Nearly all of the
180 miles of trails are blue-blazed. The only exception is the white blazed
Weather Condition Classifications for Hiking and Day Use
to October 15th
- Class 1 Open. Weather
conditions favorable for day use and climbing.
- Class 2 Open but not
recommended for climbing. Weather conditions favorable but
- Class 3 Open but not
recommended; one or more trails closed, trails closed by Ranger when setting
the class day.
- Class 4 Mandatory closure
of all trails at the trailheads. ALL Katahdin and Traveler Mt. trails closed at
The Ranger at Chimney Pond is
responsible for determining the class day of Katahdin.
Rated on relative
( I )=easy well graded mostly level.
( II )=moderately
difficult, rough and rocky footing, steep in places, proper footwear and
hiking. experience required
( III )=very difficult, rugged, prolonged
steepness, may be inherently dangerous.
( IV )=always dangerous, may
present technical climbing obstacles.
Winter use Classification Policy
Objective: To reduce
personal injury to the public users of Baxter State Park during the winter
camping season by using a daily coding system based on current weather and
projected weather forecasts.
Color Coding to classify winter weather conditions;
Green = Weather conditions favorable for
day-use and climbing.
Yellow = Weather
conditions favorable but deteriorating conditions.
Red* = Park use is restricted or terminated
- Actual temperature is -30 F or
- Wind chill is -50 F or
- Rain/sleet conditions
- A major snowstorm is in
Winter Class 4:
use is restricted or terminated when:
Campers in outlying campgrounds
are restricted to bunkhouse facilities.
If you are winter camping please
bring an outdoor thermometer and wind chill chart.
BSP`swind chill chart
and code red wind chill temperature have been updated to reflect the National
Weather Service new wind chill
* Campers in outlying campgrounds are restricted to bunkhouse
All overnight users of
Baxter State Park will stop at Park Headquarters in Millinocket, or the closest
inhabited Ranger station, for weather forecast and code-day information:
(1) outdoor thermometer and one (1) wind chill chart are necessary equipment
for winter camping parties.
from Georgia that terminates at the Baxter Peak summit of
( III / IV )
The oldest route, however be very cautious
on the Abol Slide. With loose rocks and the degree of steepness, this route can
be very dangerous.
Follows a Southwestern slope from Abol Campground.
Very steep slopes will be encountered before getting to the table land 1/4 mile
below Thoreau Spring, junctioning with the Hunt Trail and Baxter Peak Cutoff.
Turn right 1 mile for the summit. Not recommended for
0.9 mil/40 min.( II )
A safe shortcut in rough weather while traveling between Chimney Pond and
1.4 miles 2½ hours, /
elevation gain 2300` (lll)
This would be a fun
and challenging route. Starting at Roaring Brook, proceeding to Chimney Pond,
from there up Cathedral Trail. After a brief skip through the woods you hit a
boulder field and climb steadily upwards from there. With an elevation gain of
3300` its definitely a workout and I wouldn`t recommend this for descent. The
views of the basin and surrounding area are spectacular.
From there on to
the summit and if there is good weather head out across 1.1 mile Knife Edge.
Just remember once you head out across Knife Edge Trail there is no way off if
weather goes down the tubes.
Towards the end of the trail you will go into
what they call the (notch or chimney) in my opinion the hardest part to the
whole trail. From the Chimney you will proceed to Pamola, then I would go down
Helon Tayler Trail...this can be a long arduous trail but it beats the
alternative of going down Dudley which is not recommended for descent.
Helon will bring you back onto the Chimney Pond Trail almost where you started.
3.3 mil 2 1/2 hr/
ele. gain 1400`( II )
A direct route into the South Basin starts at
Roaring Brook campground. Along the way some very nice vistas, especially Lower
Chimney Pond on descent to Roaring Brook, 2
1.4 mil 2hr/
2000` ( III )
A direct route to Pamola, this is a unforgiving climb up the
north side. The trail starts left of the Rangers cabin at Chimney Pond
Campground. You will encounter huge boulders, with the ascent becoming quite
steep. A (path) leads at .03 mil. to the left,climbing along this side path can
be quite difficult but the caverns at the end makes the trip worthwhile. Back
at the signpost The Dudley continues its relentless vertical ascent with hand
over hand climbing, eventually going over the lip. From there you will be going
around and over car size boulders eventually angling your way to the summit.
