Looking for a family and dog-friendly hike beyond cell reception? Look no further. Piazza Rock is perfect for anyone looking for an easy hike with great views and numerous exploration spots. However, this is also an easy overnight trip in the fall when the crowds thin out.
The trail head is pretty easy to find since this is where the Appalachian Trail crosses Route 4 in Sandy River Plantation. The trailhead is about 9 miles east of Rangeley or 33 miles west from Farmington on Route 4.
The first half-mile is the toughest. After crossing a stream running between the Sandy River Ponds, you will ascend fairly quickly, but the trail flattens out as you go further.
The round-trip hike to Piazza Rock is just over 4 miles and should take around 2 hours. This is not an overly difficult hike, but during the summer it can be a bit crowded with summer camp groups and thru hikers traversing this AT section and camping near Piazza Rock.
On an outing club trip this past fall, we stayed at the lean-to near Piazza Rock and explored the surrounding area. The trip gave me an opportunity to break out my film camera, an old Mamiya NC1000. All of the photos in the post were shot on Fujifilm Superia 400 speed film and you can find the rest of the photos here.
While everyone else camped in tents, I picked the lean-to. After unpacking and setting up a camp, which merely involved spreading out my sleeping bag, we hiked up the 100-yard trail to Piazza Rock.
Piazza Rock is giant, unsupported slab of granite that even has trees growing on top of it. To reach the top of Piazza Rock, you will need to take a narrow trail that will have you climbing hand-over-foot and shimmying up rocks to the incredible view at the top.
There are also a number of side trails and caves that allow for countless hours of exploration. If you’re feeling up for even more of an adventure, follow the Piazza Rock trail past the rock and up to a beautiful vista awaiting.
To find out more about Piazza Rock visit http://www.mainetrailfinder.com/trails/trail/appalachian-trail-piazza-rock