Lost and found on Stud Mill Road

Saturday afternoon I hopped in the Rover and headed for Stud Mill Road. I planned on making the a loop from Milford heading east on one of Maine’s longest logging highways and turning off down Alligator Lake Road which connects with the Airline Road (Rt. 9). My only fear was the gate that connected the Airline Road would be locked. Which would leave me just a few feet from the highway with no where to go but back.


Along the way I spotted owls, moose tracks, and a couple of campers hammering down Bud Light.

Stud Mill Road is a great option for wildlife viewing, hunting and fishing while still remaining close to Bangor. The road is roughly 70 miles and stretches from Milford to Princeton. The road tends to get closed during mud season in spring, a way to protect this resource investment from damage.

Driving the Stud Mill Road - Alligator Lake Road Loop.

After being stopped by a couple backwoods-types pounding Bud Lights, then being released after thanking me for stopping “just in case they were in trouble.” I headed further east. I drove passed several roads that I thought were Alligator Lake Road and finally pulled onto a turn off to look at the map. I managed to find a road sign, 32-00-0.. I was several miles past my turn, oops.

Driving the Stud Mill Road - Alligator Lake Road Loop.

It was about 2 p.m., the snow started coming down heavily and the skies darkened. I managed to find a turn off that I thought was Alligator Lake Road. It was barely traveled and the Rover was sliding all over the road. After almost going into a ditch twice, I locked in the differential. With all wheels spinning at the same time, I crawled my way down the road.

Driving the Stud Mill Road - Alligator Lake Road Loop.

I spotted a black blob up in a tree. After taking a closer look, I realized it was a barred owl. I crept out of the car and set up my camera with a 70 – 200mm lens, 2x converter and tripod.

Driving the Stud Mill Road - Alligator Lake Road Loop.

The owl just sat there turning it’s head side to side. It was much to high in the tree for me to be a threat and graciously allowed me to photograph.

Once I had one memory card filled with solely owl footage, I packed it up and headed down the trail. The once dead quiet was now starting to get filled with sounds of traffic on the Airline Road. The glimpse of a lake, Alligator Lake, to my west reassured me that I was going the right direction.

Driving the Stud Mill Road - Alligator Lake Road Loop.

Luckily I saw a bright yellow gate, it was open. I hit Route 9 and my bumpy, rattling ride smoothed out and I was headed back to Bangor.


Brian Feulner

About Brian Feulner

Brian Feulner is the visual editor at the Bangor Daily News and a photographer in the state of Maine. Feulner frequently freelances for a variety of publications and companies and operates Feulner Studio and Gallery in Bangor.