U.S.A.F. LbNA # 52747
|Placed Date||Nov 21 2009|
Locate where the Appalachian Trail crosses Route 4 in Madrid, Maine. After parking your car, you will be heading towards the northbound side of the trail for Section 8. You may wish to read up about Piazza Rock before you begin your hike. Do not attempt this box if there is ice or snow on the ground. You will want to make sure that you have sufficient time to make it to the box, Piazza Rock, and return to your car before dark. Portions of the trail can be steep as well as slippery and muddy in places. The distance to Piazza Rock and back is 3.5 miles round trip.
This section starts off on a downhill slope with a stony base. By the time you cross the Sandy River Bridge, the trail becomes more rooty than stones. You will pass a rooty birch with a Section 8 sign. Climb up the wooden steps with the rope guide. Cross over a small rocky stream bed with a single wooden log bridge which was broken the day we were there. The water level was low enough that we could step across on the larger stones, but keep in mind, the water level of any stream can change rapidly. You will come to a rather long section of boardwalk made up of logs laying two by two. You will come to a dirt road which you will cross and re-enter the trail on the other side.
On the afternoon that we were here, a group passed us on the trail and told us of two moose which they had just seen at this part of the trail about 5 minutes before.
Continue northward along the trail. You will pass a white birch in the center of the trail. You will come to a fast moving stream with a double log boardwalk over it. At the start of the bridge, turn back the way you just came. Take five paces. To your left you should notice a large, moss covered boulder with white birches growing out of it. Look behind the birches, under some leaves, a rock, and some other small branches for the USAF Letterbox.
From this point, you will want to continue a short distance further up the trail to the amazing Piazza Rock. After spending some time exploring this special spot along the trail, you will want to return to the trail head the way you walked in.