Baxter State Park

Millinocket Travel Blog

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Moose sighting near Chimney Pond

Another Maine treasure is Baxter State Park, home of Mt. Katahdin.  The highest peak in Maine at roughly 5,300 feet (way above Cadillac), Katahdin is best known as the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.  Once again there are several different ways to get to the top, but being a Maine resident, I always enjoyed residency privileges and ascended via the Helon N. Taylor trail, which begins from Roaring Brook campground (it is a lot easier to reserve a tent site here if you are a Maine resident).

 

The beauty of this trail is that it requires you to navigate the Knife Edge.  This is an arduous trek and I won’t suggest it unless you are fit and capable.

Atop Baxter Peak ---looking back on the narrow ridge known as the Knife Edge
  The elevation gain is over one mile to Pamola and despite the amazing views afforded, it is constant uphill over rocks and boulders.  Once you gain Pamola Peak, the remaining hurdle is the Knife Edge…another mile along a narrow passage with severe drops on either side (in many places the trail is only a few feet wide --- and with the notorious high winds fairly perilous).

 

I have escorted several groups of friends along this trail and once we stopped for a break after acquiring Pamola --- and I could tell the gang was getting unnerved just looking at the Knife Edge.  I had to immediately urge everybody on because as usual, it really isn’t as awful as it looks, but if we had tarried I’m certain everyone would have bailed.

 

It is a truly joyous moment when you acquire Baxter Peak (the end of the Appalachian trail if you started in Georgia)…and we descend along the long, but mild, Saddle Trail.  This trail circles back to Roaring Brook past the Chimney Pond campground (where there are cabins, but you probably can’t score one if you aren’t a Maine resident).  I have never been on this trail without seeing a moose, reinforcing how magnificent this hike is!

spocklogic says:
Webster Lake trail & Freezeout trail as I look on my old photos. We camped near a wonderful lake one night and a pleasant stream with some moving water another night. It was an amazing trip for scenery and wildlife, but very few humans. Indeed, a beautiful park in isolation.
Posted on: Apr 03, 2012
vances says:
Remember where you hiked or camped? Beautiful park, beautiful state ...
Posted on: Apr 03, 2012
spocklogic says:
Me and my brother hiked around in Baxter State Park back in 1984. Didn't do any extreme rock climbing, but enjoyed a weekend there camping and hiking the trails.
Posted on: Apr 03, 2012
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Moose sighting near Chimney Pond
Moose sighting near Chimney Pond
Atop Baxter Peak ---looking back o…
Atop Baxter Peak ---looking back …
Ascending Pamola - notice that thi…
Ascending Pamola - notice that th…
View down from climbing Katahdin
View down from climbing Katahdin
On the Knife Edge
On the Knife Edge
Descending the Chimney Notch - thi…
Descending the Chimney Notch - th…
Looking down on Chimney Pond from …
Looking down on Chimney Pond from…
Space at the summit of Katahdin, w…
Space at the summit of Katahdin, …
Millinocket
photo by: vances