Central Railroad which served manufacturing plants in the area. During World War I, the Maine Central participated in the war effort by forwarding Canadian troop trains over its line. Because the United States was neutral at that time, this practice was illegal and was loudly protested by Germany. A lone German army lieutenant was sent to try to stop them. He walked up to the Maine Central's St. Croix River bridge on the U.S. Canadian border and proceeded to wire it with explosives. Luckily he was apprehended before he could blow it up.

Shortly after the war competition from automobiles and trucks began to shrink growth and many routes and services were discontinued and abandoned. In 1980, the line was sold.

The Jay to Farmington corridor came under the management of the Maine Department of Conservation in 1982, after snowmobile riders around the state showed a strong interest in the abandoned corridor. The trail is now used by a wide range of users.

 

For more information:

ME Bureau of Parks and Recreation
State House Station #22
Augusta, ME 043331

Phone: (207) 287-4958
TTY Users: 711 (AT&T National Relay Service)

 

 

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