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Millinocket, Maine

Hike Mt. Katahdin via Chimney Pond and Saddle Trails

11 Miles Total - 2353 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Timothy Behuniak

This is an amazing hike with views to die for. It's the tallest mountain in Maine and the end/beginning of the 2,000+ mile long Appalachian Trail.

Hiking Katahdin is extremely rewarding and worthwhile. Not only are you welcomed with an incredible view at the summit, but if you hike it later in the year you can have the chance to talk with those finishing their 2,000 mile journey on the Appalachian Trail.

There are many routes up this mountain, but one of the easier ones is following the Chimney Pond and Saddle Trails.

Park at the Roaring Brook Campground parking lot and start out on the well-maintained Chimney Pond Trail. Once you arrive at Chimney Pond, you'll be greeted with an incredible view of Knife's Edge (one of the other routes up Katahdin) and other mountains. This is the last water source on the way up, so if you're running low, definitely take advantage of the pond and fill up your bottles here.

From here, follow the Saddle Trail until you hit the tablelands. The Saddle Trail gets steep toward the end and will eventually spit you out onto a rocky slide. The path up the slide is pretty obvious, so stick to the blue markers and you'll have nothing to fear! Once arriving at the tablelands (known as this due to it's large, flat open space and rocky trail), you'll follow the trail from here to the summit.

This hike is so great because you get to hike through a variety of different kinds of scenery before reaching the summit. Plus, the entire hike is very scenic, beautiful and well-maintained. Take note of a few things:

  • The summit and above-tree-line portion of the trail is 100% open to the elements, so only go up if the weather is promising and you have extra layers
  • Bring lots of water and food as after Chimney Pond, there is no water source
  • Baxter State Park requires that you pay a toll to enter the park ($14/car), however, there is no vehicle fee for Maine residents!
  • If you arrive too late, Rangers will not let you hike the mountain and you probably won't get a parking spot, so get an EARLY start!! Plus, most cut-off times for hiking Katahdin, no matter which trail you choose, is noon
  • No children under 6 are allowed above treeline
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