Walking in the footsteps of a pre-traitorous Benedict Arnold

In early October 1775, Gen. Benedict Arnold and a contingent of 1,100 American soldiers made the portage over the Great Carrying Place between the Kennebec River and the Dead River in Maine on their wilderness expedition to Quebec City. The lengthy and difficult portage greatly weakened Arnold’s army, which ultimately failed in its attempt to wrest control of the city from the British and thereby expand the Revolutionary War, forcing it to retreat in defeat in the dead of winter.

Hikers today can explore this incredible 13-mile segment of history thanks to the Arnold Expedition Historical Society, which recently opened the Great Carrying Place Portage Trail after seven years of hard work and 239 years after Arnold and his troops passed through.

Hikers can walk the Great Carrying Place Portage Trail in short segments, make it a long day hike, or turn it into an overnight journey with a stay at the AT lean-to on West Carry Pond. Guides recommends hiking the trail from east to west “to more closely emulate the experiences of the soldiers of the 1775 expedition.”

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