The Piscataquis River bisects the tiny village of Medford; the north bank is known as Medford, the south bank as Medford Center. Before the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad opened a 600-foot-long, 60-foot-high trestle across the river in 1907, a ferry hauled supplies, produce and people across the water. As crews prepared to remove the trestle, the town stepped in to purchase and retrofit it. And here is where you'll find the northern end point of the Lagrange Rail-Trail (a.k.a. the Lagrange to Medford Trail). The newly resurfaced bridge opened in 1981, and today cars, pedestrians, bicycles, ATVs and snowmobiles share the span. This bridge kicks off your trip on the 11-mile rail-trail.
The first few miles south of the river are rough, and even a light rain can fill the gullies, making it difficult to navigate. Cyclists must use a mountain bike. Less than a mile from the bridge, the trail threads through quaint Medford Center, whose few buildings cluster around a restored barn that serves as the town hall. Just past an old church, the trail crosses the paved road and then widens, becoming much more navigable.
Much of the trail is shaded by tree canopy, interspersed with ponds that reflect the vast Maine sky. The trail passes a particularly beautiful pond about midway between Medford Center and Lagrange. These ponds and bogs are wildlife magnets and open for fishing access. Watch closely for moose tracks; moose use the trail to move from bog to bog. Should you encounter one of these seemingly ungainly creatures, use extreme caution: they can be unpredictably aggressive and they move quickly!
Parking and Trail Access
To access the trail from Medford, cross the trestle and drive 0.3 mile along an unsigned dirt road till it bends to the left. Park along the shoulder.