WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL #RRCT400FOOTERCLUB WEBSITE
The RRCT 400 Footer Club introduces people to RRCT’s favorite high-elevation outdoor destinations. The club is composed of hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, snowshoers, birders, foragers, paddlers, skaters, and others who commit to stewardship of land and waters as they explore, and who have conquered all of the RRCT 400 Footer Club designations on this web page. Completing the RRCT 400 Footer challenge may be done as a physical challenge, group activity, or fun for the whole family. It is our hope that these experiences will keep club members invested in conservation and stewardship of community treasures for a lifetime. Read about the 400 Footer Club in the Portland Press Herald.
RRCT’s favorite summits, ridgelines, and headwater ponds need your help and care as volunteer stewards. We ask club members to commit to Leave No Trace principles, to carry out trash and pet waste left by others, to embrace the wide diversity of folks who love the land and water, and to contact landowners with any observations of needed trail work or other land management observations.
Sponsorship Opportunities & Club Membership
Join conservation leaders who are investing in the quality of life in the communities of the Royal River watershed. Your sponsorship of the RRCT 400 Footer Club will encourage people to get outdoors and to hike some of highest elevations in the Royal River watershed, while being good stewards to the land. Your business will be recognized as supporting conservation, outdoor recreation and community building in your towns. To sponsor visit: RRCT’s Partnership page. Check under program sponsorships and become a sponsor of the 400 Footer Club!
RRCT 400 Footer Club Certificates, Badges, Stickers, Photo & Video Contests
For 2021 we’ve listed nine summits and one paddling/skating destination. Complete all ten and you become a RRCT 400 Footer Club Member. Print out this checklist PDF to help you keep track of the summits, treks and paddling/skating destinations that you have visited. You can send the completed PDF to us, or simply fill out the online form below to receive your badge and membership packet. All club members commit to stewardship principles as part of their application.
Fastest Known Time ~ Other Records
We are eager to collect any self-proclaimed records or other competitive statistics. Send them our way! Since our launch on January 1, 2020, or first club member is also by definition our fastest, conquering all ten destinations in one day with a mix of biking and hiking. Below is Mike Carbone of Cumberland’s screenshot describing his January day (the right-hand column is elevation gain):
400 Footer Club Summits & Destinations
Below are the ten summits and destinations included in the 2021 RRCT 400 Footer Club challenge. We hope you become a successful member of the RRCT 400 Footer Club. Let us know if you need any guidance on the way, and please post your photos or videos to #RRCT400FooterClub or email them to info@RRCT.org. (See the details above on the photo contest). This easily printed six-map (ten-destination) PDF map pack (including checklist) gives you all the basics; print in out as your map and guide, and keep reading below for more detail on each destination.
North Yarmouth’s & Cumberland’s Knight’s Pond Preserve – three summits, two towns at 447 feet, 451 feet, and 350 feet elevation
The trail networks at Knight’s Pond Preserve located in Cumberland and North Yarmouth connect to Blueberry Hill (451 feet), Bruce Hill (447 feet), and Bobcat Mountain (350 feet). A network of color-blazed trails (white, blue, red, and yellow) as well as a snowmobile trail across the property allow visitors to explore the 334-acre preserve.
RRCT’s Knight’s Pond webpage (link above) includes lots of nature walk information and ecological guides. Print the information out and bring it with you for the kids!
Allowed uses (all summits): Mountain bike, equestrian, hiking.
Allowed uses (close proximity to all summits): Snowmobile
New Gloucester’s Pisgah Hill Preserve – 381 feet elevation, more than 400 feet with trees
Visit RRCT’s Pisgah Hill Preserve, and summit one of our favorite 400 footers. Pisgah Hill is the site of our Full Moon Trek in the winter, where you can see the big orange moon rise through the trees. Lichens and mosses and old quarries are sites along this loop trail.
Allowed uses: Hiking (no mountain bikes). Equestrian use by permission (challenging parking, challenging stream crossings.)
New Gloucester’s Little Hill – 533 feet elevation; Off-Trail
There’s a certain bit of irony that the tallest mountain on RRCT 400 Footer list is named “Little Hill.” Yet the base of the mountain is at a high elevations, so the hill is a very short easy gentle climb. Located next to Chandler Mill Pond off Chandler Mill Road in New Gloucester, Little Hill is now owned by the Maine Woodland Owners land trust. This is our only “off-trail” 400 Footer destination; there is no trail up Little Hill, and no signs, but the woods are open and gently sloping. A round trip to the summit and back is easily accomplished within 60 minutes on foot. Click here for maps.
Because off-trail adventures can be challenging for some, we sometimes host guided trips up Little Hill through Rain or Shine Club and other RRCT events and programs. Check out our “Events & Programs” page, or contact us at info@RRCT.org if you’d like for us to arrange a volunteer guide for your trip up the hill.
Allowed uses: Hiking.
New Gloucester’s & Poland’s Shaker Bog – 446 feet elevation; Water-Skating-Paddling
Poland’s and New Gloucester’s Shaker Bog lies at 446 feet above sea level. It’s a great place to kayak, canoe or skate. There’s also a short but wonderful path that follows the shoreline across the ancient dam (berm) that floods the bog. The Shaker Bog is conserved as part of the larger Shaker Village and Shaker Bog conservation project; this site includes the location of the public-access boat ramp off Route 26 in Poland. Plan your adventure safely depending on weather and water conditions. A skate or a paddle around the floating bog island, or a short walk on the shoreline path, is a great way to complete the 400 Footer challenge.