Awesome views but the trail is exposed to the worst weather so should be
This trail will take its toll on you so set your own pace, Dudley
should be avoided on descent and also with large packs.
1.3 mil/ 45 min.
I ) A warming up trail thats a part of a 3 mile/ 2 hour loop
with the AT
from Katahdin Stream Campground.
1.5 mil/ 2 1/2 hr
elev. gain 1800` ( III )
From the North Basin Trail from Chimney Pond, you
will, after a brief climb through the forest reach open rock. Ascent will now
become steep, up the rugged center ridge of the great basin.
alot less rocky than most of the other high trails on Katahdin. Hamlin Peak
will be reached in about two hours. Everything pretty much levels out from
there to Caribou Spring and the junction with North Peaks and NW Basin
3.2 mil/ 3 1/2 hr
elev. gain 3400` ( III )
A direct route to Pamola from Roaring Brook
Campground. Starts out on a slow uneventfull ascent, then gradually becoming
steeper with boulders and footing getting more pecarious. On reaching Keep
Ridge the views are outstanding as you approach Pamola, with Knife Edge in the
Don`t be mislead, this trail with its length of 3.2 miles is
exceptionally arduous and with the constant climbing over rocks and boulders,
can be quite demanding. This trail would better serve you going up, at least
your fresh then head back on the Dudley or Saddle Trails, going down Helon
Taylor is a hard way to finish the day.
5.2 mil/ 5 hr
4150` ( III )
Follow the white AT blazes from Katahdin Stream Campground
along the north side of the river for 1.1 mile to where the Owl Trail bears
left. Just beyond here you will go over a log bridge and turn left up ledges
200 yards to Katahdin Stream Falls. After going through the forest for 1.5
miles you come across a cave made by two boulders.
Next a boulder field,
then Hunts Spur becoming very steep and difficult. Upon reaching the Tableland
The Hunt Trail continues for 1 mile to the summit.
1.1 mil/ 1 3/4 hr.
( IV )
Some consider if you haven`t done the
Knife Edge you haven`t climbed Katahdin. This is an outstanding trail with
limitless views however it can be the most dangerous.
High winds or inclement weather can make
this route impassable if not deadly. With the trail only being a few feet wide
in places, there is no way off when a decision has been made to cross. There is
a 20` notch between The Chimney and Chimney Peak, presenting a major obstacle.
Making passage with large packs almost
impossible. With some hand over hand climbing, hiking this in a group is
advisable and can be very helpful getting over some of the longer reaches. The
mile long trail between Baxter Peak and Pamola has very steep slopes on both
sides. If attempting this, start early and keep an eye on the weather.
Abol Falls Trail:
0.8 mil/ 30 min.
( I )
A beautiful 15 foot waterfall is an easy walk for people of all
ages, starting at Abol Campground. Bring a lunch, have a picnic, plan on a
couple of hours round trip.
1 mil/ 45 min.
II) For some terrific views this trail starts at .03 of a mile from Chimney
Pond Campground. Starts with a brief bit of steepness then gets fairly level.
After encountering some forest, hiked over a few boulders, then through some
open brush you will reach Blueberry Knoll for the outstanding views of the
North & South Basins including the surrouding area.
0.7 mil/ 1 hr.
elev. gain 500`
( II )
A direct route into the North Basin from Basin
Ponds. After leaving Chimney Pond Trail 2.3 mil. from Roaring Brook Campground
you will go by some beaver ponds then climb steeply to its junction with North
Basin Trail 0.3 mil south of Blueberry Knoll. With an elev. of 3073`you will
have some spectacular views of the surounding areas of the North & South
( III )
This trail is NO
LONGER maintained as a park trail beyond the actual North Peaks., it is
only maintained from the NW Basin Trail into Davis Pond.
This trail crosses
the northern extent of the Katahdin masif.
