Crocker, South Crocker, and Redington

Hiking the Crockers and Redington

These three 4,000 footers in Maine are part of the NE67 hiking list. Crocker and South Crocker are along the Appalachian Trail and Mount Redington offers the only “bushwhack” for a 4,000 footer in New England, though it’s an easy herd path to follow.

Hike Date: July 23, 2021


Elevation Gain
0 ft


Segment Distance

Total Distance

Route Description

0 mi0 miStart at Caribou Valley Appalachian Trail Head
0.5 mi0.5 miCaribou Pond Rd to the Applachian Trail (AT)
1 mi1.5 miAT North to Crocker Cirque Tentsite
1.1 mi2.6 miAT North to summit of South Crocker Mountain
1.3 mi3.9 mi“Bushwhack” to summit of Mt. Redington
1.3 mi5.2 mi“Bushwhack” back to South Crocker Mountain
1 mi6.2 miAT North to Crocker Mountain
1 mi7.2 miAT South back to South Crocker Mountain
1.1 mi8.3 miAT South back to Crocker Cirque Tentsite
1 mi9.3 miAT South back to Caribou Pond Rd
0.5 mi9.8 miCaribou Pond Rd back to parking lot


Note: Map mileage does not match stats because Gaia GPS tends to undercount it.

To hike Crocker, South Crocker, and Redington as a day hike, we started on the Appalachian Trail at the Caribou Valley Appalachian Trail Head. This trailhead is about 4 miles down Caribou Pond Rd. It’s a dirt road, so we expected some ruts and rocks but it really wasn’t too bad. The worst part for us was at the turn in from the main road. We were able to make it in a Prius so careful driving in any regular sedan should get you there in dry weather. I wouldn’t want to be on it in heavy rain without a higher clearance vehicle.

After about 3.5 miles, the dirt road comes to a small parking area and is blocked by a gate. We walked 0.5 miles further on the road past the gate and turned right on the Appalachian Trail to start the hiking day for real.

parking area caribou valley appalachian trail head
Parking area
Gate at the end of the road
Starting up the Appalachian Trail

The trail starts out pretty mellow, albeit plenty rocky, for the first mile to Crocker Cirque Tentsite. This would be a great place to stay if you wanted to turn this into an overnight or to link it with other nearby peaks as a backpacking trip. Sugarloaf, Spaulding, and Abraham are on the AT south of here while Bigelow and Avery are on the AT further north.

rocky trail
Rocky but mellow trail
Sign for Crocker Cirque Tentsite
Sign for Crocker Cirque Tentsite

After the tentsite, the trail got significantly steeper. We took some time to enjoy the views of Bigelow Preserve from an open rock slide area and then continued powering up the tough ascent. The rock slide continued for a short while and then the trail became a gentle cruise to the summit.

steep rocky trail
Steeper trail past the tentsite
hiker on a rock slide area
On one of the rock slide areas
View of Bigelow Preserve
View of Bigelow Preserve on the way up
Rock slide area hiking trail
Rock slide area continues
Gentle hiking trail
Gentle cruising trail

On South Crocker, we took the 50 yard spur trail to the viewpoint and enjoyed the first 4,000 footer of the day – and the first of 3 times we would climb South Crocker. Since both Crocker and Redington are out and back hikes from South Crocker, you get a triple dose of that mountain on this route!

At South Crocker viewpoint
At South Crocker viewpoint

From South Crocker, we opted to hike to Redington next. This is the only “bushwhack” of a 4,000 footer in New England. I put that in quotes because it is not really a bushwhack – there’s a very clear trail to follow so you don’t have to do any route finding. It is unmaintained, however, so there are blow downs to step over and it does get tight in places as you push through some vegetation.

You can find the trail to Redington just before the South Crocker viewpoint. Look for some flagging tape marking a turn to the right into what looks like a camping area. At the back of that, you’ll find more flagging tape and a tiny herd path heading to Redington. The path drops down through the forest and then climbs briefly up to an old logging road. Turn left on that for a very short bit before turning right at a cairn and more flagging tape into the woods again. From there, the trail climbs to the summit of Mount Redington where there is a clearing and a tiny sign marking the summit. There is also a summit register that you can sign. It’s stashed in a white PVC canister on a dead tree to the right of the summit sign.

Bushwhack to the right, viewpoint to the left
tape marking bushwhack trail start
Start of the bushwhack
Descending the bushwhack
Descending the bushwhack
turn on a logging road
Left turn on the logging road
turn back into the woods
Right turn back into the woods
Easy to follow bushwhack
Easy to follow bushwhack
Clearing atop Redington
Clearing atop Redington
Redington summit sign
Redington summit sign
Redington summit register
Redington summit register

After signing the register on Redington, we retraced our steps along the bushwhack back to South Crocker. From there, we rejoined the AT and headed north toward Crocker Mountain. The trail took a quick descent and then climbed more gradually up to Crocker. There, we found a trail sign marking the summit in a small clearing with no views. We lingered for a bit and refueled, having a great day in the mountains and taking our sweet time with no need to rush at all.

End of the climb to Crocker Mountain
End of the climb to Crocker Mountain
Summit sign on Crocker Mountain
Summit sign on Crocker Mountain

Once we had enjoyed our time on Crocker Mountain, it was time to head back and reclimb South Crocker for the third and final time. Having just walked the route, we knew what to expect on that short but steep final climb. We continued to head down the AT, descended the steep rock slide area before Crocker Cirque Tentsite, and then cruised back to the dirt road and the parking lot as some afternoon rain started to come down on us. Overall, a great day in the woods with some leisure time on Maine’s beautiful trails.

Rock stairs climbing back up South Crocker
Rock stairs climbing back up South Crocker
Descending the rock slide area
Descending the rock slide area
road walk in the rain
Last stretch of road walk in the rain

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