Allowed uses: non-motorized, non-mechanized.
Pownal’s Bradbury Mountain – 407 feet elevation; Park Entry Fees
Located in Pownal within Bradbury Mountain State Park, the 407-foot summit of Bradbury Mountain has sweeping views all the way to Eagle Island State Historic Site in Casco Bay. Acquired by the State of Maine in 1939, Bradbury Mountain was one of Maine’s first State Parks. Expanded five times with the help of RRCT, the park is especially known for its support of a wide range of raptors (hawks) attracted to its craggy outcrops and wind currents.
Trek, bike, or ride horses on well-maintained trails from the Route 9 state park headquarters (state park fees apply, multiple trail options each at least one half mile each way), or enjoy a longer trek or ride (two miles each way) from Lawrence Road’s Tryon Mountain trail head (free, no fees). See the maps on web links above for specific directions.
Bradbury has a great online (printable) Nature Walk guide designed for kids. We’ve posted it on RRCT’s Bradbury-Pineland page. Print out and bring it with you!
Allowed uses: Mountain bikes, equestrian, hiking.
Pownal’s Tryon Mountain – 390 feet elevation, more than 400 feet with trees
Located in Pownal on public land managed by Bradbury Mountain State Park known as the Bradbury-Pineland Corridor, the 390-foot summit of Tryon Mountain is an old mining site with rich history acquired by the State of Maine in 2008 with the assistance of RRCT.
While the summit is not 390 feet, we ask RRCT 400 Footer Club members to climb on a friend’s shoulders or throw their cap into the air or climb a tree to reach 400 feet.
Trek, bike, or ride horses two miles each way from Bradbury Mountain State Park’s main entrance on Route 9 (park fees apply), or choose the short (half mile each way) free route from the Lawrence Road trail head. See the web link or map packet above for maps.
Allowed uses: Mountain bikes, equestrian, hiking. Dogs on leash.
North Yarmouth & Gray town line’s Reservoir Mountain – aka Depot Hill; 411 feet elevation
Located on Pineland Public Reserved Land on the Bradbury-Pineland Corridor Trail, we call the 411-foot high point on the trail “Reservoir Mountain” on the town line between North Yarmouth and Gray. We’ve heard some people call it Depot Hill, after the old train station on the Royal River at Depot Road. Reservoir Mountain (or Depot Hill) is a few feet higher than the nearby NOAA National Weather Service building and Pineland Farms Equestrian Center. Reservoir Mountain once had a reservoir for water for the Pineland (Pownal School) campus; today there is a nearby water tower. Our recommended parking and hiking route is to start at the Depot Road trail head in Gray, and hike the south loop to Reservoir Mountain.
Allowed uses: Mountain bikes, equestrian, hiking.
Gray’s Libby Hill – 452 feet elevation
Libby Hill Trails has eight miles of non-motorized trails, supported by the Friends of Libby Hill. The summit defines the height of land between the Royal River watershed and the Presumpscot watershed. The land is protected by the Land for Maine’s Future program, the Gray Community Endowment and many others. From trailheads at the base of the hill the summit is an easy excursion, but plan on a longer trip to explore the extensive trail networks and interpretive content. To be sure you reach the summit, you can follow the Moose Odyssey Trail (white marks) that does a 3 mile loop and takes you very close to the summit. The connector trail, Deer Run (yellow) comes within a few feet of the summit. The summit is just over 450 ft. as long as you got higher than the cell tower you are over 400 feet. For more information visit: Libby Hill
Allowed uses: Mountain bikes, hiking, equestrian (limited trails), snowmobile (limited trails), pets (limited trails, on-leash).
Elevation and Geology
The Royal River watershed includes portions of twelve towns and cities, portions of all twelve towns drain toward the Royal River and then to Casco Bay: Poland, Raymond, Auburn, New Gloucester, Durham, Gray, Pownal, North Yarmouth, Cumberland, Brunswick, Freeport, and Yarmouth. Of these towns, only Pownal is 100% located within the Royal River watershed. Tiny portions of North Yarmouth drain toward the Presumpscot. Tiny portions of New Gloucester drain toward the Androscoggin. Much of Yarmouth drains directly to Casco Bay through small streams.
The highest point in the Royal River watershed is the 610 foot Shaker Hill in Poland, just off busy Route 26. Small streams draining off Shaker Hill feed Shaker Bog at 446 feet. Shaker Bog’s outlet mill stream feeds Sabbathday Lake at 300 feet. The Royal River begins at the outlet of Sabbathday Lake, and falls 300 feet over more than 20 miles to sea level at Casco Bay.
As sea levels rise, are mountains falling? It’s not that simple. Although average height of the ocean is rising, this does not affect Mean Sea Level (MSL). MSL is a reference level that refers to historical measurements, typically in Maine from benchmarks laid in 1927. One of these historic bronze benchmarks is laid at the tip of Littlejohn Island on the point off RRCT’s Littlejohn Island Preserve.
Many map makers instead use a geoid or ellipsoid, which is a more modern mathematical representation of the Earth, to define the reference height. Your GPS receiver might use elevations are based on the NAD83 ellipsoid. These different data sources can result in differences in elevations on different maps or different devices.
Become a 400 Footer Club Member
Fill out the online form below and we’ll send along your badge and membership package! Or, scroll above for the same form to send us in the mail. Nice work!