The first of Howe Peaks is just
above 60` cliffs of the North Basin. Be very careful as to not to stray from
the trail during cloudy weather. Second peak will be encountered 1/2 mile
further then drops to a knob and the timberline before heading toward the
Russell Pond Campground.
8.3 mil/7 hr.
Trail begins near Saddle Springs then descends to a low point
between Baxter and Hamlin Peaks. After climbing through krumholz and tundra,
you will see the junction with Hamlin Ridge. Now following the cairns on the
northern tableland to a summit on the North Western Plateau ( 4410` ). Then
heading North to the timberline and some wet footing you will arrive at the NW
Basin. 1/2 a mile later a large cairn on the Monument Line will be seen, this
area has some comanding views of the entire basin. After following the NW Basin
Brook the trail ends at Russell Pond Campground.
7.1 mil/4 hr.
Hiking along the eastern slopes of Katahdin this trail will lead you
into the heart of Baxter State Park. From Roaring Brook Campground head over
the wooden bridge and with mud underfoot for a little over a mile. You will
then junction up with the Sandy Stream Pond Trail. With just a few minutes
passed you will encounter a nice vantage point on the shores of Whidden Pond.
After that the trail pretty much stays in the woods until reaching Russell Pond
2.2mil. 2 1/2 hr.
( III )
This the best route to take for the novice, its by
no means easy, however its the better of the lot.
The trail starts at
Chimney Pond, heading west for a mile where you will reach Saddle Slide, which
is or can be treacherous, with loose gravel and rocks under foot you must use
care not only for yourself but anyone that may be below you. The Tableland Jct.
will be reached next, turn south heading at a steady ascent for about a mile to
the summit. When on the Tableland you will be exposed to the full force of the
weather. Being flat with no cover you should avoid this during wet and windy
Stream Pond Trail:
1.4 mil./1 hr.
( I )
If looking for a relaxing hike this is a great one. Leaving
Roaring Brook Campground, the walk remains fairly level. When you get to a
viewpoint known as the Big Rock you can watch moose in the evening at the pond.
From there you go another 3/4 mile to the jct. with South Turner Mountain
Trail, then turn west for another 3/4 of a mile to the jct. with Russell Pond
trail, 1/3 of a mile south of the Whidden Pond viewpoint and 1.1 miles from the
campground. Total hike 3.1 miles. 2 1/2 hours
Turner Mt. Trail:
1/4 mil. 2 hr.
( II )
This is a great hike on a clear day, with
the views of Katahdin from South Turner. Starting at Roaring Brook Campground
proceed to Sandy Stream Pond theres a place known as Big Rock stop by and check
it out with some great views of Katahdin with Sandy Stream Pond in the
foreground, its a post card view. Soon after that you will encounter a boulder
field and huge glacial erratics and moraines. Then a steep ascent for about an
hour to a side path at Turner Spring. With sporadic views south on the last
half mile you will eventually break out into the open rocky area for the last
100 yards or so to the summit.
Round trip from Roaring Brook Campground is
4.2 miles/ 5 hrs.
2.2 mil./2 hr.
( III )
Starting from Katahdin Stream Campground, the
trail turns to a very steep ascent that can be quite rigorous . After about 1.1
miles turn left off the Hunt Trail and head north through an awesome spruce and
fir forest. Soon, about .06 of a mile you will cross a brook then steadily make
your ascent to the Owl Summit.
These tools are
Essential to a safe hike, inexpensive and invaluable when on the
tried to put as much detail and accurate information as possible through other
resources and my own experiences on what I have hiked and seen as I climb.
This is in my own opinion and should only be used as a guideline and
NOT to be used as your sole information.
- Know your own physical
limitations, as well as the people you are hiking with, before the
- Know your own experience, as well
as the people you are hiking with, before the hike.
- Know that hiking, like any
outdoor activity has risks, so assume common sense and respect all cautions and
guidelines for the land as well as others.
- Use of the information on these
pages is at the viewers own risk.
- Due to the ever changing
environment I express and disclaim any legal responsibility for any
trail or person.