Distance: 4.8 miles, round trip
Duration: 3-4 hours
Managed by: Mahoosuc Land Trust
Rumford Whitecap, rising only 2200 feet, is unrivaled in Western Maine for its open summit, bountiful summer blueberries, and extensive backcountry ski lines. This mountainous part of the Mahoosuc Land Trust’s 1100-acre Rumford Whitecap Mountain Preserve and Ellis River Conservation Area is a must-hike in any season. Many points along this hike provide breathtaking views of the surrounding area: the Mahoosuc and White Mountains to the west, Mexico Hills to the east, and the Androscoggin River Valley to the south.
To access the trails at Rumford Whitecap, be sure to park in the small lot or along the East Andover Road shoulder. Cross the road, pass around a gate, sign-in at register box, and enter an old log yard to find the trail.
The Orange Trail leaves left out of the log yard (north) and shares a snowmobile trail for a brief stretch. The hiking trail turns north and east, as the snowmobile trail departs west. The first section of the trail stays on a logging road before breaking off and heading toward the summit. Stay on the Orange Trail to the open ridge, where the remaining distance to the summit is marked by cairns, orange ribbon flags, and paint blazes.
The summit of Rumford Whitecap is owned in part by the Mahoosuc Land Trust and also by private landowners. Please respect private landowners’ rights and wishes by adhering to any signs and staying within the Land Trust property. This preserve also includes the somewhat-developed Yellow Trail, which meets the Orange Trail to traverse the ridge to the summit.
Nice trail, well marked; Great 360° views; a beautiful patch of lady slippers alongside the trail; MLT sponsored group hike
My first hike to Rumford Whitecap was in November 2005 during my U-Maine Farmington days. It was cold and a bit windy, but completely sunny - which was a more than welcome condition after the never-ending clouds and rain (and a light snow on one occasion) that dominated that October. I had found out about Rumford Whitecap in John Gibson's "50 Hikes in Coastal and Southern Maine" book - the 2001 edition being the most recent at the time. The lower half of this route was a series of unmarked logging roads leading gradually up from Coburn Brook Road, and the upper half was basically a steeper herd path marked by blue ribbons tied to tree branches. This was before the Yellow and Orange Trails were established, so to my knowledge, it was the only way at that time. When the Yellow and Orange Trails were established, the old route from Coburn Brook Road became the "Blue Trail", and the upper portion was moved a good deal southward to meet the Yellow Trail at about the midpoint between its two junctions with the Orange Trail (besides the last thousand or so feet before the summit, there is no overlap between the old blue-ribboned herd path and any of the Yellow or Orange Trails; the old herd path ran a good deal North of where the Yellow Trail currently runs). Sometime around December 2010 or January 2011, the lower portion of the Yellow Trail got obliterated by a logging operation, leaving the Orange Trail as the only reliable option. When I checked out the Yellow Trail again in the summer of 2018, the portion that uses the old logging road was still pretty overgrown (probably due to a general avoidance of this trail by seemingly many people). However, after the trail left the logging road, it was much more re-established, with new yellow blazes on the regrown trees, and I had no issues following it after that. The sign for the Blue Trail was gone, so I'm assuming that route has been officially decommissioned for good.
Trail in good condition. Yellow trail needs a few more markers.
Took a wrong turn in the beginning we took a left unto ATV or snowmobile trail. other people did the same.
A little hard to find the right trail. Got confused by snowmobile trail. This hike is definitely worth the effort. The 360 degree views are amazing. This is my first badge. Can't wait to do more
The trail is much better marked than it has been in previous years. Thank you!!
It was a hot, hazy, sunny day. Sorry I missed the blueberries this year.
The trail was a blast, and even found a patch of blueberries to enjoy we a snack!
I did the yellow trail up & the red trail down. Beautiful views at the summit! Loved this hike!
I donated blood too many hungry mosquitoes today but the view from the summit was well worth it. This is the most amazing hiked I've ever done in my life including the Grand Canyon.