The Jockey Cap Project

Introduction

USVLT is partnering with the Town of Fryeburg to protect the beloved Jockey Cap property. At only 15.6 acres in size, Jockey Cap is small but mighty: it contains rare pitch pine habitat, popular hiking trails and rock climbing routes, and most notably, a large granite dome that offers sweeping views to the White Mountains.

A Beloved Community Destination

Jockey Cap is located in the downtown village center of Fryeburg, Maine. It is already a popular destination for both locals and visitors seeking a beginner-friendly hike to the 610’ foot summit. Jockey Cap’s cliffs offer some of the most unique rock climbing in Maine and the boulder garden below is enjoyed by rock climbers for its high quality bouldering problems.

Jockey Cap is also used as an outdoor classroom by students and teachers at many local schools. The property contains about 6 acres of rare pitch pine woodlands as well as scrub oak and early succession mixed hardwood forest.

The Jockey Cap property has pre- and post-colonial historical significance. There is a memorial to arctic explorer Admiral Robert Peary at the summit, and Molly Ockett, likely the last member of the Pequawket Tribe (western Wabanaki confederacy) to live locally, is rumored to have resided onsite in “Molly Ockett’s Cave.”  Jockey Cap was home to Maine’s first rope tow for skiing, which was in operation from 1936-1938.

Jockey Cap_south cliff at sunset

The Project

Due in part to a problematic ownership structure, the Jockey Cap property has suffered from years of neglect. Since the Town is only a 50% owner of the property, it has been unable to invest in it or properly manage and protect it. The Jockey Cap project has three steps:

This acquisition and conservation easement project will ensure that the Town can work with USVLT and other partners to give Jockey Cap the love it deserves. Planned future improvement projects include creating a welcoming trailhead with a parking lot, bike parking, and information kiosk, erosion control, many trail projects, and more.

USVLT is currently actively fundraising to complete the Jockey Cap project. Support has already been provided by:

 
Directions

Directions, a trail map, and more details are available at Maine Trail Finder.

From Fryeburg’s village downtown, travel east on US-302/Bridgton Road. Turn left into the parking lot of the Jockey Cap Country Store just before the Dollar General. Two parking spots for the trailhead are located on the far left of the lot, within view of the trailhead kiosk.

 Jockey Cap Project Map

Jockey Cap Project Map