DALLAS PLANTATION — “This view is one of the most phenomenal views I have ever seen and I’ve been all over this planet,” said Joe Prochaska of Orlando, Fla. He and his wife were spending a few September weeks traveling through Maine. On Route 16 just a few miles east of Rangeley, they saw a sign pointing to “Quill Hill.” Unfamiliar with what the attraction was, they followed a dirt road to a peak 2,848 feet above sea level. At the top of Quill Hill, the Prochaskas were afforded a 360-degree view of the valleys, lakes and mountains of northern Franklin County and beyond.
Quill Hill is privately owned by Adrian Brochu of East Madison. He opened the overlook to the public in 2013 after building a road to the top. For much of the summer, Brochu closed the mountain to public vehicles in order to do upgrades on the property. “I planned on doing one month of work but it turned into four,” he quipped. He moved piles of dirt to make scenic picnic areas. He handpicked rocks to build wheelchair paths and “friendly” stairs to the more scenic areas. He opened up the views along the 12-minute drive to the top. The result is an awe inspiring picturesque view from the top.“I enjoy working on these things,” Brochu explained. This passion for creating something useful and beautiful is evident with a visit to either Quill Hill or Ira Mountain in Kingfield. Guests are encouraged to leave their name and any remarks in the guest log at the top of Quill Hill. Brochu reads them all and files them away. “A lot of people relate this to Cadillac Mountain but with better views and more mountains,” he explained. The rock amphitheater he built on Ira Mountain, 29 miles south and east, has been the venue for concerts, weddings and parties. The overlook on Ira Mountain gives an eagle-eye view of Carrabassett Valley and beyond. “If I live to be 100, I will still be at Ira working on projects,” stated Brochu. Brochu pointed out that if one were to face Sugarloaf from the top of Ira Mountain, the Horns of Bigelow would be at about 2 o’clock. Facing Eustis from Quill Hill, the same formation is located at about 1 o’clock.
Brochu hopes that people will visit both overlooks and travel the loop to Rangeley, Phillips and back to Kingfield and Stratton. The entire loop is just over 80 miles with opportunities for eating, shopping, sightseeing and fueling up along the way. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the impressive full color views from the top of Maine’s western mountains.
To find Ira Mountain, travel north 4.8 miles from the intersection of routes 16 and 27 in Kingfield. Keep an eye out for the brown signs on the right side of the road that will direct you across a wooden bridge. Leaving Ira Mountain and crossing back over the bridge, turn right onto Route 27. Head north for 17.8 miles and then turn left onto Route 16 in Stratton. Follow Route 16 for 11.2 miles to Quill Hill.
The roads are open from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset weather permitting. Brochu closes the road to the Ira Mountain overlook in November but leaves the Quill Hill overlook open through November.