On Sunday, May 5, I got an early start and headed to the South end of Evan’s Notch on route 113 on the North side of Fryeburg. I first headed to Emerald Pool. From the junction of ME 113 and US-302 in Fryeburg, Maine, take ME 113 north for 17.3 miles and turn right into a parking area for the Baldface Circle Trail. Cross the road from the parking area and the trail starts on the West side. About .7 miles up the trail, Emerald Pool is just downstream to the right. The spot is very well marked with trail signs. This is supposedly a very green pool in the summer, but is wasn’t very picturesque at this time in early spring. Maybe a spot to come back to.
After this quick walk, I headed to the Brickett Place building further North, but on the right (East) side of route 113. It is a historic, 19th century, brick farmhouse. At the back of the farmhouse the Blueberry Ridge Trail heads into the woods. After some moderate uphill, a fork is reached at .6 miles. The right fork is the Blueberry Ridge Trail. This is the trail heading to Bickford Slides. Bickford brook is reached shortly after the fork and the Blueberry Ridge Trail heads across the stream. The first of the slide is downstream from the crossing. The sides of the gorge are very steep, but you can reach the bottom where I took this shot.
Back to where the Blueberry Ridge Trail crosses the stream, there is a sign for the Bickford Slides Loop Trail heading up stream. If you choose this path, which I recommend, it is hard to follow. It is sometimes on the left bank, sometimes on the right, sometimes in the stream bed, and there are no signs or trail markers that I could see. I just followed where the ground looked walked on. There are many small drops along the stream, with two more large drops up stream from the lower slide. I followed the top drop on the right side of the stream. At the top of the last drop, there is an easy place to ford the stream to the left side and up the gorge wall to a trail which will take you back to the originating fork.
What I find interesting is how fallible memory is and how it changes slightly over short periods of time, so that by the end of a long time frame, the memories are not the same. I had been to this location during my late teens or early twenties (see, can’t even remember when) and I remember scrambling up the left side of the upper falls with the side of the gorge being all loose dirt. What I saw this time was no trail on the left side, and it is all jagged stone. Not quite the way I remembered it. Maybe now I can insert what I experienced this time into that part of my mind. Then again…. maybe not….